Minnesota DFL tactics: steal lawn signs

posted at 2:00 pm on September 26, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

While we have relatively clean government in Minnesota, sometimes the politics of elections here can get positively criminal — or at least ridiculously petty.  In this case, we can add “tremendously stupid”.  A campaign volunteer for DFL Congressional candidate Ashwin Madia stole lawn signs advertising the Republican candidate, Eric Paulsen, and got caught on camera doing it:

My NARN colleague Michael Brodkorb happened to be at the Perkins restaurant across the street and captured the incident on tape:

I always carry at least one video camera with me at all times, so I gave my video camera to my friend and he filmed the woman walking back into the Perkins’ parking lot with the Paulsen for Congress lawn signs. When confronted, the woman first claimed she was just “a private citizen…” But after I noticed the car she was driving had a Ashwin Madia for Congress bumper sticker, she admitted that she “also happened to be a Madia volunteer.”

According to multiple sources who have seen the video, the car driven by the Madia volunteer who took the Paulsen for Congress lawn signs has been identified as being owned by Madia’s communications director Dan Pollock. This is the same Dan Pollock who claimed this week that Madia is running a “very positive, issue-oriented campaign”:

“‘[Team Madia is ] running a very positive, issue-oriented campaign,’ Pollock said.” Source: Sun Newspapers, September 23, 2008

Having your communications director’s car used as a get-a-way vehicle doesn’t help build the case that you’re “…running a very positive, issue-oriented campaign.”

What’s dumber than stealing lawn signs?  Getting caught stealing lawn signs. What’s even dumber than that?  Using a campaign official’s car as your get-away vehicle.  Why didn’t they just hold a press conference and let the media watch the Madia Sign Theft Operation in action?

You have to love the rationalization of this young woman for her thievery.  The signs were on a public right-of-way?  Then call the police to deal with it, or the city offices.  Who gave her the authority to enforce public law?  Did she get an Ashwin Madia Junior City Inspector Badge with that free bumper sticker?

A few years ago, state Rep. Phyllis Kahn, another DFL politician, got convicted for stealing her opponent’s literature from the doorstep of constituents.  I guess this is just a continuing DFL strategy here in Minnesota.  It could be worse, though.  At least Madia isn’t threatening the broadcast licenses of stations that air criticism of him.

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Sorry, but she was in the right. She has every right to pick up litter on public property. That is exactly what she did.

corona on September 26, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Are you sure that is the ordinance, are you sure it was public land, and not a public easement?
You don’t know and neither does she…so if she “thinks” it is illegal she waits until dark to do it?
Why not call the elections official and have the opponent fined and have the sign removed…because she is a sneaky little skank…

right2bright on September 26, 2008 at 5:42 PM


reshas1 on September 26, 2008 at 5:47 PM

Stupid as the stupid party she volunteers for.

SouthernGent on September 26, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Democrats only believe in their freedom of speech, any one opposing their views is either stupid or ignorant.



(unsolicited endorsement)

I’m just now slogging through Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism”, and it’s a scary read. The chapter on Woody Wilson and the Progressives — and their rather singular views on the status of the Constitution, eugenics and blacks voting — is particularly apt here.

Summary: the end justifies the means. The individual only has rights the collective — and the leadership of that collective specifically — grants. Life as one happy anthill.

The political views discussed were swimming in the heads of the acolytes gathered ’round Obama’s Acropolyptic acceptance speech…frightening….

Recommended highly. Audiobook is especially recommended here, for doofuses like me who read at a glacial pace.


Now, we return you to your regularly scheduled blog.


Puritan1648 on September 26, 2008 at 5:58 PM

Did she say she was a real estate attorney? If an attorney committed a crime by stealing a sign, that may be subject to investigation and discipline.

Here is where a person would file a disciplinary complaint against a Minnesota lawyer.


indythinker on September 26, 2008 at 6:05 PM

I have no idea if that woman was telling the truth, but I wish someone would steal the Ron Paul signs that are all over the the utility poles and bridges. His supporters are the only ones around here who post bandit signs on public property. I do see fewer and fewer of them now, though.

Even at the primary polling places, there were twice as many Paul signs as all the others put together, plus they were the only signs that were posted outside the designated area. They just think they’re more special than everyone else, and they don’t have to obey the law.

juliesa on September 26, 2008 at 6:15 PM

She even parked at Perkins. Sweet.
Should have at least parked in a dark alley! LOL

JellyToast on September 26, 2008 at 6:20 PM

juliesa on September 26, 2008 at 6:15 PM

They live to dream.

Cindy Munford on September 26, 2008 at 6:25 PM

Kempermanx on September 26, 2008 at 4:57 PM

I read the posts over there but I haven’t read the comments. I need to do that, sounds like some funny folks over there. I love funny.

Cindy Munford on September 26, 2008 at 6:26 PM

A liberal driving a Subaru? Wow, that’s completely unheard of! /sarcasm off

Blue_State_Blues on September 26, 2008 at 6:28 PM


becki51758 on September 26, 2008 at 6:43 PM

they did theis crap in chicago when rostenkowski ran his last and unsuccessful campaign. liberals are so tolerant.

billypaintbrush on September 26, 2008 at 6:44 PM

I’m coining it:

Minnesota DFL = Minnesota Dumb-F*k Losers.

