Amid CalPERS board candidate David Miller’s suggestions that “dirty tricks” are behind the theft of his campaign’s signs, his opponent, Theresa Taylor, said that the signs’ disappearance “is a non-story” and that her campaign’s signs have also been removed from parts of downtown Sacramento.
In an email to The State Worker, Taylor suggested that Miller’s signs may have been taken down by CalPERS for violating election rules. And she forwarded a cordial email exchange between her campaign consultant and Miller about vanishing signs on both sides:
“... Just a friendly heads up that there seem to be some campaign sign thieves operating in the downtown area,” Miller wrote in a Wednesday email that Taylor forwarded to The State Worker. “Quite a few of my campaign signs have disappeared over the last few days and my campaign workers confronted a couple of the sign thieves just today while working for me downtown. It doesn't appear that your signs have been targeted but I thought I would let you know so your folks can keep a lookout as well.”
Taylor consultant Scott Adams replied to Miller’s email: “... We too are experiencing our signs disappearing from posted locations. Unlike your guys, we have not spotted any sign thievery in progress. We just started noticing the removal of our signs so it appears to be a recent development. I can't imagine anyone wanting to collect these as souvenirs – but you never know. Thanks for the note. I will pass it on to Theresa.”
On Friday, Miller said that he doesn’t believe Taylor’s campaign is responsible for the thefts.
“I think it most likely that some overzealous supporters took it upon themselves,” Miller said, “to help their candidate by removing my signs.”
Taylor suggested that some of Miller’s signs may have been improperly placed on CalPERS’ property and that the fund took them down. CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco said a property manager took down three signs on a CalPERS parking lot at 5th and Q streets and informed Miller. Election guidelines prohibit board-candidate signs on fund property to avoid the appearance of an institutional endorsement.
CalPERS also took down a total of nine pro-Taylor signs posted on CalPERS property, Pacheco said. Officials notified the campaign on August 21 of three removed signs and six more on Tuesday.
A contracted service put up Miller’s signs in error, he said, and he didn’t include them in a Sacramento police report that says about 200 of his signs on the P Street and Q Street corridors were taken late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. Those streets are fertile ground for CalPERS candidate signage because they are heavily traveled by state employees.
Miller, Taylor and Iqbal S. Badwalz are running for the state-representative seat held by George Diehr, who is not seeking re-election. Ballots went out to members last week with a Sept. 29 return deadline for counting.
Editor’s note: This post was updated at 1:45 p.m. Sept. 5 with information on Taylor campaign signs removed by CalPERS.