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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  • by Prochoice Location: rockford, Il on Apr 5, 2009 at 05:05 PM
    I work at the clinic, and these prolife protesters hurl insults towards me as I walk into the building everytime. I say nothing to them. Funny though during their 40 day 40 nite campaigne they were good, but now that is coming to a close, and the regular protesters are back to their insults, why didn't they show their true colors to the protesters from out of town. Where they afraid that the other protesters would be ashamed at how they treat the employees and patients of the clinic?
  • by Bob Location: Rockford on Apr 3, 2009 at 02:57 PM
    We all know that Larry Morrissey is a filthy player masquerading as a whiny little Catholic milquetoast. You didn't really have to underline it for us. Did you?
  • by Randy Location: Poplar Grove on Mar 28, 2009 at 08:13 PM
    Eric, You can not steal your own property. The signs belong to the campaign not the property owner. And according to the campaign manager false information was given to obtain the signs. Now, perhaps the most reasonable approach would be to just go in the business and ask for the signs back. However if the property owner is participating in a political dirty trick (trying to embarrass the Mayor) - perhaps one could reasonably assume it best to avoid a confrontation. Woudln't be the way I'd handle it but understandable - no?
  • by Jerry Location: Stillman Valley on Mar 26, 2009 at 10:07 PM
    About two months ago I began joining pro-life supporters outside Wayne Webster's building at 1400 Broadway. Each time I join the peaceful group gathered there a variety of very strange window displays are present. Most are deliberately antagonistic against Christianity and Catholicism in particular. Each time a neighbor of the "Turner Building" shows up with his dog and an axe to grind. He verbally abuses, hurls insults, and makes demoralizing false accusations against everyone gathered for peaceful prayer and protest. His tirade ends with a cell phone call to RPD and two marked cars show up within minutes. We are constantly watched by the police during the morning hours of these days when abortions are performed. We have to be cautious about every move we make while the man who harasses us is free to roam and shout at us and about us to passersby. He is even allowed to walk in street traffic displaying a pro-choice sign. His antics end with his entrance into the building.
  • by Eric Location: Rockford on Mar 26, 2009 at 10:36 AM
    Wow, what an excuse. If he thought that someone just put a sign in another person's property without permission wouldn't a reasonable person meet with the owner of the property and ask before STEALING the signs??? I guess I am going to go and just take all the Mayor's signs out of everyone's yard because I think that they were put there without permission!!! That's the logic, right???? NO, that is wrong!! This shows that someone can do something that is illegal and morally wrong and can get away with it. Excellence every where, my A@@!!!
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