Morrissey Campaign Sign Controversy

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

What would election season be without a campaign sign controversy? Well, there's a strange one brewing right now. The man who owns a Rockford women's health center that performs abortions wants to press charges against Mayor Larry Morrissey's campaign manager for plucking signs off clinic property.

Surveillance video shows campaign manager Jim Thacker stepping onto the clinic grounds to take back the signs. The building's owner Wayne Webster called the police and wants to charge Thacker with criminal trespass and theft.

However, Thacker says the signs belong to the campaign, not to individuals who display them. Plus, when residents pick up signs from the campaign office, they're required to fill out a form saying where they'll be posted. Thacker says Webster's girlfriend wrote her home address, instead of the clinic.

A sign for Morrissey's rival, Democrat Doug Block, actually hangs at the address Thacker tells us was listed.

"I put two of (the campaign signs) out in the yard and within 20 minutes, the mayor's right hand man and campaign manager Jim Thacker jumped the fence and stole the signs," says Webster.

Thacker counters, "I went out and I picked up the two signs that were out in the yard. because I had thought that somebody else had picked them up and placed them there without the owner's permission."

Webster thinks Thacker took the signs because he's opposed to abortion, but Thacker tells us personal feelings have nothing to do with it.

Thacker says he did speak to the police Wednesday afternoon. They did not arrest him and he does not expect they will.

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