John McCaslin

It's that time during an election year when political hooligans from coast to coast roam neighborhoods to steal campaign signs.

"Unfortunately, my 'McCain-Palin' sign was plucked from my front yard, never to be seen again," writes an Inside the Beltway reader from Democrat-heavy Northern Virginia. "Very distressing, since I am surrounded by a sea of 'Barack Obama' yard signs. One would think that resorting to theft would be unnecessary, but I guess not."

She's not alone. In fact, John McCain is finding his campaign signs stolen from his own backyard, so to speak. Arizona resident Mary Crowell, who lives in Tempe, told her local newspaper: "My neighbor recently gave me a McCain-Palin sign to post in my yard. He gave me one piece of advice along with it: that I take it down overnight."

Given workloads and limited manpower, police departments do issue warnings but seldom file criminal charges surrounding the theft or destruction of such campaign materials. A typical yard sign costs a political party about $2.50 to replace.

That said, police in Chambersburg, Pa., recently pulled over two people engaging in suspicious activity and found 22 stolen 'John McCain' signs and two flower pots in the car. Both individuals were taken into custody and their names released to the media.


Martial artist, screen actor, and right-leaning political advocate Chuck Norris tells Inside the Beltway that he is "disenchanted with everyone" in Washington, regardless of party affiliation.

"No one is solving the problem," says Mr. Norris, speaking as a "concerned citizen, and a father and a grandfather. I have seven children and eleven grandchildren, and I'm extremely worried as most people in America are about the direction our country is going.

"Unfortunately many politicians today have ... become disconnected from the will of the people, and that goes for the Republican side and the Democratic side."

Mr. Norris drew attention to the "bloated federal bureaucracy" in calling for a "fair tax," similar to one proposed by his earlier choice for president, former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee.

"I firmly believe that if we had a fair tax in this country, it would help turn the economy around," Mr. Norris said, counting "66,498 pages in the IRS tax code."

"Who in the world knows what's in all those pages? I mean, Charlie Rangel doesn't even know, and he writes the tax code. And he's in trouble," he noted.

Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, is currently under the ethics microscope for failing to disclose and pay federal, state and local taxes on rental income.


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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