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“Extreme Ithaca Liberal” yard signs disappear, perp caught by embedded tracking device (#NY23)

“Extreme Ithaca Liberal” yard signs disappear, perp caught by embedded tracking device (#NY23)

Rep. Tom Reed’s “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” campaign theme may be the best troll ever, and has extreme liberals seeing red.

Republican Congressman Tom Reed’s “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” campaign ads may be the best troll job ever.

Reed is in NY-23, which includes liberal Ithaca. “Liberal” doesn’t fully capture the Ithaca vibe, which I described in November 2008:

To live in Ithaca is to live in a city alive with anti-Bush, anti-war protest.  I often joke that the directions to my house in Ithaca  read as follows:  Take a right at the fifth Obama sign, a left at the third “Impeach Bush” placard, bear right at the “Support Our Troops, End the War” poster, and we are the house just after the “There’s a Village in Texas Missing its Idiot” banner.

Ithaca is 10 sq. miles of bumper stickers surrounded by reality;

Ithaca used to be in the old NY-22 District, which was gerrymandered to keep Maurice “Red” Hinchey in office. After the 2010 redistricting, which was done judicially in New York, Ithaca became part of the new NY-23 District, which has a Republican +3-4 electorate. The District runs along the Southern Tier of upstate New York, bordering Pennsylvania. It’s a huge district geographically, and has elected Republican Tom Reed in every election since the redistricting.

Reed’s campaign has what must be the best trolling campaign ever. Under the banner of “Extreme Ithaca Liberal,” Reed contrasts himself against the liberals (sometimes from Ithaca, sometimes from elsewhere) who inevitably run against him.

The “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” campaign drives Extreme Ithaca Liberals crazy. They hate it.

Reed used that campaign theme to perfection against Martha Robertson in 2014.

Reed was excoriated by Ithaca liberals over the “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” theme, but he won in a landslide in 2014, and again in 2016.

The “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” campaign theme works because there is a truth to it. I say that respectfully, since some of my best friends are Extreme Ithaca Liberals. (Actually, that’s not true, but it sounds good.)

Reed has renewed the “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” theme for the 2018 election cycle. And Ithaca liberals are still furious about it, as I wrote in April 2018, Rep. Tom Reed (#NY23) centers 2nd Amendment in reelection bid, revives Extreme Ithaca Liberal theme:

In 2016, Reed was one of the first congressmen to endorse Donald Trump. National Democrats figured they couldn’t run a Martha Robertson-type again, so they selected John Plumb, an ex-military guy from the western part of the District, far from Ithaca. But Plumb never gained any traction, and Reed won easily again, by over 15 points.

Reed has not run from Trump or the electorate, and has held many townhalls where other Republicans have shied away. We covered how #TheResistance has organized against Reed, Here’s how liberal activists astroturfed town hall protests against Rep. Tom Reed (#NY23).

Reed is in his element in these townhalls, mixing it up with “Extreme Ithaca Liberals” who inevitably show up even outside Ithaca….

Earlier this year Reed reinvigorated his “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” campaign, as part of a broader push focusing on 2nd Amendment rights. In this District, there is intense hatred (outside Ithaca) for NY’s SAFE act, which imposes strict and often bizarre gun control requirements. Particularly after the Parkland shooting, liberal challengers to Reed are calling for more gun control, but Reed is standing firm on the issue….

There are many other ads, images and videos for each of the 6 potential Democrat candidates at the Extreme Ithaca Liberal website, and Twitter account.

To Reed’s opponents, the “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” yard signs are like waving a red flag in front of a raging bull. Here is what the yard sign looks like.

Then the yard signs started disappearing.

The Reed campaign tied some of the yard sign theft to a volunteer for the Tracy Mitrano campaign (she ended up winning the primary later on).

And then the Reed campaign came up with a brilliant idea — put GPS tracking devices in some of the signs, wait for them to be stolen, then track them.

And it worked brilliantly, as The Ithaca Journal reported:

A leader of a group that regularly protests against U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, has been charged with petit larceny after being accused of stealing campaign signs.

