Some challenges are best left unmade?
Marty Frost and Pete Sessions are two sitting Texas congressmen battling over the same district -- fallout from the redistricting battle last year. A side note to the campaign in recent days has been a fairly silly tussle over campaign road signs and whether one or the other of the two campaigns is stealing them, using them for dirty tricks, or doing anything else that no one in his or her right mind would care about at any other time save for during a hotly-contested congressional race.
The latest round started yesterday when Sessions was dropping his 10 year old son, who is a special education student, off for his first day of school at Lakewood Elementary School. There he saw the school and playground covered with Frost campaign signs.
"It was obvious that I was being targeted, my son was being targeted, my family was being targeted," said Sessions. "It disappoints me. It's disturbing."
The Frost campaign said it had nothing to do with it, noting that many of their campaign signs had recently been stolen and suggesting that those stolen signs had ended up in said school yard.
Now -- and I promise, this is actually going somewhere -- Sessions, not surprisingly, responded that his campaign had done no such thing and demanded that the Frost campaign come forward with any proof that his campaign was involved in stealing signs or any other such disreputable sign-related activity.
Well, the Frost campaign seems to have done him one step better.
Late this afternoon the Frost campaign sent out a press release with a police report from a few days before the 2002 mid-term election (Oct. 27th 2002) in which a Dallas police officer, Jana A. Brewster, caught Sessions -- then a sitting member of congress -- and an aide on a late-night sign stealing run.
(I have not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the report. But, given the fact that the Frost campaign is publicly distributing it, I'm going to assume it's on the level.)
The relevant portion of the police report states that the responding officer was driving along when she spotted Sessions' truck pulled over on the side of the road with a man "pulling up elections signs." The officer then stops the two guys and ...
both susps were asked for identification. R/O looked in the bed of the truck and there were approximately 10 political signs iwth the name "Pauline Dixon" (i.e., his '02 opponent) on them. Susp1 (i.e., Sessions) was asked if Pauline Dixon was aware that he was pulling up her signs and Susp1 replied, "No." Susp1 was then asked if she was who he was running against and Susp1 stated, "Yes." Both Susps were released at the scene and the signs remained in the bed of the truck...
The driver of the car (or in Dallas police talk, Susp2) seems to have been Bobby Hillert, Sessions Health, Education and Technology LA in his capitol hill office.
I tried to contact the Sessions campaign for comment. But when I called, the person designated to field press inquiries was busy in a conference call and couldn't speak to me. If and when we hear back from him, we'll post his response.