April 19, 2014

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Campaign sign tiff stemmed from miscommunication

Ron Mantini

Ron Mantini

LORAIN — Josh Thornsberry’s campaign has filed a police report accusing Lorain City Auditor Ron Mantini of stealing a sign backing Thornsberry’s bid to oust Lorain City Councilman Frank Detillio, D-8th Ward.

Mantini readily admitted that he removed the sign Wednesday evening. He said the sign had been put up on the former Sports & Stuff property on Cooper Foster Park Road, which Mantini and four other people share ownership.

“I think it’s very rude to put a sign up without asking permission,” Mantini said Thursday, adding that he’s removed signs over the years for other candidates, including fellow Democrats, who didn’t ask him first.

But it turns out that Thornsberry’s campaign had asked for permission to put up the sign, just not from Mantini. One of the other owners, Paul Flores, had given the sign his blessing, according to a copy of the police report submitted Wednesday by labor leader Joe Thayer, who serves as Thornsberry’s campaign treasurer.

Joe Thayer

Joe Thayer

Mantini said his fellow property owners typically leave the job of handling campaign signs to him and he wasn’t aware that Flores had given permission to the Thornsberry campaign.

Thornsberry, an independent, said he isn’t looking to have Mantini charged with a crime for taking the 2-foot by 4-foot sign, which he estimated is worth $25, but he would like it back.

“I honestly believe it was a mistake and bad communication,” Thornsberry said. “It was on his property and it just happens he’s not the only guy who owns the property.”

But the theft of campaign signs isn’t limited to Lorain. It’s a problem that crops up every election season in communities large and small.

Eaton Township Trustee Linda Morrison said Thursday that signs she and fellow Trustee Donna Hicks put up as part of their reelection bids have been stolen in recent days.

“She and I have maybe a total of 10 signs left in the township,” she said.

Morrison said she had roughly 50 signs up throughout the township. She said when thieves couldn’t pull up the stakes holding up some of her banners they simply cut the banners down instead.

“I don’t know who’s doing it, but this has been a sad day,” Morrison said.

Hicks and Morrison are being challenged by Randy Houston, Jason Monschein, Keith Tollett and Daniel Urig.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

  • stillsleepyeyes

    Here’s one for the books……………..Mr, manwennie…….can pickup the sign out of the yard……..how about the rest of the trash in the yard…..high weeds and grass…………clean it all up…………………or do you have the ok from the puppet master to be just like spritzer…………………

  • GreatRedeemer

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry … :)

  • oldruss

    Just a coincidence that the sign that was removed by Mr. Mantini was a sign for an Indpendent candidate, who is running against the august Frank DeTillio, incumbent Democrat councilman and President of the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce.

    • Kendra Sheppard

      Please note: Mr. Thornsberry entered the race as an “Independant” only after Mr. DeTillo voted the “wrong” way during the PLA readings @ Council meetings. Why is there a pic of his campaign manager / labor leader instead of the candidate himself? While Joshua seems to be a sharp kid, is he really an “independant thinker”?

      • stillsleepyeyes

        Are any of them???????

      • oldruss

        Does it really matter why the Independent candidate, whose sign was taken down erroneously by Mr. Mantini, is in the race against Frank DeTillio, the approved Democrat? How does Mr. Thornsberry motivation for running have anything whatsoever to do with this story?

  • Jamie Smith

    Oh My Goodness…Who in their right mind would want this Josh Thornsberry as their councilman. He obviously is a petty trouble maker. He would be like that one Lorain County Commissioner who constantly cause” trouble in office. Be wise and don’t vote for this gentleman. This Mr. Mantini simply didn’t know he did have permission to place the sign.

    • Fedupintheburbs

      So having a bunch of “yes” men is better? What a laugh! That’s why Lorain is so run down……heaven forbid someone that can think independently!

    • stillsleepyeyes

      sounds like that stewert guy………..get caught and then say i didn’t know……….just another puppet…………………..

    • oldruss

      I have to assume that Jamie is referreing to one of two possible Republican county commissioners, either Mr. Moore or Mr. Williams, a current comissioner. Speaking out and voting against whichever two Democrats, Blair, Vassi, Kalo, Kokoski, Jamie was referring, is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes being a “trouble maker” is a good thing. Not marching in lock step with the Democratic County Chairman a la the old Communist Party of the Soviet Union should be commended.

  • Rick Pena

    Thornsberry is nothing more than a democrat who will be a pawn to big labor. His campaign manager is big labor. Thornsberry came into the race after the primary. There is nothing Independent about him. He is a union member himself! This is nothing but an end run around the primary system so Thornsberry wouldn’t have to run against Detillo in the primary.