Following the disappearance of campaign signs, members of Tom Reed’s campaign team installed a tracker in the signs, which eventually led them to the home of Gary McCaslin.

But McCaslin, who leads Citizens for a Better Southern Tier, wasn’t giving up everything. “You found the sign, I’m keeping the tracker — you call the police,” he told Reed’s campaign manager.

According to Reed’s office, McCaslin, a retired pastor of the First Baptist Church in Painted Post, was caught last week stealing “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” signs. He was charged with petit larceny on July 5….

While Tom Reed’s office is accusing McCaslin of theft, McCaslin’s lawyer, Christina Sonsire, said he was practicing stewardship when he removed Reed’s sign on July 2 six days after the primary election. She said Reed’s sign was laying on the ground as were signs belonging to Democratic candidates Max Della Pia, Linda Andrei, and a sign reminding voters of the primary date. Sonsire said McCaslin took all of the signs because he thought they were discarded signs from the primary.

In this videos the man is confronted by Reed’s campaign manager, Nick Weinstein, as reported by Fox News:

A video released by Reed’s office shows Reed campaign manager Nicholas Weinstein confronting McCaslin at his house.

“I can’t believe this, Nick. You tracked this sign to my house?” McCaslin says in the video. “Is Tom Reed that desperate that he has to put little things like that inside of a sign and track it?”

Weinstein retrieved the allegedly stolen sign, but McCaslin refused to return the tracking device.

“You found the sign, I’m keeping the tracker — you call the police,” McCaslin says in the video.

McCaslin has been charged with petit larceny, with a court appearance scheduled on July 19, but his attorney, Christina Sonsire, told The Ithaca Journal that he was practicing stewardship when he removed Reed’s sign along with others on July 2, six days after the primary election.

Sonsire also said that an hour after Weinstein left and prior to being charged, McCaslin decided to go to Reed’s congressional office to return the tracker, but was told by the staffers that they wouldn’t accept it.

“There is no factual predicate to show that Gary McGaslin committed a crime,” Sonsire said. “We feel strongly that there was no criminal wrongdoing. This shines a light into just how inappropriate the political climate has become.”

The Reed campaign has distributed images showing McCaslin, a lead organizer of Citizens for a Better Southern Tier, with Tracy Mitrano (on right in image), Reed’s general election opponent.

[Gary McCaslin, a lead organizer of Citizens for a Better Southern Tier, pictured below with Tracy Mitrano at the organization’s protest in Corning][Image and description via Tom Reed campaign]

The campaign ads against Mitrano are practically writing themselves:

[“Extreme Ithaca Liberal” Twitter account profile pic, feat. Tracy Mitrano]


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Colonel Travis | July 12, 2018 at 9:29 pm

So funny, I hope this Reed fellow wins by 100 gazillion billion.

Republicans need to copy this strategy against all Dems running for Congress. Just change “Ithaca” to “Idiot”, and you’ve got your theme.

“This shines a light into just how inappropriate the political climate has become.”

Nah, Reed’s trolling is something to behold.

You REALLY wanna see something that shines a light? Google “Maxine Waters.”

Was keeping the tracker an act of “good stewardship”, too?

Apparently Pastor McCaslin believes that because he’s retired, he’s exempt from the 9th Commandment.

I live in Katko’s District. He runs away from Trump every chance he gets. Unfortunately, no one primaried him, so I’ll I’ll have to vote for the disloyal Republican again to avoid electing a full blown Democrat.

The Left is a fascist movement: only misinformation and oppression will get them elected.

God help us if they do.

The left, including clergy, seem to believe the ends justify the means. How does a man of God behave that way, have his wife (I assume) defend him by lying, and still think that he is doing right in the eyes of God? It used to be that we at least had a firm bedrock on the principles of faith, and while you could be on either side of the political spectrum, God’s word was not throw aside to justify your politics. Now it is that God didn’t mean what He said, didn’t really have the enlightenment they have, so they twist God’s laws and words to mean what they want it to.

Actions like this by a Pastor makes you question the moral fiber of his church and those he had lead. Liberalism is harming the churches, as there are plenty who just stop going and supporting a church that seems to have thrown God out for the ministers SJW stances, caged as love, while driven by hate. Seems they should maybe spend more time with the scriptures and less with politics.

