Obama Yard Sign Stolen On Day Street In Granby

The first amendment rights of a Day Street resident in Granby were violated late last week when a political yard sign was stolen from the property.

Fewer than two days after it was put up, a Democratic yard sign on Day Street was stolen.

Tannia Hotchkiss isn’t a particularly demonstrative in a political sense, although she is knowledgeable about politics. Her sign supporting Democratic incumbent Barack Obama was the first she had placed in her yard since moving to Granby almost 12 years ago. But Hotchkiss was deeply troubled that her sign — a common sight in yards across Granby, East Granby, the state and the country during the election season — had been removed.

“[It was] just one of those little signs,” Hotchkiss said. “There are principles involved and that’s why I’m so angry.”

For Hotchkiss, the sign theft was deeply troubling because it violated one of the rights enumerated in the guiding document of the United States, the Constitution.

“These thefts and disregard for civility and the American political process are disgusting, to say nothing about illegal,” Hotchkiss said. “I know they’re in the landfill. I bet they’re not even recycled.”

Hotchkiss was quick to point out that she truly enjoys living in Granby, citing the sense of community and volunteerism as well as the rural character of the town. She said Granby has good people and a good community that is, in general, remarkably generous.

“That’s why this is so upsetting to me,” Hotchkiss said. Her response was not simply to stay quiet, but to let others know that she wasn’t willing to let her rights be stepped on by others.

“Today I'm making a large, homemade sign for the end of our driveway saying that we still support Obama and that thieves had stolen our political sign,” Hotchkiss told The Granbys Patch during the weekend. “It probably won't be quite so polite.” Hotchkiss now has two signs up in her yard, reading “Great Job Thieves For Romney” and “Mitts Off Obama Signs.”

The two options Hotchkiss has considered, that adults or children took the sign, are equally troubling to her. She was distraught that mature adults could possibly perform such a palpably unfair act and worried where children, if they were the ones who removed the sign, would learn such behavior. Either way, the possibility that local residents removed the sign was deeply troubling.

“That’s disgusting,” she said of the idea that neighbors could steal from neighbors.

Hotchkiss plans to demonstrate on the Granby town green on Saturday at 10 a.m. to raise awareness of the issue and bring together other residents who have experienced such a theft.

Have you had a political sign stolen or damaged, be it for a Democrat, Republican or independent candidate? Patch wants to hear your story. Write about it in the comments or send a message to perry.robbin@patch.com.