Sir Andrew on September 26, 2008 at 7:27 PM

This thread seems to have run out of steam, but cute story anyway….

My daughter had a “Bush/Cheney” sign in her yard in “04, and a neighbor lady drove over and took it…the lady herself had posted a “Kerry/Edwards” sign onto a utility pole at the end of the road, so my daughter went out there and took that down and nailed up an old flipflop in it’s place…heh, get it?

My daughter is cute.

surrounded on September 26, 2008 at 8:19 PM

That’s sweet, surrounded.

wise_man on September 26, 2008 at 8:33 PM

That’s funny. She took the sign down before she put it back up.

Video chick: Ima Dimocrat an a lawyur, so I like can do whterver I want, like yah no.

Feedie on September 26, 2008 at 8:37 PM

Sorry, but she was in the right. She has every right to pick up litter on public property. That is exactly what she did.

She was completely in the wrong. The signs are not “litter”- in Minnesota the DOT takes down the signs and impounds them- the intention is that improperly posted signs are returned to the campaigns to be posted properly (and for the campaign to be fined accordingly). Unclaimed signs are trashed. She had no business pulling signs down, she wasn’t doing “anyone” any favors except for the campaign she evidently supported.

OT- when is registration open for malkin’s site? I don’t have an account there and don’t know when registration is open.

h0mi on September 26, 2008 at 9:14 PM

I know that this may seem extreme,but during the Bush/Kerry
Presidential election I had my signs stolen twice before I decided to stay up to catch the “Freedom of Speech”crowd.

After 4 nights at 1:00 am I sat at my computer and watched a
car pull up,a man get out and start for my signs.I was going
to let my dogs(Rottweiler,Chocolate Lab) out but decided against it.I ran after him but he jumped in the car and sped off.I got his license plate and felt stupid reporting it,but I told the police that this little incident could lead to a
bigger incident such as assault.
They took it seriously and called be back to tell me they addressed the situation through another Sheriff’s department
because they lived in a different county.

This year I have already had my signs stolen twice so I asked a sign company to make me a 3 ft. by 4 ft. sign that
has a picture of Palin on one end and McCain on the other.
It reads in large print:

“Obama supporters can steal our signs but they can’t steal our right to free speech.”(I pull this one up at night fall
every night)

I took my other signs and nailed them to trees to high for
the “Freedom of Speech” activists to reach them.

I have received a lot of compliments and outrage from people
who are shouted down and have crap like this pulled on them
from the people that yell about the Constitution and Freedom
of Speech the most.

Baxter Greene on September 26, 2008 at 11:15 PM

During the 2004 election, I had two Bush signs stolen from my front yard. There were stories of union organized efforts to do this and other thug actions here in Wisconsin.

Remember the pictures of the union thugs standing on the table in the Republican campaign office they had taken over?

…or the tire slashing on the GOP rented vans?

The third sign I put up, I waited outside for them with a video camera. They had been stolen before on Friday nights…as if the local union thugs went out for a few beers before going on their spree.

Anyway, like clockwork, they came down the road, but stopped before they got to my sign and pulled up another one, then turned around and left.

This year, there are already reports of McCain signs being stolen.

Time to get the video camera again, and maybe my wrist-rocket sling shot.

91Veteran on September 27, 2008 at 12:22 AM

You Minnesotans drive me nuts. This comes up every time you guys talk about your home state politics.

What the heck does “DFL” stand for???

The rest of the country wants to know.

philwynk on September 27, 2008 at 7:57 AM

Ok, never mind.

Democrat Farmer-Labor party. I got it. Thanks.

philwynk on September 27, 2008 at 8:02 AM

Having lived in MN for most of my life I always thought it stood for “Dumb F-ing Liberals”

Dasher on September 27, 2008 at 12:00 PM

In Delano,Minnesota,during the 04 election,nearly every single Bush-Cheney sign had a swastika spraypainted over it..this is the whole town,I’m talking about.
Madia’s online support groups like Sepia Mutiny don’t believe too much in free speech,either. They won’t let anyone post who isn’t 100% Madia.(Sepia=”brown with a tinge of red”)Their description.I think Madia is way more left than he lets on.

lizzee on September 27, 2008 at 1:37 PM

The F does stand for farmer. You can see their work by taking a drive out in the country. Abandoned houses, falling down barns and with all their nanny state laws, they have strangled the small towns. Yet, the lemmings and limosine liberals from Minneapolis and alike keep voting them in. They’ve destroyed the hard working rural Minnesota, and one day soon with all their welfare, will do the same to urban. It has been in the works for years now.

oakpack on September 27, 2008 at 4:03 PM

This is a goof video, where everyone gets to remark about their experiences (like you have) and no one is going to go to jail or get their reputation ruined or try to figure out who the chick is.

Cindy Munford on September 26, 2008 at 4:16 PM

CM it’s not like she is in Missouri *gasp* violating the “truth”…..

I think power is going to slowly devolve back to the states.

sven10077 on September 28, 2008 at 4:33 AM