    Tom Servo in reply to oldgoat36. | July 12, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    I can’t believe he was actually stupid enough to take them to his house. Really? Your own house????

      TX-rifraph in reply to Tom Servo. | July 13, 2018 at 6:27 am

      Arrogance brings stupidity out into the open.

      Also, intelligence is not a characteristic I associate with a leftist. For example, read the comments by the troll elsewhere in this section.

    Strong conservative values are a thing to behold.

    “Government SAVE us. We are being attacked by plants.”

    TX-rifraph in reply to oldgoat36. | July 13, 2018 at 6:21 am

    “But McCaslin, who leads Citizens for a Better Southern Tier, wasn’t giving up everything. “You found the sign, I’m keeping the tracker — you call the police,” he told Reed’s campaign manager.”

    This is fascinating.
    1) He is attempting to punish Reed for finding the signs. Being caught is the only wrong he sees and that wrong was committed by Reed.
    2) Morality is just a transaction. Rather than being humiliated by theft, he clears his hollow conscience by returning the signs and apparently thinks he is “clean.”

    He is another example of a sociopathic leader of the left:
    a) The ends justify the means
    b) Charming while causing harm. Is that not a core behavior of those who tempt? Liberalism is tempting (it feels so good) but it does need blindness to the harm it causes.
    c) Blame the victim.
    d) Lie – “Practicing Stewardship” is interesting as it implies intentions justify any action whether illegal or immoral. Hello Comey.

    I think he is a “good” leftist leader.

      TX-rifraph in reply to TX-rifraph. | July 13, 2018 at 6:46 am

      A leftist does not follow the rules. A leftist sets the rules. You follow the rules or you will be punished.

      Matt_SE in reply to TX-rifraph. | July 13, 2018 at 9:48 am

      There’s a fascinating sociological aspect to this:
      I’ve noticed that some of the least ethical people on the planet tend to be those who are “professional” ethicists. That includes professors of ethics and now apparently, former pastors.

        Milhouse in reply to Matt_SE. | July 15, 2018 at 1:16 pm

        Yes, this is very true. The moment you hear someone described as a professional ethicist, beware. The same applies to the “ethics panels” one encounters in institutions such as universities and hospitals; they are usually dominated by the most unethical, unscrupulous people.

I will admit to one time removing a whole bunch of campaign signs for a variety of candidates. From multiple parties. They had sprouted up between the fenceline and the road. And the base owned the property right up to the edge of the road. The bos’n who worked directly under me came in the other way, and also stopped and plucked them. 5 minutes after we got to our office we got a call from my boss- “The CO wants the signs removed from the road.” “They’re already my office.” made him very happy. We called all the campaign treasurers listed on the signs, told them where they were, and that they could come pick them up and redeploy them elsewhere if they wanted. But every morning they’d be removed from that stretch of road. No new ones sprouted, and nobody bothered to pick any of them up. We had about 50 of them.

his attorney, Christina Sonsire, told The Ithaca Journal that he was practicing stewardship when he removed Reed’s sign along with others

Sounds like somebody’s going to need a more expensive lawyer.

Haha, I love it when the professor talks about the crazies in Ithaca. I have worked there and live in the next town over and it often described as ten square miles surrounded by reality.

I like to think of it as San Francisco east. There is sizable homeless problem, in fact there is a place of undeveloped land near the business center of town called the jungle where there have been major homeless encampments. It’s funny, because all the people with money live on the hill just outside the city called cayuga heights. They believe in politics of Ithaca but don’t want to live with it.

Also, when it comes to their anti gun policies, there is the law of unintended consequences. They have a lot of issues with guns and gun violence for a city that size, it’s all concentrated in their vast public housing projects, and involves illegal gun ownership. Many times over the last few years the local media and government have talked about their rising violent crime rate.another issue is that Ithaca and surrounding areas have a huge proplem with deer overpopulation due to hunting restrictions.

