Republicans seek police protection for Moccia campaign signs

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A John Kydes for Common Council sign on Norwalk’s Westport Avenue sports a tag with a warning on it early this month. NancyOnNorwalk does not know if the sign is still there.

Updated, 11:48 a.m., comment from John Kydes.

NORWALK, Conn. – Finally! A scandal in this Norwalk municipal election cycle – the East Norwalk campaign sign caper.

An unusual number of campaign signs have disappeared in that part of town, according to both local Republican and Democratic party chair people. Republican Town Committee Chairman Art Scialabba has taken the matter particularly seriously, having taken the time to go to Norwalk Police headquarters Wednesday to file a criminal complaint.

“Should the Norwalk Police find the person or persons illegally taking our signs – we plan to press charges,” Scialabba said in a press release.

This is no laughing matter. The RTC has lost about $1,000 in signs, Scialabba said.

“We expect to lose a couple of signs here and there, but this election season it seems that it has been an organized and deliberate attempt to steal as many ‘Moccia for Mayor’ lawn signs as they can, off the property of our of supporters. This election season is the worst we’ve seen, losing more signs this year than all of my years as Town Chairman combined,” said Scialabba, RTC chair since 2002, in the release. “By our calculations, we have lost upwards of 150 signs throughout the city, but with a higher loss rate in East Norwalk. Signs cost campaigns anywhere from $6 to $8 each, and having to reorder signs boosts up the cost per sign even more.”

Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said he wasn’t at headquarters Wednesday but that Deputy Chief Wrinn had confirmed that sign thefts are a focus of concern for police.

“Apparently it has been focused in East Norwalk and targeting Republican signs for the mayor,” he said in an email. “He has alerted our patrols to the issue. We have not received any similar complaint on Democrat signs as of this time so info is based upon what has been reported to us. It has been common during election time for complaints on signs being removed to be reported to the police. We will investigate any leads etc and as noted have alerted officers of the problem so they can be alerted.”

A spokesperson for Norwalk’s currently pre-eminent Democrat said no complaint would be made from their side.

“Like any campaign, the Rilling campaign has had many signs go missing from private property,” Harry Rilling for Mayor Campaign Manager Kevin Coughlin said in an email. “However, we have chosen to replace the signs when they are reported stolen instead of requesting the limited resources of Norwalk’s police department.”

DTC Chairwoman Amanda Brown said many Democratic signs have disappeared in East Norwalk as well, especially those advertising Common Council candidate John Kydes.

Kydes is popular in heavily Republican East Norwalk, making him a formidable candidate, reliable sources say.

“This is an interesting situation,” Brown said in an email.

“Kydes signs loss not related to our signs being stolen but imagine that some people may have removed his signs because he didn’t get permission to place them in their yards,” Scialabba said in an email. “We know this to be a fact.”

Kydes denied that.

“I have lost a considerable amount of signs in the last month but I have noticed that since more signs have been put out by other candidates, my losses have decreased,” he said in an email. “I personally know and have gotten permission from every resident who has a yard sign. I have a limited amount of signs and I did not want to take any chances of getting them thrown out because I did not have permission.”

Another Democrat, who chose to be anonymous, returned an inquiry with a reference to Tuesday’s Democratic unity press conference.

“It didn’t take long after the Democrats got some good press for working together in a positive way for Art to break out charges of bad behavior,” the candidate said. “We all lost a lot of signs this year, but the Democrats are focused on the future of Norwalk, not petty politics.”

Then there’s this thought from another nameless Dem: There never were that many Moccia campaign signs to begin with, especially in East Norwalk. He asked: Might this be a sneaky way to explain the situation?


16 responses to “Republicans seek police protection for Moccia campaign signs”

  1. Mike McNally

    Moccia… 150 signs? REALLY? NOW you decide to file a criminal complaint after 150 signs are taken? Why not raise the concern at 40 – 50 – even 60 signs taken. I think it’s a complete lie and it’s only wishful thinking on Moccia’s part that he had 150 supporters in East Norwalk!

