When Democrat Grays Harbor Commissioner Frank Gordon was caught red handed last year on camera stealing his opponent’s campaign signs, his political future seemed to be greatly reduced. Grays Harbor voters clearly rejected Mr. Gordon and they overwhelmingly voted for his opponent (65% to 34%), Independant Randy Ross. However, while the Grays Harbor voters weren’t impressed with Gordon’s sign-thieving ways, the Aberdeen Police Department investigated Mr. Gordon and charged him with a misdemeanor ($1000 fine and up to 90 days in jail) for defacing campaign signs. After a variety of legal maneuvers, Gordon wisely had his court case transferred to Thurston County, and he was able to avoid either a major fine or jail time. Now he found a way to get on the ballot once again – unopposed – this time as a Councilman for the City of Aberdeen.
Caught in the act, slapped on the wrist
Instead of getting into real legal trouble, Mr. Gordon entered into a “12-month stipulated order of continuance status” earlier this year. This is a convenient type of legal agreement where the defendant apparently doesn’t have a criminal history (Gordon’s political history doesn’t count), but they realize “mistakes were made.” Mr. Gordon didn’t admit guilt, but acknowledged that there were sufficient facts that would have resulted in a conviction. Photos of you stealing your opponent’s signs tend to be pretty damning facts. It certainly pays to have a good attorney and good political connections can help as well.
Complaints about stolen political signs are common during election time. Occasionally political sign thieves are captured on video – masked and sneaking away with their opponent’s signs late at night – classic Youtube fodder. It is rare to catch a politician stealing signs. It is even more exceptional to catch him on camera in his suit in between committee meetings in the middle of the day with a very clear photo caught in the act. There are more photos of Sasquatch floating around out there. It was Gordon’s fate to be immortalized as the sign stealing politician who was thrown out of office by the voters in his county. Most people expected Gordon to go back to the Grays Harbor Democratic Party where he could steal signs a little more covertly.
However, it appears that the voters of Grays Harbor are not done with Frank Gordon. With his sign theft drama behind him, he has jumped into the political fray once again in the City of Aberdeen for an uncontested seat on the City Council. The only way he won’t be the next city councilman of Aberdeen will be if the local citizens organize a write-in campaign during the primary, which can still be done, but isn’t easy.
Apathy is the real enemy of freedom
Apparently, at the last minute during filing week, Gordon realized nobody had filed for the Aberdeen City Council seat, so he ran down to the auditor’s office and signed up. This is a terrible indication of voter apathy. Every year, hundreds of local races go uncontested and some even vacant due to lack of local interest. People of all political persuasions often complain about a lack of political choices, however, this story should serve as another reminder that we have only apathy and ourselves to blame when the only choice on the ballot for the voters of Aberdeen this November is a disgraced sign-stealing politician.
OUR CONSTITUTION BEGINS WITH THE PHRASE “WE THE PEOPLE.” IT WAS THE FOUNDER’S INTENT THAT GOVERNMENT BE CREATED BY THE PEOPLE, TO SERVE THE PEOPLE. IT WASN’T THEIR INTENTION FOR THE PEOPLE TO SERVE THE GOVERNMENT. IT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED THAT GOVERNMENT WHICH FAILED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE “ALTERED OR ABOLISHED.” UNTIL WE RETURN TO THE FOUNDER’S INTENT, WE REMAIN WE THE GOVERNED…
Related background articles:
Other Washington State campaign sign thief stories:
Seattle Times – “Eastside House candidate’s removal of signs leads to complaint” (2006 Democrat candidate for House, and Kirkland City Council member was caught with 100 campaign signs she didn’t like)
Liberal Circus – “Candidate swipes signs” (more details on the 2016 Deb Eddy sign theft issue – 246 signs found in her car and garage – returned by police to Republicans)