The Townsman documents sign stealing claims from some high profile Wellesley conservatives, including Royall Switzler and Howie Carr, both of whom say Sean Bielat and Scott Brown signs were taken (and in Carr’s case, replaced with Joe Kennedy, Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama signs).
But we’ve also heard from Warren backers about significant sign theft. Amy Benjamin of the Wellesley for Elizabeth Warren group says at least 17 Warren signs have been stolen, including one of hers (these reports are based solely on those on her group’s mailing list, so she suspects there have been more).
“I think the bigger issue and story, however, [than the sign theft] is the incivility around this race — that is going on in Wellesley and is directed at Elizabeth Warren supporters. We weren’t surprised by the “tomahawk chop” video because we have had Brown supporters hurl racial epithets at us, sound war whoops, and make caricatured ‘Indian’ gestures while we have marched in the Wellesley Parade, held Warren signs on Wellesley streets, and gone door to door canvassing here in town. We see it in the nasty and degrading language used about and directed at Elizabeth from many corners, but it is simply stunning to find ourselves the targets of such disinhibited anger and ugliness by our own neighbors.”
Another Warren supporter, in the Bates district, wrote: “Are you aware that signs are being taken from private homes all over Wellesley, mine included? To remove this expression of free speech is unacceptable. I do not believe this is being done by pranksters, or kids, as they are only targeting Warren signs. The police are keeping track, as is the Wellesley for Warren campaign. It’s a class D larceny offense.”
According to Wellesley police, they had 1 reported sign theft before the primary and a few since, and the signs stolen have been promoting a variety of candidates.
In a related note, looking ahead to the signs being taken down by homeowners themselves once the dirty politics and the November election are done, the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission next week is hosting a program on healthy lawns.