It’s time for greater transparency, fairness, diversity, and accountability in Springfield’s government. It’s the motto of the Springfield Democrats, but this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer proves that is still sorely lacking in Springfield.
Some of you have already heard about this, but for those who haven’t, a Springfield Township Code Enforcement employee was recently caught in the act stealing Jennifer O’Mara lawn signs. Holly Otterbein covered the story in her Clout column in the Philadelphia Inquirer. If you don’t subscribe to the paper, read Holly’s article below and check out the video on vimeo
Election hijinks? Delco township worker took Democrats’ campaign signs.
Holly Otterbein and Chris Brennan
Posted October 26, 2018
The Philadelphia suburbs are home to some of the most competitive races in the country.
Congressional seats, state Senate seats, and state House seats are all up for grabs in the city’s collar counties, which have grown more liberal in recent years.
Such high stakes can lead to election shenanigans or — depending on how you see things — political paranoia.
In Delaware County, two Democratic committee people’s campaign signs went missing last month. Karen McCunney and Marie Turnbull had put up the signs to broadcast their support of Democratic state representative candidate Jenn O’Mara.
McCunney checked her security camera and made a shocking discovery: A man in a Springfield Township car had removed her sign.
Springfield Township Police Chief Joseph Daly said authorities later determined that the township employee, whom he declined to name, had taken both women’s signs — at the direction of his boss.
“He probably would have been charged, but he was under instruction by somebody,” Daly said of the worker.
According to Daly, the employee believed “there was some long-term agreement that nobody contemporary remembers” between Democrats and Republicans to not put up political signs in the township before Oct. 1. How political parties could ever keep such a promise — and why a township worker would ever think to uphold it — isn’t entirely clear.
McCunney and Turnbull call it political hijinks.
“I definitely think we were targeted because we are Democratic committee members,” Turnbull said. “They’re threatened because Jennifer O’Mara is running a good campaign.”
“My gut feeling is that they were just taking Democrats’ signs,” McCunney added.
Delaware County Republican Party leader Andrew Reilly said, “There was no orchestrated or township-wide sanctioned effort to remove lawn signs. … It was an employee operating under an old policy.”
Asked if the township employee’s superior was being reprimanded, Daly said, “All that was passed over to” Springfield Township Manager Lee Fulton. Fulton did not respond to a request for comment.
“From their point of view, I would think the same thing,” Daly said of the Democrats’ belief that the sign brouhaha was politically motivated. “But I’m a proof guy. I just don’t know if it’s true or not.”