It happens every year during the week before the election: some desperate, pathetic candidate with relatively little chance to win issues a press release accusing his or her opponent of stealing campaign signs. But Democrat Richard Dennison, the lawyer/undertaker who is running for State Senator against Diane Allen, bumped the usual whining up a notch – he’s threatening to file felony theft charges against Allen, unless his demands are met.
Dear Senator Allen:
I write you with regard to the fact that individuals associated with your campaign have stolen hundreds of my campaign signs. These signs were installed all throughout district 7 this past weekend and were removed and stolen yesterday and today from the major thoroughfares of the district, and in many cases, from the private property of my supporters.
I know this to be case because not only have so many of my signs gone missing but also because someone clearly associated with your campaign was seen in two separate instances stealing my signs and replacing them with "Allen, Propp, Griffin" signs. One such instance was today at approximately 2:30pm along the southbound side of Route 130. A white, middle-aged male with a mustache, relatively tall in height, was seen by Dan Keegan, a campaign volunteer of mine, removing my sign, placing it into the rear of the silver, late-model Chrysler minivan he was driving and then was viewed taking a sign of yours and placing it into the ground at the spot where my sign had been installed.
Please know that I paid for these signs with my own hard-earned money. And, countless hours were expended by generous volunteers in putting these signs together and then placing them throughout the district.
It goes without saying that this is shameful conduct. It is also illegal. I estimate that based on the large number of signs stolen, the total amount stolen from me is in the neighborhood of $5,000–plenty enough to justify felony theft charges.
I can promise you that unless the following conditions are met by 5pm tomorrow, Tuesday, October 30, I will immediately proceed with filing criminal complaints.
One, all signs stolen must be returned to me at 214 W. Front St., Florence. Two, letters of apology must be received from you and all individuals involved in this situation. Three, you and your campaign must immediately cease and desist from engaging in this illegal conduct.
Please be advised accordingly.
Very truly yours,