You know a political candidate is pretty desperate when their campaign releases an "open letter" to their rival on election day, accusing them of stealing campaign signs, without any proof. And that's just what the campaign for state district 144 candidate Mary Ann Perez did today.
The letter accused candidate David Pineda's camp of vandalizing "signs placed in neighborhoods around the district reminding people to vote and informing them of their voting location." The open letter also included a 44-second video that the campaign claimed showed "the Pineda campaign destroying our signs." But Perez Campaign Manager Derrick Darnell wouldn't actually say that when we got him on the phone this morning.
The video might be described as ambiguous at best: it shows someone getting out of a pickup truck in a parking lot somewhere and then driving off, with a glimpse of something that might be a campaign sign in the truck bed. There is no license plate.
Darnell admitted as much when he told us, "We actually caught someone on videotape stealing one of our 4x4's -- we were unable to make out a license plate."
So we asked Darnell why the open letter states unequivocally that it shows the Pineda campaign stealing a sign. He didn't want to answer. All he would say was that he had video of "someone" destroying signs.
We tried again to get him to confirm the statement in an open letter his campaign went out of its way to release to the media. "Well, all I know is we have consistently had signs stolen...."
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"We just think it's a very strange coincidence that our signs continue to go missing," he said. "....I don't know what motivation someone would have to do that, but try to try to even the playing field, I guess, because he knows we're right on the issues..."
Pineda's campaign manager, Jacey Jetton didn't want to address the video, saying "Voters aren't going to fall for Mary Ann Perez's last-minute dirty tricks."
We have no idea what the Perez campaign was thinking. The open letter was a dumb idea, and, if she wins, we hope this ridiculousness isn't indicative of what she'd do in office.