Ithaca does have some good qualities though, it has several spectacular waterfalls and state parks in the area. You could spend a whole summer just exploring the state parks in Ithaca and surrounding area and never get bored.

Isn’t that sweet, McCaslin’s defense is that he is providing refuse collection services. Can we call his homefor unscheduled garbage pickups. If I were a liberal I’d ask to see his license as a trash collector.

Unknown3rdParty | July 13, 2018 at 8:26 am

Actually, to make it legitimate, they need video of him actually removing the sign, just like municipal police officers wear body cams to protect themselves from those they stop lying about something the officer allegedly did to them or how they treated them.

The word ‘Liberal’ is rooted in/an adjective of the Latin word ‘Liber’ from which we derived ‘Liberty’, a Greco-Roman legal concept which constrains the power of the state over the the rights of an individual citizen.

It does not mean free to break the law, free from individual responsibility, free housing, etc.

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names”

We won’t win the culture war as long as we continue to trade in the Left’s currency of misappropriated and subverted words (e.g., illegal aliens is now indistinguishable from immigrants).

They are totalitarian, lawless, anti-Constitution, extortionist, statist, etc. Anything but liberal.

The Bible says that even a child is known by his doings. Jordan Peterson says that you should not believe what a person says they believe, but what they do. What they do is what they believe.

I don’t doubt that McCaslin is a Christian. That is between him and God, and it isn’t my place to assume the sincerity of his salvation. I can say with confidence, however, that McCaslin is not following the path that God has for him.

God may use rotten people to support his plan (Pharaoh, Joseph’s brothers, Herod and Judas), but they are not forgiven for the necessity of the part they played. “It had been good for that man that he had not been born. Matthew 26:24.”

    MajorWood in reply to Immolate. | July 14, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    I guess the next bumper sticker on his car will read “Jesus loves me, but normal people think I’m an asshole.”

This guy is toast, in court, unless the fix is in. First, he took the sign without authorization. Second he refused to return part of the sign, the tracker, when confronted. That is simple theft. And, the “good steward” excuse would make excellent fertilizer. I’m sure that Ithaca, as most cities, has an ordinance which requires campaigns to remove campaign signs after an election. This assumes that the signs are the property of the campaign and that the campaign is responsible for removing them. If McCaslin was really practicing good stewardship, he should have called the Reed campaign and told them where their signs were. But, even if one were to grant him the excuse, it does not apply to his refusal to return the tracking device when requested.


Another Voice | July 13, 2018 at 12:38 pm

As a registered Republican residing in Tom Reed’s 23rd district a scant but safe 10 miles south of the Liberal 10 mile radius of Ithaca, I would say that going back to the run up to the 2014 election, the strong coalition to elect Tom Reed was in no small part the efforts and coverage of Prof. J. The Martha Robertson 2014 campaign never recovered after being hit with the news releases of insights as to her agenda.

In 2016, again Prof. J covered the workings of the contentious Liberal Ithacans who habititually take their agenda to district Town meetings through out the 23rd and try to dominate not just Cong. Reed but the locals who have come out to interact on the matters they care about.

What the Liberal factor don’t want to hear but his conservative majority do, is what he is doing in DC for them and our country. Tom Reed is a founding member and a Republican Co-Chairman of the Problem Solvers Caucus along with Democratic Co-Chairman Josh Gottheimer. This committee is a bi-partisan group which includes approximately 48 members equally divided between Democrats and Republicans who seek to create bi-partisan cooperation on key policy issues working across the aisle.

The trolls who follow Cong. Reed around the 23rd Dist. do not want this brought forth to be heard and when it is on the floor, heckle him on the ideas and the work of the committee. Sound familiar?

So again I thank Prof. J. for not only what he started with the great optics and coverage of Liberal Ithaca politics in the run up to 2014 but to the continued coverage and optics of the run up to 2018. He is the gift that keeps on giving!!

Hmmm, if I were in Ithaca…

Step 1. Get one of those yard signs.
Step 2. Put a tracker in it.
Step 3. Put a check for $50,001 dollars in it.
Step 4. Wait for it to be stolen.
Step 5. Tell the police, Class C Non-violent Felony.