Shelley October 18, 2012 at 01:27 PM
We've always had political signs in our yard (Democratic) and frequently they get stolen. This year, however, the only sign that was removed was the Obama sign. That, I believe, has some meaning.
Yankeelover October 18, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Did you look on Ebay.com ?
Steve Holton October 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Ms. Hotchkiss, as a like long (64+ year) resident of Granby and Day Street I beg you to acccept my most sincere appology and sympathy for the action of some spineless person or persons. I regret that I have never made your aquainance as a neigbor but I would like to assure you that if I ever become aware of who the culprit is, the World Will Know also. I ask you to, Please, not condemn Republicans as a whole for the actions of an individual or the few who may not be even belong to that whole.
Yankeelover October 18, 2012 at 02:03 PM
The thieves were from Chicago - where else? The were Democrats who stole your soul. Why blame the Republicans. Open your mind it's not what it seems....maybe you are wrong in accusing the other party.
Shirley Ryan October 18, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Four years ago, my Obama sign was stolen from my front yard and I am SURE it was not kids that stole it. I agree with Shelley. It is sad that there is so much acrimony around every election. Everyone has the right to his opinion and the right to air it publicly.
Andrew Ziemba October 18, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I don't know who's more of a fool, the guy who put the sign up, or the guy who stole the sign. Who are all these people that are voting for Obama and Romney anyway? I don't know anyone who is voting for either of these creatures.
Fred October 18, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Plans to demonstrate on the town green, oh please
EFS October 18, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Having worked as a political campaign sign poster I can tell you it usually isn't children taking down the signs. It is such a problem not just here but else where that you can file a formal complaint with the election officials in your state. It is offensive to think that others have a hard time tolerating a sign let alone healthy disagreement as to who should lead the country for the next 4 years. One thing though, the constitution protects your right to free speech against Government action not action by others, in this case a low life thief. This wasn't a first amendment violation technically but it violates the spirit of this wonderful country.
Ellen October 18, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Thanks for raising awareness of this issue. I had an Obama 2012 bumper sticker taken off the bumper of my car while parked at Stop & Shop in Granby. Regardless of ones opinion, we each have the freedom to express ourselves. That is what America is about. Sadly, those that act to silence one have missed that teaching.
Sandy October 18, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Ms. Hotchkiss' response seems just as immature as the act of stealing the sign. Creating two homemade signs that state “Great Job Thieves For Romney” and “Mitts Off Obama Signs.” It could have been just teenagers... Is this really newsworthy?
Paul Bahre October 18, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I'm sure the whole deal with missing signs and bumper stickers is local children having fun. There is on gran conspiracy out to silence liberal politics / Obama supporters in CT or in Granby. As much as I disdain democrat politics / liberal politics I support their right to get their vile message out. Looking around me seems the liberal's have the upper hand.
yugits October 18, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Now shes gona demonstrate on the town green too!!! get a life lady , some kid stole your sign and its probley in your neighbors bushes. guess this is big news in granby. I will be there Saturday to demonstrate also with a sign that has your name on it.
Monica Hall October 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Maybe someone who is voting for Obama took it for their own yard. Perhaps it was because they felt you may have more money than they do or maybe you work and they don't so they felt entitled to it.
Ronald Egan October 18, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Paul Bahre has a slant on this Republican vandalism that is very convenient for his angry, biased opinions. His first post, claiming how he wished he could do it, shows what a nasty, irresponsible role model he would be for the "children" he claims did it and "were just having fun." Some fun, Paul. Besides, if it was kids, why wouldn't they take down Republican signs? EFS got it right. This is a constitutional, free speech issue, as well as an issue of respect and civility. It is also illegal.
Paul Bahre October 18, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I'm sorry but the Modern Democrat party is a coalition of extreme left wing causes. I do not support them at all one bit. I do not support their lies and the cronyism. The State of CT has gone to the Dog under their watch. The US Govt is even worse off. Their political world view is socialism. I do not support socialism in most of it's forms. That does not make me a bad role model and I'm not advocating anyone break the law. I support the Democrats right to voice their free speech and to air their opinions. I have my opinions and don't tell me that makes me a bad person for having them.
Happy Percy October 18, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Blaming the Rommney supporters is typical of an President Obama supporter. Give more to the lazy people of America, Let them collect Food Stamps and have smart phones. Let them abuse the system and then keep on giving the handouts, ie. more subsidies, Cash for clunkers caused inflation. Time for a change, because the current President has done nothing in 4 years!
AnneMarie Heller Cox October 18, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Anyone who steals a political sign is making an anti-democracy statement. If it is kids, then we all, from all parties, need to voice concern and educate our children about the right to free speech that is a core value in this country. If it is not children, then shame on you. Your opinion is yours, you have the right to express it, you do not have the right to suppress the voice of those who disagree with you!
Rodney Hall October 18, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Im calling the Town Hall to complain. The size of the sign she put up needs to have a permit pulled.
