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Judge: Charges go forward against accused #ExtremeIthacaLiberal campaign sign thief (#NY23)

Judge: Charges go forward against accused #ExtremeIthacaLiberal campaign sign thief (#NY23)

Gary McCaslin rejected a plea deal that would have required an apology to the Tom Reed campaign.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GvPqheBu6Y

Gary McCaslin is accused of stealing a GPS tracking device attached to a campaign sign he removed from the side of a public road.

The sign was placed by the campaign of Republican Congressman Tom Reed, and contained the words “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” with a link to the corresponding website, ExtremeIthacaLiberal.com.

We covered the controversy, and the history of the “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” campaign in “Extreme Ithaca Liberal” yard signs disappear, perp caught by embedded tracking device (#NY23):

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

The accused thief, Gary McCaslin, is a well-known anti-Reed activist. He doesn’t live in Ithaca, but still seems to have been upset with the lawn signs. His defense was that he was just cleaning up road debris, and always intended to return the GPS device. When Reed’s campaign manager Nick Weinstein requested McCaslin return the tracking device, however McCaslin refused and said he was keeping it. McCaslin dared Weinstein to call the police. It was all caught on video:

“You found the sign. I’m keeping the tracker. You call the police then. I’ll be right here.

We covered McCaslin’s defense in Accused campaign sign thief: I was “simply acting as a good citizen to keep our highways clean” (#NY23):

McCaslin just pleaded Not Guilty to the charge in court and his lawyer filed a Motion to Dismiss(pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post).

The key defense is that McCaslin, after initially refusing to return the GPS device, tried to return it but the police arrested him before he could do so:

10. At set forth in greater detail below, shortly after Mr. Weinstein left Rev. McCaslin’s home, Rev. McCaslin attempted to return the device to Congressman Reed as he did not want bring about unnecessary problems, but was unsuccessful because Congressman Reed’s campaign office was closed and a staffperson at Congressman Reed’s constituent office told Rev. McCaslin that the constituent office could not become involved with campaign matters.

11. Rev. McCaslin intended to turn the device over to proper authorities, but was arrested at his home before he had the opportunity to do so.

The motion further alleges no intent to steal the sign, but rather, an attempt to clean up campaign sign clutter on the roadside:

27. As with his decision to retrieve the lone Max Della Pia sign, Rev. McCaslin did not intend to steal property belonging to the Democratic candidates, Congressman Reed, or whoever placed the sign reminding people to vote. Instead, his intention was to clear the area along the highway of abandoned political clutter nearly a week after the Democratic primary had taken place.

McCaslin’s motion to dismiss the Petit Larceny charge was heard in court this morning.

McCaslin apparently was offered a plea deal which would have had the charge dismissed after 6 months, but he rejected the deal, forcing the court to rule on the motion to dismiss.

The court thereafter denied the motion to dismiss, and the case will move forward.

WENY reports:

After a plea offer was denied by the defense this morning, the case of the alleged stolen GPS tracking device inside a Congressman Tom Reed campaign sign is moving forward.

The Steuben County District Attorney’s Office offered Gary McCaslin an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal, or ACD. The ACD would allow all charges to be dismissed in six months if McCaslin didn’t break the law in that period of time, and wrote a letter to the Reed Campaign apologizing for causing inconvenience. McCaslin’s attorney, Christina Sonsire, says they denied the motion because it could still be seen as an admission of guilt.

“Myself and Attorney (Ray) Schlather, who are co-representing him, feel so strongly that once all the facts are heard by a jury, that he’ll be fully vindicated. It’s for that reason that we simply couldn’t allow him to accept an ACD,” Sonsire explains….

“The Congressman would have been happy with an outcome that was presented to the defendant today, an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, with an admission of guilt or at the very least a recognition of inconvenience that this has caused the campaign. That would have been something that we had been happy with,” [Reed Campaign Manager Nick] Weinstein explains. “If you take something that doesn’t belong to you, that’s theft, and it’s in the hands of the court system now,” he adds.

We reached out to McCaslin’s attorney Christina M. Sonsire for comment, who provided this response:

Rev. McCaslin did not commit a criminal act, and therefore should not suffer any further detriment. The reputation of him and his wife have been harmed by this prosecution. Nothing short of an outright dismissal or acquittal after trial is justified under the circumstances.

We will update this story if more details emerge about today’s court proceedings.

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Comments

For a Lefty this is a win-win… If he wins he is vindicated, if he loses he is a victim and can climb up another rung on the intersectionalist ladder. He is now a cause celeb.

Looking back into the past, society had feedback limiters for such actions if self-control failed… but with a larger and larger population of like-minded (assuming they have a mind) people, there is less and less restraint.

Sentence to Community Service.

You will make 1000 Reed Campaign signs, each one to be inspected for approval by Reed staff before accepting.

“Rev. McCaslin did not commit a criminal act, and therefore should not suffer any further detriment.”

A reverend of what? The Cult of Litter Patrol?

This ‘reverend’ was caught on camera when he refused to return another person’s property. That’s theft, plain and simple.

