Political campaigns have always been a rough-and-tumble business, and there is nothing new about supporters of one candidate seeking to sabotage or undermine the efforts of an opposing candidate in various ways.
One of the most common methods of sabotage is destroying or stealing yard signs of an opponent to express their opposition and to stifle displays of public support from other voters.
But doing so is a crime in many parts of the country, and one liberal professor in New York just learned that lesson the hard way after being caught on camera stealing yard signs for Republican candidates from a random supporter’s yard.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that economics lecturer Laura Ebert, who currently works at the State University of New York at New Paltz, was arrested by police and charged with misdemeanor larceny after she removed yard signs for Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro and Rep. John Faso.
A surveillance camera at the home of the Republican voter caught the moment that Ebert stopped her truck on the side of the road and exited the vehicle to approach the yard signs. She then ripped them both out of the ground and tossed them into the open bed of the truck before leaving the scene.
A Twitter user by the name of Lisa McMerica posted the footage to social media last week and tweeted, “My lawn signs for
#NY19 @JohnFasoNy and @marcmolinaro we’re just stolen from my front lawn,” followed by an angry face emoji.
In follow-up tweets in the comments of that post, the woman revealed that her husband had filed a police report and turned over the footage to law enforcement, who were able to obtain the license plate number of the truck and track down the thief to arrest her. She also noted that the yard signs had been tossed into a random ditch along the side of a road.
The arresting officer wrote in a police report obtained by the Free Beacon, “Based off my observation of the security footage, I patrolled to the residence and made contact with Ms. Ebert and she was subsequently taken into custody for petit larceny.”
“Ms. Ebert stated that she was ‘sorry’ and that she had disposed of the signs,” the report added.
Campus Reform made contact with the sign-stealing SUNY lecturer, who reiterated her apology for her criminal actions and sought to explain her motives, though she also utilized the opportunity to try and disparage Republicans for the reaction her criminal behavior had received.
“I did it in a moment of weakness and high emotion,” Ebert told Campus Reform of her decision to steal the campaign signs.
“I meant no personal harm, and don’t know the person whose lawn the sign was on. I have family I love that support Trump, so I was after the sign, not the person,” she added.
“I have apologized and feel bad, but clearly the GOP is putting a big deal (of) spin on this,” Ebert said, implying that the criticism she had received from Republicans for her actions were not merited.
“Many signs have been taken and disfigured, which, while no excuse for my bad behavior, doesn’t warrant the death threats I have received on my email about it. Nor the smear campaign after me, including notifying my supervisor,” she added.
Campus Reform also reached out to SUNY New Paltz for comment on Ebert’s behavior, but did not receive a response prior to the publication of the article.
The Free Beacon noted that this particular theft of political yard signs for Republican candidates was but one of many similar instances during this election cycle.
Though the punishment for misdemeanor larceny probably isn’t all that severe — and it is unlikely the professor will be fired over it — it nevertheless would be nice to see her held accountable for her ideologically motivated thievery.
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