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Lemke And Bryce Missing A Number Of Their Campaign Yard Signs

Two Democratic primary candidates for the 62nd Assembly District have noticed that a number of their campaign yard signs have mysteriously disappeared today.

A number of campaign signs were discovered missing from where Democratic candidates Randy Bryce and Melissa Lemke say they put them over the course of several weeks.

Bryce and Lemke are the Democratic candidates for the 62nd State Assembly District, which includes Caledonia, the northern part of Racine and a small part of Mount Pleasant. Between the two of them, they’ve lost more than 80 signs.

Tom Weatherston, Village Board member and the Republican candidate for the 62nd State Assembly District, said he didn’t know anything about the missing signs, but said when he first started his political career he lost a lot of signs because he was putting them in the road right of way.

“I lost some signs that way and I had to get them from County,” Weatherston said.

Mark Balwinski, who works on Bryce’s campaign, said they put up the signs three weeks ago and a week later about 20 were taken. He put up some of the new signs two weeks ago and some late yesterday afternoon. Sometime between 1 and 3 p.m. this afternoon they disappeared.

“We drove around the area and today we lost about 50 signs, and 70 to 80 in total,” Balwinski said.

Bryce hasn’t filed a police report with the Caledonia Police Department because three weeks ago he was told that the homeowner would need to file the police report.

Balwinski said he also checked with the Village ordinance regarding where the signs could be placed.  Two weeks ago he also checked with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department to see if they had their signs, but they didn’t. The Department also hadn’t received any complaints at that time, Balwinski said.

“Caledonia has an ordinance and I looked at it,” Balwinski said. “We were fine because we were well beyond the shoulder. Some had been legitimately removed. But AFSCME, the union that the Racine County Highway Department workers are in, endorsed him and I don’t see them just taking those signs from their union brother.”

Tom House, who lives on Highway 31 near Six Mile Road, said the signs Bryce put in his yard were taken twice, once about two weeks ago and the second time today. The second time, the signs had been out in his yard for two weeks.

“I didn’t file a police report because… I just didn’t,” he said. “But I think it’s ridiculous that people should play fair. I also don’t want people in my yard.”

Bryce condemned whoever is taking the signs.

“Both parties shouldn’t be resorting to criminal activity to show your support for candidate,” he said.

Lemke has also had some of her signs taken.

One was missing from outside her campaign office on LaSalle Street and some had been missing along Douglas Avenue.

“At this point, I don’t know if it’s one or 81 that we are missing,” she said. “But we went out to staple ‘Vote today’ signs on them and we did notice some missing.”

One woman who lived on Four Mile Road told Lemke that she could put a sign in front of her house and Lemke did.

“The woman called two days later and asked why I hadn’t put them up,” Lemke said. “I put it super close to the road though, so maybe someone thought twice about having it or it could have been the County. I don’t know.”

Brian Dey August 15, 2012 at 02:51 AM
I would assume it is because a number of them were placed illegally and the County picked them up.
Brian Dey August 15, 2012 at 02:56 AM
This just goes to show how incompetent both candidates are. You must place the signs inside the telephone poles. In other words, if your sign is between the pole and street, if it was on a State Hwy, like both Lemke and Bryce had on Hwy 31 and Mona Park Rd, or on Hwy 32 (Douglas Ave), or on County Hwy G, they would have been removed by the county. Most of the signs placed by both that I saw, were in violation of the statutes. Not a good way to start going into the general; whining about missing signs that they place illegally.
Sam August 15, 2012 at 06:31 AM
The article states that ordinances were checked by Bryce's team. If a few were in violation, it is not likely to add up to the numbers quoted. And contrast that with the many church festival signs, signs for home sales, rummage sales and other events that are up for an extended period of time, frequently near or at the road within the right of way, yet those are not removed by county personnel. The workers also would not be removing signs outside of their normal work hours. Petty theft is committed by petty people, and interfering with the political process should not be tolerated by any party or the citizenry.
Brian Dey August 15, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Recheck the locations of the signs you cite. Most are placed in the proper spot. I have run many campaigns and have run myself a few times. A number of Mr. Bryce's signs were not properly located, period. I had noticed that from the very first signs I saw placed on 5 Mile Rd. Anyone running for office knows you cannot place a sign on the roadside of the telephone poles and whether you are a Republican or Democrat, the County doesn't care. Yes I agree, if anyone removed them other that employees of the County or the Village, shame on them. But Mr. Bryce had the majority of them that I observed, place illegally.
Sam August 15, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I see the kind of signs I mentioned every day all over the place, many barely past the gravel shoulder on county and state highways. No "rechecking" is needed. They were there yesterday, they are there today, and they will be tomorrow. Indeed, shame on "them," the people so afraid of minority candidates that they stoop to stealing.
GearHead August 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM
@ Sam: If you are in any way trying to impune the Weatherston campaign (running unopposed) without any proof, then shame on you. Being it was a primary, the most likely suspects (beyond the County) would be petty operatives of the respective campaigns.
Oscar Zee August 15, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Bryce's signs were probably removed because they were put up without permission. Drive by the Piggly Wiggly on Erie - I just saw several in the grass strip between the parking lot and Erie. There is no way that he had permission to put those signs up. I've seen others put up in vacant lots, empty houses with "for sale" signs, and other locations where I am certain no permission was granted by the owner of the property. Signs put up without permission generally do disappear when the property owner discovers them.
Brian Dey August 15, 2012 at 07:41 PM
What do you mean, minority candidate? Again, all over town today and saw many of Bryce's signs placed in illegal locations, and no rummage sale signs and the such placed illegally. Stop whining and accept defeat.
GearHead August 15, 2012 at 09:32 PM
@Brian: By "minority candidate," I'm guessing Sam means they both have little to no chance of actually winning, and are not seriously challenging Weatherston. But I could be wrong. If Sam is somehow implying a racial component here, then he is a mean spirited bigot as well. What an odd choice of words he used.
Frances Martin August 16, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Brian--I just don't understand why you want to insult people so regularly-and -I've certainly seen political signs for your party placed improperly.
Brian Dey August 16, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Some may have been by volunteers, but you didn't see me whining. More thatn that, it seems as though Mr. Bryce was suggesting that somone deliberately took them. He has no evidence, Fran. I did not insult him and sorry if you took it that way. I don't know Mr. Bryce and have nothing against him, other than his unsupported allegations.
Sam August 16, 2012 at 06:13 AM
THANKS for being welcoming to a new person on the site! It's hard to tell if you're deliberately miscontruing simple observations on the article as it was written or if it's obtuseness. Have you never heard of majority and minority parties in the legislature? I have no interest in either party. But if so many signs supposedly placed in violation are still there, that disproves your argument that the reportedly missing signs had to have been removed by municipal workers. It also does not address all the festival/event signs that are not taken down. Why would road crews remove some but not others on the same street? The article references residents who gave permission for placement and signs apparently repeatedly removed over the course of several weeks, not vacant property. Distract, distract, distract. I will not waste further time feeding trolls.
mau August 23, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Why doesn't Bryce go pick up his yard signs that are still on public property? I am seeing them all over the place. Some right under road signs.

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