Campaign Sign Thief Caught on Camera

By Samantha Abernethy | Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Updated at 10:45 a.m. with comment from Matt Reichel and Tom Jacks.

Updated at 4 p.m. with additional comment from Tom Jacks.

The campaign for 47th ward candidate Ameya Pawar says campaign signs and banners have been removed from private and commercial properties.

The video above—as well as several others—shows a man removing Pawar signs. It was taken by a security camera outside West Lakeview Liquors at 2156 W. Addison.

Pawar’s campaign spokesman Sam Yanover said campaign signs started disappearing from lawns and windows February 13. He said in some situations, the signs were replaced with signs for candidate Tom O’Donnell.

O’Donnell’s campaign manager Daniel McDonald declined to comment when contacted by phone Monday night.

Yanover says the signs had been placed on the property by the owners. Removal of campaign signs from private property is illegal, but since the signs cost little, police investigation and/or enforcement is unlikely. Signs placed on public property can be removed by anyone at anytime.

To see all of the videos taken by the security cameras, visit Center Square Journal‘s YouTube channel.

Candidates Matt Reichel and Tom Jacks both said they have not removed any signs. Reichel said several of his signs have disappeared. As for lawn signs, he says “it’s hard to tell if it’s the weather or just kids being funny.”

But some signs have also disappeared from the windows of businesses. Reichel said a business owner told him someone walked into the store, took down Reichel’s campaign sign and left.

“Somebody walked in and just took it off the window. That’s something I’d like to get on camera,” he said.

Jacks doesn’t have many campaign signs, but he checked on them early Tuesday morning and said they are still in place.

“I think these tactics, they are the old Chicago way,” said Jacks, “and hopefully today the voters choose some change in the 47th ward.”

**After telling CSJ this morning that his signs were still in place, Jacks heard from a volunteer that some of his signs near Sulzer Library had been taken down. He also said he got word that there have been poll watchers dropping hints to voters to vote for Mr. O’Donnell.

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  • Anonymous

    These are the type of people that work for the Schulter/O’Donnell campaign and a vote for O’Donnell is a vote for these criminals. If you think they’ll limit their tactics to stealing signs you’re naive. Today they WILL be stealing votes and tomorrow (if they get elected) they’ll be stealing your tax dollars.

    • Anonymous

      You have no clue what you are talking about. You sound like an angry person that is just fed up with everything – it be best for people like you to move out of the city, I’ll pay your property taxes as they’re still much lower than where I came from.

      • Anonymous

        So you are naive ‘ooobilly’. The amount of property tax is not even the point. It’s how the money is used (or wasted – stolen). The current system is opaque and corrupt. Do your homework if you’re going to live in this city.

        Add up all the taxes you pay from property, sales, county, water/sewage, liquor, entertainment, parking etc. and Chicago probably the most taxed municipality in the country. We don’t get what we pay for and the city is broke because of politicians like Schulter / ODonnell. They line their pockets at our expense.

        • Anonymous


          That’s not right–every study I’ve seen puts the *overall* tax burden in Chicago in the middle of the pack. I realize that’s not the point, but when you don’t get your facts right, it lets your opponents focus on the error rather than the meat of the argument.

          And the meat of the argument is, it doesn’t matter if our taxes were only $1 per person, if that dollar is used for something other than the public good, and especially if it goes in the pocket of an elected representative of their friends, then that is $1 too much. Government is here to serve the needs of the people for things that are hard or impossible to do individually–police, fire, roads, schools, courts, etc, etc–not to enrich those who work in government and their friends.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1359280873 Judy Raddue

      I won’t believe it until it’s called, but I hope you like the taste of crow.

  • Anonymous

    Have already heard 2 complains from voters this morning (7 am) about no ballot covers at 2 different precincts in the 47th. This is a very subtle but real form of intimidation directly at the poll. Just a technical glitch? I doubt it.
    There are people/businesses in this ward I know who have O’Donnell signs up but will be voting for Pawar. Tactics like no ballot covers intimidates these voters into voting the right way.

    I have tweeted this, and called David Orr’s office( 312-269-7900 ) and I encourage anyone who sees irregularities to do the same.

    • http://twitter.com/sjezioro Stacy Jeziorowski

      There were ballot covers at Berry United Methodist when I voted this morning. They were already talking about low turnout. And now this answered the question as to why I saw no Pawar signs near the poll and only signs for O’Donnell.

      • Anonymous

        actually, I was also campaigning today at Grace and Damen, and put up four Pawar signs on the corners. I left to go get warm in my house, and came back 15 minutes later to find only one sign remaining. At the corner were also three O’Donnell supporters handing out fliers, and when asked they denied knowing anything about the missing signs. of course…

        • Anonymous

          Maybe the 47th ward meatheads should have concentrated on things like THE ISSUES instead of the signs. But then again what do you expect with the cynical pick of Tom O’Donnell as a replacement in the first place.

          Schulter is out of touch and OUT OF OFFICE. Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo1!!!!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        actually, I was also campaigning today at Grace and Damen, and put up four Pawar signs on the corners. I left to go get warm in my house, and came back 15 minutes later to find only one sign remaining. At the corner were also three O’Donnell supporters handing out fliers, and when asked they denied knowing anything about the missing signs. of course…

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  • http://twitter.com/FruzsE Fruzsina Eördögh

    Why does the figure in the video have a similar figure to O’Donnell? Am I the only one that sees that?

  • Anonymous

    We can’t keep voting for the same type of people and expect different results. Schulter/O’Donnell have been using these tactics for years and it’s time to let them know that the old way no longer works. Please vote today for a new and different voice for the 47th Ward. Pawar for the people.

  • Anonymous

    I purposely took 3 yard signs for Ameya from the TImber Lanes Bowl in case they got stolen. Plus my neighbor works with the opponent.

  • http://twitter.com/votetomjacks Tom Jacks

    Since telling Samantha this morning that my signs were in place, they have since been removed. These tactics are wrong and I truly hope that the 47th Ward votes for change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.eck Greg Eck

    Buh-Bye O’Donnell. Congrats Ameya!! We are looking forward to a lot of good things out of you!!

    • Anonymous


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