No Claremont campaign season would be complete without a little candidate sign craziness. You might recall that in the 2009 municipal election Bridget Healy's campaign stuck signs up illegally on city-owned property at the so-called "pork chop park" at the southeast corner of Harrison Ave. and Indian Hill Blvd. Bridget's signs came down pretty quickly after someone called them to the City's attention. We covered Measure CL sign issues here, here, and here.
The more typical Claremont campaign games usually consist of election volunteers stealing other candidates' signs. In recent elections, candidates have stooped to putting up signs on lawns without permission. Sometimes campaigns will look around to see who has the most signs and then sneak their own signs up next to the other ones to try to create a coattails effect. People driving around see Candidate Smith's signs together with Candidate Jones' signs, and they just assume the two are jointly supported.
This year, the two worst offenders seem to be incumbent council member Sam Pedroza and candidate Robin Haulman. At least, that's what we gather from reading Claremont Courier reporter Tony Krickl's blog:
Gwen Brown, who lives on Scripps Drive, came home yesterday to find lawn signs from city council candidates Sam Pedroza and Robin Haulman in her front yard. They've since been taken down and put in the garage.
"I would appreciate if I was asked first before a political sign went up on my property," Ms. Brown said. "I really take offense to a controlling political party trying to push an opinion on me."
In another neighborhood in north Claremont, the same 2 candidate's signs appeared in another resident's lawn.
"I do not know anything about Robin Haulman, never met nor do I know her," said the resident, who asked not to be named. "Sam I am aware is on the city council now but I was surprised that someone had the hutzpa to plant their signs in my yard without asking permission. I have nothing personally against either one but thought it was rather rude."
For his part, Pedroza, à la Mission Impossible, disavowed any knowledge of his volunteers' actions, saying that if it were up to him he'd just as soon not have any signs because they're not worth the trouble. (Ya think?)
Still, two different incidents involving the same two candidates in two different neighborhoods? Something's rotten in the state of Claremont.
We think--and this is going to shock people--that the problem can be traced to the Claremont 400 and their fellow travelers. No, wait. See Sam Pedroza's Facebook page, screenshot below. Who appears to be the sign factotum but the redoubtable Judy Wright? We are sure her tentacles into the activist community in Claremont, such as the Democratic Club, are adequate to explain the goings-on. Also note, Sam is supported by Lee Jackman, leader of the Yes on CL organization.