    No one has time to deal with stealing your signs, Moccia. Give it up – YOU ARE LOSING STEAM in your campaign. Rilling is willing and the signage says so. You are pretending you signage is being stolen, to mask the real reason there is a lack of signage. NO SUPPORT!

  2. Diane C2

    Moccia signs stolen or blight ordinance enforcement?….
    you decide

  3. TLawton

    Strangely, The signs on my lawn were unnecessarily vandalized.

  4. Daisy

    That’s a load of bull.

  5. Oldtimer

    Could be a lot of people figure those Moccia signs will soon be a collector’s item ? Evidence of a last feeble effort ?

  6. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Amanda the widow maker is still on the team? I thought they quietly got rid of her. Good to see her representing still. Tells us everything we need to know.

  7. Suzanne

    It sounds like a great scheme for Moccia’s flagging campaign to get some publicity.

  8. John Levin

    Oddly, this is the first year in many that the lawn signs at our house have not been stolen. What’s up with that?

  9. Tim T

    It sounds like the Rilling supporters are in panic mode.. WOW taking lawn signs how juvenile..

  10. Don’t Panic

    @Tim T
    That theory doesn’t fly. Mr. Rilling’s signs went up months BEFORE Mr. Moccia’s because Mr. Rilling was competing in a primary.
    During that time Mr. Moccia chose NOT to campaign at all, putting him at a disadvantage that he now appears to be regretting.
    In fact, the entire Republican slate is running a very lackluster effort, submitting identical answers to the LWV on their voter guide questionnaires, holding few press events and getting few endorsements.
    In contrast, the Democrats who seemed set to implode only a few short months ago are dominating debates, the press and the endorsements. This is after a lengthy four-way primary and a shortened election season for the underticket races.
    No wonder they aee complaining about lawn signs to make news.

  11. Norwalk Lifer

    I read this story and just thought, “this is so low rent”. over signs? really? signs? does Tim T want to comment? are we mis-using our police force on this one?

    Come on now, protection of “signs” won’t win this election for Moccia, Votes will, how does he plan on “protecting those votes”???

    Norwalk Lifer

  12. Jim Anderson

    I know I and Dr. Mike Intrieri has had our signs, which we paid for our self, taken at a number of locations in East Norwalk. I would not want to believe, having met my opponent, that she is responsible or even knows who took them. At any and all locations, we have had the permission from the owner to post them and we, as the other side, have that right.
    If signs from the other side were taken, I would believe someone would say something and object.
    Lets see if “Independent Journalism” is truly what it is, posted from a Candidate for the Third Taxing District Commissioner’s seat, which by the way, is the only one that has electrical utility experience.

  13. EastNorwalkChick

    Criminal prosecution over signs? Really?


  14. Moccia is Delusional

    Moccia could only WISH he had so many signs missing. What I find interesting is, I’m looking in East Norwalk and I haven’t seen many Moccia signs at all. And if he’s replacing them, we should be seeing 150 new signs up in this section of town. I haven’t seen ONE new one!

    Moccia’s sad and pathetic attempt at causing such a stir (or failed attempt at it) about false claims of missing signage is moronic.

    Moccia has lost the momentum and simply can’t regain control. He’s only trying to preserve his seat at City Hall so he can sit fat and happy – not to Preserve Norwalk’s Future. …

    (This comment has been edited to conform to our policy)

  15. Steve M

    Stealing lawn signs which have been paid for is THEFT. Nothing less. Not a prank, not a game, and no different than someone stealing your lawn ormament, or your auto. The value of anything is relative to the owner. Stealing is unlawful. What does that say about the people who do this? Will you really vote for thieves?

  16. Don’t Panic

    Of course its theft. Its also unethical. Its also a cheap campaign ploy to spend weeks vandalizing Democratic lawn signs and then issue a press release accusing the victims.
    Surely the people of Norwalk deserve better.

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