Lemme guess: he will come to church in his best “reverend” garb, clutching a well worn copy of the Bible, and a Bill Clinton teary eye.

He had every chance to make this right, and chose not to do so. He is a thief and a liar, and should be given Fen’s punishment above!

The “Rev. McCaslin” in the defendant’s pleadings is a nice touch. Fits nicely with “Thou shalt not steal.”

Obviously he’s not guilty- he says his motive for voting for Gus Hall was a protest vote against the other candidates.

Whoops, wrong thread- his intention was to clear roadside clutter, not steal signs. That he only had signs from people he opposed is purely coincidence or something. His motives were pure, he says so, we mustn’t judge him by his actions.

    Fen in reply to gospace. | August 20, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Also, he mispoke about “stealing” the signs, what he meant was he took them without permission. Huge diff.

    (Just closing the loop for ya 😉

    pfg in reply to gospace. | August 20, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    A campaign sign placed by the roadside meeting whatever local ordinance or accepted community practice cannot by that standard be litter.

    Can’t quite believe the rather extraordinary efforts that his attorneys are going through for this tiny infraction. What’s behind all that?

      Another Voice in reply to pfg. | August 20, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      Controlling the message.
      Prof. J., by his means to get and keep their actions in the public media outside of the one they have control of, takes it out of their control. As this happened in a bluer than blue county/town which have their own local rules, both on and off the book, they see it as a win-win. It’s all about total control.

I worked on several State campaigns and in each state the laws were that the campaigns were responsible for removing their own signs and could be fined after certain period.

So it’s not a rational to remove “litter” after the election.

Two problems with this defense I see:

1) the signs are still property of the campaign not local citizens, so he had no right to pick them up.

2) worse, when confronted he refused to return the GPS tracker to The Campaign which is their property and should be considered theft. I don’t really see how he gets out of this last problem.

I think his ego is going to inflict more damage upon himself.

I worked on several State campaigns and in each state the laws were that the campaigns were responsible for removing their own signs and could be fined after certain period.

So it’s not a rational to remove “litter” after the election.

Two problems with this defense I see:

1) the signs are still property of the campaign not local citizens, so he had no right to pick them up.

2) worse, when confronted he refused to return the GPS tracker to The Campaign which is their property and should be considered theft. I don’t really see how he gets out of this last problem.

I think his ego is going to inflict more damage upon himself.

I wonder what a graph of “national silliness” vs “cumulative ‘billable hours'” would look like. Probably nothing good.

    MajorWood in reply to tom_swift. | August 21, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    I bet that a graphical depiction with McCaslin and Oberlin would show parallel relationships, but on a different scale.

    What we are seing in both cases is the high cost of not being able to admit that one is wrong.

    The best part is that they are bringing far more negative attention to the issue than a simple admission of guilt would ever bring. In the end, the will still be wrong, and now broke.

Another Voice | August 20, 2018 at 3:35 pm

From a 23rd District Republican; Three cheers to Prof. J. for the public exposure of the Far Left Socialists in Tompkins County, a blue small island in a sea of red in Up State NY. As they protest and “try” to usurp the voices of the those who marginalize their outcomes in this very blue state. Thank you Prof. J. for this platform.

Stupid liberals. This is all a waste of the taxpayers’ money, whether or not it is actually a theft. Just a frickin’ waste of everyone’s time and money. A just outcome would be to sentence this idiot to 100 hours of picking up trash by the side of the road–since he claims he thought he was just picking up “litter.” Take the man at his word.

The reverend is too ungracious to say a handful of polite words of reconciliation. That does not speak well for him, or for the congregation that had the bad taste to hire him. This action is surely consistent with other things he has done over the years.

I wonder if this smug reprobate McCaslin has any concept that Otto Warmbler died from injuries inflicted by the North Koreans for far less than what McCaslin is accused of.

I’m not a legal expert but it looks like NYS law leans towards the freedom of political speech, which would not be good for the Reverend.
From the Office of the General Counsel: https://www.dos.ny.gov/cnsl/lu02.htm

I’m sure he’s quite the “Reverend.” Probably using the title as some kind of tax dodge.

Does anyone know which GPS tracker they used? I’m looking for one that can last several days — for disappearing campaign signs… 🙂

Doesn’t anyone else find Sonsire’s writing offensive? Honestly, how did she get a law degree without learning basic English grammar? “Myself and Attorney (Ray) Schlather, who are co-representing him,…”

So I’m looking at the story in “The leader” from late July and it has a picture of two older ladies holding 70’s acid signs which say “Justice 4 Gary” and I really think the Reed people need to make up signs which have McCaslin depicted picking up trash, with a big orange bag on his back, with the caption “Justice 4 Gary!”

As I said before, the reason that he can’t admit guilt is because it means that “he can’t do it again afterwards without there being really serious repercussions,” just like someone getting DUI #2, which makes DUI #1 look like community service. The man is clearly a serial sign stealer who can’t fathom giving up his fix.

Ditto with Oberlin. Take away their tendency to scream “racism” at everything and what do you have left?

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