Bipartisan Coalition has signs moved before election
EASTON — The Bipartisan Coalition, a grassroots group of organizers interested in the Talbot County Council race, had signs reading “Vote out the County Council President,” moved in two separate incidents before the general election Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Coalition Chairman Dan Watson said on Oct. 27, the second day of early voting, someone had removed the group’s signs from the Easton firehouse and thrown them under a tree.
Watson said he believed this was a reaction to an Oct. 24 letter published in The Star Democrat by Republican Central Committee Chairman Nick Panuzio.
In the letter, Panuzio said he would stand with his Democratic colleagues and not allow the coalition to “make a mockery out of our local political process in Talbot.”
“On the one hand, this is hardly a big event,” Watson wrote in an email the following day. “Someone must believe that citizens legally expressing a political viewpoint at the polling station is making a mockery of democracy? And apparently that someone took to heart Mr. Panuzio’s ‘will not allow’ language.”
A report was filed with the Easton Police Department in reference to the incident.
On Nov. 3, Bipartisan Coalition signs were removed from an area at state Route 33 and Bloomfield Road, where Watson said the group had permission from the property owner to display the signs. These signs, pictured on Oct. 27, were moved from their places at the Easton Volunteer Fire Department.
Tilghman resident Leslie Steen said she noticed signs at Lowe’s Wharf Road across from Sherwood Village had been removed.
Talbot Historical Society member Joan Wetmore said all but one of the signs she had placed for the coalition had been taken down on Route 33 and Sherwood Village. The only sign untouched was across the road from the other signs,
Watson said he filed a formal complaint with the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office in reference to the sign removals.
“Removing these things must have taken some patience and attention, as the signs had been scattered throughout the area,” Watson wrote. “I’m disappointed that free expression is being denied.”