The campaign of Jay Kinzler, Republican candidate for the state House, filed a police report alleging theft of property, after three of his campaign signs were caught on camera last week in images suggesting they were switched out for a competitor’s campaign signs.
The alleged incident occurred Sept. 9 at the intersection of Route 83 and St. Charles Road.
The signs apparently were replaced with campaign signs for Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Villa Park), Kinzler’s opponent in the 46th District race.
The sign switch was caught in a photo that shows two people standing behind the back of a van, its back hatch open, with the Kinzler signs missing from a spot close to the highway.
Moments later the Conroy signs appeared in the same spot. The Kinzler campaign posted the photo on its Facebook page. The photo was taken by a “constituent” who was driving by and saw the signs being removed, according to the post.
“My crew worked hard getting signs out and then her campaign took mine out and put her’s there,” Kinzler said in a video filmed at the site, which was also posted on the campaign’s Facebook page. “I think that’s a dishonest thing, and I look forward to replacing her in November and bringing integrity back to the state of Illinois.”
Conroy, responding on Facebook, apologized for the incident, and said she has instructed her campaign team to post signs only with private property owners who allow them, and not on public land. She also blamed the incident on an intern.
Kinzler continued with his complaints on social media. He added in another Facebook post on the page that he was “very disappointed in my opponent’s lack of respect for others’ property. We worked hard on Sunday putting up our signs and walking (and) meeting constituents. These acts are a poor reflection of my opponent’s team and hence, a poor reflection on her.”
Kinzler asked that anyone who recognizes the people in the photo call the Villa Park Police.
Conroy, writing she was “sorry your signs were taken,” made the following statement in the Comment section of Kinzler’s Facebook page:
“My team has been told that yard signs are only to be placed in front yards. I do not allow signs on public land. That is not allowed and requires the city to spend time and money to pick them up. One of my interns placed several signs on public property and I personally picked them up. I made it clear Team Conroy does not operate that way. Your team should also follow the city ordinance and not place signs on public land. My intern learned from his mistake. I am sorry your signs were taken. Feel free to take mine.”
In the same comment section, Kinzler wrote that his signs were taken from private property as well, some at Finish Line Car Wash, 44 W. Saint Charles Road in Villa Park. He asked Conroy for their return.
In a later post, Conroy wrote “Returned” over a photo of Kinzler signs.
Conroy’s campaign did not return a request for comment and clarification on which signs, those on private or public property, were returned.
One political insider called the sign removal “a typical Madigan move.” Conroy’s campaign is being heavily funded by Illinois State House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).
Conroy came in second highest in donations in a long list of House candidates funded by Madigan, according to an analysis of political funding published by the Illinois Policy Institute in August.
By mid-August, Madigan had donated more than $1,355,101 to the Conroy campaign. Since then, she has received an additional $41,169 from Madigan.
Kinzler, a physician and conservative, is running against the political power entrenched on both sides of the aisle in Springfield.
In the March primary, he easily defeated police detective Roger Orozco, who was backed by the House Republican Organization, the political arm of the House Republican Caucus.
The 46th district includes Villa Park, Glendale Heights, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Bloomingdale, Addison, Lombard and Elmhurst.