Lisa Fleisher October 18, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Both of my Obama lawn signs as well as signs I displayed for local Democratic candidates were stolen four years ago, so I decided not to put signs out for this election. It never occured to me that my First Amendment rights were violated, but I thank Ms. Hotchkiss for pointing this out and appreciate her sign humor. It seems more than a coincidence that the signs for Republican candidates don't tend to go missing as much if at all, Mr. Behre's uncalled-for comments about Democrats being "vile" and "socialists" just proves that there is very little civility in the current political climate.
Fred October 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM
and the parade permit for the demonstration on the town green
Laurelyn Keenan October 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Like Tannie Hotchkiss, I also had my sign and rights violated by having my Romney Ryan sign not stolen but even worse-destroyed. I wish the sign had just been stolen and put in the trash or recycling so I wouldn't have to know that there is such an angry person in our neighborhood. I wonder how troubled Tannia would have felt if she had found her sign ripped up, metal stakes bent and wrapped around it and left littered on the side of her road. I Iive on a private road and that is what happened to me. I was deeply troubled and disturbed that someone in our neighborhood could be so angry but calmed down after a couple of days believing that the angry democrat that destroyed the sign has a bigger problem than my sign being damaged. So, despite the angry neighbor's wishes to not see the Romney/Ryan sign in my yard I repaired it and brought it back to life. That's right, being the good conservative that I am I didn't throw it away or recycle it, I repaired it! While repairing it, I decided to make it even better by taping a flag over the tear and writing in red marker, STILL STANDING STRONG! I plan on being at the green on Saturday to meet you Tannia and to show off my sign. See you then.
Edward deLeon October 18, 2012 at 11:50 PM
I had an Obama-Biden sign stolen from my yard only a day after I put it up about ten days ago. I also had an Obama sign stolen from my yard 4 years ago. Since there are very few kids in this neighborhood, I'm pretty sure it was an adult. What is it that brings out such intolerance? I have to drive by "Romney" and "Linda" signs all over town, why can't I express my opinion too? I would like to thank the Republicans who have left comments in support of free speech (this is America after all!) and I want you to know that if the table were turned, I will happily defend your rights too. Some of the other commenters? You should listen to yourselves. You sound like people who would steal signs you don't agree with.
Ellen October 19, 2012 at 12:35 AM
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act III, And in this instance, seems the gentlemen also. Why so much anger?
patricia smith October 19, 2012 at 01:48 PM
The night of 10/13 two lawn signs, an OBAMA sign and a MURPHY sign, were viciously stolen from my front yard on Salmon Brook St. Only the contorted and twisted wire frames left behind. Like the Day street resident, I feel violated and robbed of MY freedom of speech. I too will make my own sign and put it out there again. The mean spiritedness state-of-mind is everywhere... Patricia
Bob B October 19, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I am appalled! Even worse, the Romney and Linda signs in my neighbor's yard were maliciously left in place in full view of my children and any innocent unsuspecting passers by. To top it off, my co-worker told me that she would have voted for Obama in 2008 if only she had seen one or two more Obama yard signs. The thieving Republicans basically stole her vote.
patricia smith October 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Bob, your comment so very well reinforces the power of lawn signs, something I tried to emphasize in both 2008 & 2010 when I contacted the leadership of the Democratic town committee requesting lawn signs and offering my highly visible location for display. Especially appropriate as two houses away, the lawn was littered with Republican signs. My offer was never taken up. So each year I have secured signs on my own, purchasing some and traveling to CT political headquarters to get them.
Henry Watson October 21, 2012 at 07:48 PM
My sign was stolen last night in Illinois and it is very saddening to think that someone that angry was on my property near my family that I work so hard to protect. It's anti American and anti Christian to behave this way neighbor against neighbor. We should celebrate free elections and show election spirit to our children by discussing issues and the signs add colorful vigor to the debate for them taking it out of the textbooks and into history. How would want to be so ignorant and risk tresspass reports and misdemeanor arrests which report negatively on our community and/or being harmed when a homeowner defends his property? Not Christian, not bright.
Granby Resident October 22, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I vote to ban Paul Bahre from this site! He is nothing more then a Internet bully! He harasses others and makes fun of people's opinions on this site! If Granby's residents and its board members are so dysfunctional and do everything so wrong the be a real man and show up at some town meetings and see what really goes on and what it takes to make our town operate properly! Real men don't hide behind a computer monitor! You need to respect others opinions and tone down your rude comments.......
Paul Bahre October 22, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Granby Resident, only the liberal voice has a right to be heard on this board according to you. You would love to squelch the voice of a conservative / libertarian. You talk of free speech but you wish to ban those who appose your opinions. You are typical of liberal Democrats. You have your right to your pinion, and as a veteran I guess I have even served to defend it. I'm no bully just a person with an opinion diametrically opposed to the one you hold.
Beth November 08, 2012 at 10:52 PM
The Republicans have been stealing Democratic signs in NH for years. This year driving through NH you'd have thought that the state was going to go overwhelmingly for Romney since there was nary an Obama sign to be seen. Well we know that's not what happened! I found this post through an online search after my Elizabeth Warren was stolen for the second time. I think it's the recycling guys and I'm calling in the morning. Bummer to be such a sore loser that you take the sign after your guy lost.


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