New addition to the ‘Grok “Stealing Campaign Signs” Hall of Shame: Jim Babcock of Gilford Part 2 - Granite Grok

New addition to the ‘Grok “Stealing Campaign Signs” Hall of Shame: Jim Babcock of Gilford Part 2

Norms sign - warning to Jim Babcock 2

Well, I talked with Norm – he has already replaced the sign that Jim Babcock was stolen. A man of his word, he is a person you do not wish to trifle with – and Babcock may soon be finding out soon enough; Norm has already sent in a complaint to the NH Attorney General:

NORMAN J. SILBER
ATTORNEY

243 MOUNTAIN DRIVE                                                 TEL (603) 293-0565
GILFORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE 03249                        CELL (305) 803-5400
EMAIL: NJS@SILBERSNH.COM
MEMBER OF THE FLORIDA BAR & THE NEW HAMPSHIRE BAR

June 5, 2020

The Honorable Gordon MacDonald
Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire
33 Capitol Street
Concord, New Hampshire 033011

Dear General MacDonald:

This is a formal complaint under RSA 664:18 for violation of RSA 664.17 by James M. Babcock of 41 Haywagon Road, Gilford, NH 03249, including a request that you seek issue against that individual an order requiring him to cease and desist from his violation; and seek the maximum civil penalty of $1,000 provided for in RSA 664:21-VI.

The Facts

I am a candidate for the New Hampshire House of Representatives from Belknap County District 2 (Gilford & Meredith). I previously served in that capacity in the 2017-18 biennium.

On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, one of my campaign signs that had been placed on the small neutral ground (public property) at the intersection of Salt Marsh Pond Road and Cherry Valley Road in Gilford was stolen. Fortunately, the theft was seen by someone friendly to me and they got the license number of the truck being driven by the person who did it.

This was reported to the Gilford PD. The officer assigned immediately tracked down the driver, James Babcock, who admitted to the officer that he did it. The officer said the perp was going to retrieve the sign from the woods where he had thrown it and bring it to the PD. And the officer said he was going to retain that sign as evidence. I was told by the officer that Babcock will be charged with a misdemeanor for what he did to my campaign sign. There was no mention of any charge for littering.

The next day, Babcock showed up unannounced at my home and admitted to me that he had taken my sign but failed to provide any reason or explanation for having done so.

The Law

RSA 664:17 provides, in pertinent part as follows:

“No person shall remove, deface, or knowingly destroy any political advertising which is placed on or affixed to public property or any private property except for removal by the owner of the property, persons authorized by the owner of the property, or a law enforcement officer removing improper advertising.”

RSA 664:18 sets forth the procedure for making a complaint for violation of Chapter 664, and that is the purpose of this letter.

RSA 664:21-VI expressly provides as follows:

“VI. (a) Whoever violates any of the provisions of RSA 664:16-a or the provisions of RSA 664:17 relative to removing, defacing, or destroying political advertising on private property shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.

b) The court, upon petition of the attorney general, may levy upon any person who violates the provisions of RSA 664:16-a or the provisions of RSA 664:17 relative to removing, defacing, or destroying political advertising on private property a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation. All penalties assessed under this paragraph shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund

c) The attorney general shall have authority to notify suspected violators of RSA 664:16-a or the provisions of RSA 664:17 relative to removing, defacing, or destroying political advertising on private property of the state’s intention to seek a civil penalty, to negotiate, and to settle with such suspected violators without court action, provided any civil penalty paid as settlement shall be paid to the secretary of state for deposit into the general fund.”

Conclusion & Request for Enforcement

This type of conduct strikes at the hard of our system of free and fair elections.

And, further it violates my civil rights under the New Hampshire and US Constitutions.

Based upon the foregoing and especially in light of the admission of guilt by the perpetrator, I hereby respectfully request that you issue against that individual an order requiring him to cease and desist from his violation; and seek the maximum civil penalty of $1,000 provided for in RSA 664:21-VI.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this matter, and I would greatly appreciate being kept informed as to any actions taken by your office upon this request.

Respectfully

Norman J. Silber

So this is going to get interesting quickly. Being a friend, as I have mentioned earlier, with Norm AND he is a Grokster AND living in the same neighborhood as Jim Babcock, I decided to show some support for him by asking for a sign to put on my front yard. It has already been put into the ground and I’m quite sure that Mr. Babcock will see it – every day he walks around, usually around noon time, with his dog unleashed (been doing that unleased schtick for years even though the town has an ordinance against free range dogs).

I mentioned yesterday that this stealing of Norm’s sign is a breach of the Right to Private Property – something that Progressives take more and more lightly these past couple of decades – “your property is mine too” and Mr. Babcock’s trashing of Norm’s property is just yet another example.

It hit me last night, though, that this theft is not the only transgression. It is yet ANOTHER example of Progressives silencing voices they dislike (or in Babcock’s case, complete hatred of what Norm stands for politically). We see that with Antifa who have no problem rationalizing that violence is reasonable when confronted with speech and ideas they disagree with. It’s why NH State Rep Deb Stevens, NH State Rep Jan Schmidt, and NH State Rep Altschiller (among others) created the “Shut GraniteGrok down” bill by masking speech they don’t like (er, us repeating what they have said or done personally) as “cyberbullying” or “hate speech”.

Jim Babcock is right in the middle of a fine set of feckless wonders – there is no difference in Principle, only in degree.

It’s still a criminal offense.