Signs point to a hotly-contested battle in Ward 2

While there are plenty of issues to discuss in the contentious Ward 2 battle, it seems that the race has continued to be the battle of the disappearing political sign.

Incumbent Ira Novoselsky and challenger Steven Morabito have both run hard and long campaigns – with Morabito jumping out as early as January.

They have tackled a lot of issues, heard a lot of concerns, and met a lot of new people.

But one recurring theme seems to be ripped down and stolen political signs.

In late summer, Morabito had numerous signs torn down or stolen. He felt it was suspicious, but blamed no one in particular.

Meanwhile, a woman from Hyman Towers defaced several Novoselsky signs and was brought up on charges by Revere Police.

Late last week, Novoselsky reported to the Journal and to police that nearly 75 of his signs had systematically disappeared over the course of two days – from main streets to dead-end streets.

"A lady on Beach Street was very fearful and concerned about retaliation if the opposition wins," said Novoselsky’s campaign manager, Nancy Goldstein. "They felt they might be targeted if they support Ira. We just decided not to put the signs back because we don’t’ want the people to go through this."

Added Novoselsky, "In some cases, they were going far onto private property to take my signs."

Novoselsky said a police report has been filed and detectives have actually fingerprinted some torn signs, and are examining surveillance video.

He said that he doesn’t suspect Morabito, but rather a rogue group of people opposed to Novoselsky.

"I don’t suspect Steve himself," he said. "I don’t think he has any idea people are doing this. It’s the opposition. It may not even be something he knows of. He’s not that kind of person."

Added Goldstein, "Somebody in the opposition is doing this. We don’t want to put Ira’s supporters in fear. We’re concerned about people feeling scared."

Morabito said neither he nor his supporters had anything to do with the thefts, and took a skeptical tack to the last-minute sign theft story.

"Under no conditions or circumstances would I condone any such criminal activity," he said. "I have run a totally positive campaign. The removal of these signs at the very end of this campaign is highly suspicious. I trust that it was not done to disparage my reputation at the very close of this campaign. I have received overwhelming support from the people of Ward 2. If I win this race it will be because of the kind of campaign that I ran. The people of Ward 2 know this and know that I would never participate in any criminal activity. At end of the day on Nov. 3rd, I will be able to look myself in the mirror and be proud of the campaign that I ran."

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