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Campaign signs stolen around Soldotna

Posted: August 3, 2014 - 8:30pm  |  Updated: August 3, 2014 - 8:33pm
Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Soldotna residents have been noticing the removal of politcal signs from private property, Sunday, August 3, 2014, in Soldotna, Alaska.
Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Soldotna residents have been noticing the removal of politcal signs from private property, Sunday, August 3, 2014, in Soldotna, Alaska.

As political signs pop up around the Central Kenai Peninsula signaling that election season is in full swing, some Soldotna residents are noticing what they believe to be is the systematic removal of the advertisements.

Mary Toutonghi said whoever is illegally taking the signs is targeting democratic candidates and legislature. They are also being taken from private property, she said.

“It needs to stop,” Toutonghi said. “We don’t want to have to go so far as to prosecute, but it does qualify as vandalism.”

Richard Waisanen said he has been helping place signs around the city for about a month. The first to be removed were knocked over and piled nearby from where they were erected at the Soldotna “Y.”

Waisanen said that when installing political signs within the city it is important to be aware of the size of the right-of-ways bordering the city’s streets. They range between three and 30 feet, he said.

Waisanen said he checked with the city to make sure it was not them removing the signs, and that they were properly posting them outside of the right-of-ways. The Planning and Zoning department said they have not touched the signs.

Toutonghi, Frank Mullen and Megan Lacross reported a number of signs were stolen including nonaffiliated candidate Eric Treider for Senate District O, Vote Yes on Ballot Measure 1 to repeal Senate Bill 21, Sen. Mark Begich D-Alaska, and Democrat Byron Mallot for Governor. Waisanen said.

“As our Vote Yes on One campaign does not have the funds to compete with the oil companies Vote No campaign, signs are the one way we can get our message out in the public,” Waisanen said. “This is an expression of free speech that whoever is stealing our signs is denying us.”

Waisanen said Toutonghi has contacted the Soldotna Police Department twice in concern to the missing signs.

Soldotna police officer Mark Berestoff said the department has not received any calls regarding the thefts.


Kelly Sullivan can be reached at

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kenairiverbandit 08/05/14 - 05:14 am

the way i see it that is freedom of expression

Suss 08/05/14 - 07:41 am
Rights to what?

Rights to put up a political sign unmolested?

Or the right to take down a sign you do not agree with?

What is the "freedom of expression" kenairiverbandit sees?

Raoulduke 08/05/14 - 08:41 am
Freedom of Expression?

No! Not freedom of expression,but it is definitely adolescent vandalism. Now! It could also be a very poor attempt by the Republican's to censor the Free Speech.

luvak52 08/05/14 - 09:55 am
What do they have in common??

Let's see what these signs, and the campaigns or candidates they represent, have in common, shall we?? The Vote Yes on Prop 1 signs are obvious; that campaign is in favor of repealing SB21. The candidate's whose signs were stolen, they also favor a vote yes on on Prop 1. Coincidence?? I think not.

And for the record...the Soldotna police were contacted, twice, about the thefts of the signs. The newspaper was contacted yesterday with that information. Still confused as to why the police officer would say no one had contacted them when there is a case number and it is in their database.

beaverlooper 08/05/14 - 05:38 pm
I think it is same kind

I think it is same kind freedom of expression to go haul a Kenai River guides boats down some back road and leave them.That's not freedom of speech it's a crime. I agree it's adolence no matter the age of the perpetrator.

WinchesterM1 08/10/14 - 04:42 pm
..smacks of Art Hackney`s

..smacks of Art Hackney`s harassment of us signature gatherers in Anchorage. Even back at the beginning of the repeal effort they knew they would have to resort to tricks and lies, and spin, and graft, and corruption... and now vandalism. Little is observable of open and honest and transparent government, as it`s being wrapped in secrecy by fiat with BS138,.. the GAS tax giveaway, looming next..(after they skin us with BS21 they are coming back for even more..milking us more, for just another study, of any gasline,..). you`d better bet on THAT dark horse coming next to a corrupted legislature near you.. All the more reason to boot these relics of conflict and collusion. But for one or two, they all (those remaining) voted to give away ACES, Alaska`s fair share, for a "crapshoot" (Senator Meyer`s characterization of his own legislation..!).... and what, a hundred grand raise in pay for Micciche?

Yes on 1..

Suss 08/10/14 - 06:13 pm
Link Expanded

Posted from Juneau Empire link

Remember legislators who took VECO money
Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2007

The following 12 legislators all have four things in common: 1) Every one of them has taken more than $10,000 from VECO; 2) When VECO owner Bill Allen asked to be relieved of his requirement to register as a lobbyist, they crafted and passed legislation ending Allen's requirement to register; 3) When presented with hundreds of pages of evidence of VECO's bribery, each of them refused to respond; 4) When asked to admit or deny under oath whether or not they had taken advantage of the illegal polling, services that VECO Vice President Rick Smith admitted having provided to more than 100 of the company's favored candidates, every one of the still seated legislators below refused comment.

Sound off on the important issues at

Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, $32,000; Rep. Ralph Samuels, R-Anchorage, $10,250; Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, $21,350; Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, $17,550; Sen. Lyda Green, R-Wasilla, $18,000; Rep. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, $23,350; Sen. John Cowdery, R-Anchorage, $45,200; Sen. Con Bunde, R-Anchorage, $18,650; Rep. John Coghill, R-North Pole, $10,480; Rep. Richard Foster, D-Nome, $16,750; Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, $21,700; and Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, $14,275.

Watch closely as they go to bat for everything VECO fought for - and remember them next election.

Ray Metcalfe


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