Ed Kravitz, webmaster for political watchdog site saveib.com, wants to see some action from Imperial Beach political candidates whose campaign signs were pulled by city employees and thrown into a city hall closet days before the election.
“Get on the blower and file,” Kravitz implored the losing candidates in a November 10 email. “If you guys are too lame to file a police report on your own stolen property then maybe you deserved to get cheated out of your election bids?”
Kravitz alleges that city employees removed approximately 400 to 500 signs during the week leading up to the general election.
Shortly after learning that dozens of campaign signs were reported missing, Kravitz accompanied city council candidates Robert Taylor and Tim O'Neal to the city clerk's office on October 26. Once inside, Kravitz caught a glimpse inside a closet next to the city clerk's office. Inside were hundreds of campaign signs. Of the hundreds of campaign signs, says Kravitz, none belonged to incumbent candidates Jim Janney and Lorie Bragg.
“We fought a long hard fight,” writes Kravitz, “and we got ripped off.”
Since November 2, Kravitz has been speaking to San Diego Police Department investigators — several signs removed were located within San Diego city limits. And, two candidates, Taylor and O'Neal, have filed formal complaints.
According to Imperial Beach city manager Gary Brown, the city employees did not break the law.
“We collect any signs that are on public property and city right-of-way,” Brown wrote in a November 15 email. “It is public policy to enforce the city's sign code, designed to reduce the negative impact that proliferation of signs have on public property.”
When asked who it was that ordered the removal of the signs, Brown responded, “Your question is similar to asking who “ordered” a police officer to give somebody a speeding ticket. It's routine...we don't order anybody to do it.”
Brown explained that code-enforcement officers placed the signs in a city hall closet so the city clerk's office could notify the owners.
Kravitz remains unconvinced that the city employees were following standard operating procedures. “This election was stolen,” he writes. “The results of this election will not stand the scrutiny of an investigation.”