The Dymanic Duo - Arnold Councilmen Bill Moritz (left) and Randy Crisler (right)
It's one thing to influence an election by discussing issues and pointing out the flaws in your opponent's agenda. It's another to influence an election by breaking laws. On the eve of the Arnold Municipal election, two sitting City Councilmen were doing just that.
I recieved a text message around 12:30 am that night by Councilman Matthew Hay telling me that he had caught Councilmen William "Bill" Moritz and Randy Crisler knocking down his yard signs and putting up snipe signs on telephone poles along Tenbrook Road and Starling Airport Road. He said he was driving down Tenbrook when he saw Crisler's white Chevy Pickup speeding out of Dornseif Road with a man in the back. Being suspicious, he followed the vehicle and observed what they were doing. To his dismay, he witnessed Moritz, apparenlty intoxicated, tacking snipe signs to a telephone pole from the back of the pickup truck. He then yelled at the two, asking what they were doing. Words were exchanged and the pickup truck sped off into the night. Hay called the police and filed a report.
An Incident Report from the Arnold Police Department was obtained by this site. It details the events of April 5th, 2010. It states that Crisler's pickup was pulled over at approximately 11:29 pm. The officer advised him that what they were doing was against Arnold's Snipe Sign Ordinance. (In a bit of irony, Councilman Moritz was the one who originally pushed for the Snipe Sign Ordinance.) The report states Crisler lowered his head and stated "I know - we're going home now". Crisler was asked if he was drinking and he replied "no". The officer reports no smell of alcohol on Crisler. The report states that Crisler mentioned that Moritz "had a couple of beers". That would justify Hay's reports of Moritz being intoxicated earlier. The two were cited for the ordinance violation, released, and were last seen on Jeffco Blvd.
The dynamic duo broke a number of laws here. First is the fact that they were putting up illegal signs. The signs disclaimer states "Paid for by Enough is Enough". There is no record from the MEC or Jefferson County Election Authority of a PAC or any committee named "Enough is Enough".
Secondly, Moritz violated the very ordinance he fought to enact. A couple of years ago, it was Moritz' picture in the Leader with a stack of realtor snipe signs in a pile. He had gathered them up and disposed of them, apparenlty cleaning Arnold up and making the streets less cluttered. Apparently he didn't think the rules applied to him in this instance. I can't think of a more blatant act of hypocrisy by an elected official.
And finally, Moritz was observed by Matthew Hay drunk in the back of Crisler's truck tacking up snipe signs. It is illegal to ride in the back of a pickup without the proper seating in the back. Not to mention it is illegal no matter what when you are intoxicated.
A few questions come to mind here. First, who paid for those signs? We're talking about over a hundred coroplast screen-printed signs with large tacks to nail to the poles. This was not a cheap effort. Nor was is planned on a drunken whim in the middle of the night. This was strategized and planned for that particular night, in an attempt to influence the Ward 1 election. We do know that Citizens for a Better Arnold spent over $6,100 for printing services for this election. Could some of this money have been for the snipe signs? Unfortunately we may never know.
This is worst kind of politics. It's no wonder that only 11% of registered voters went to the polls on Tuesday. People are tired of these shenanigans. People want real leaders who respect the laws and the Constitution they swore to uphold, and the duties that were given to them. By Moritz and Crisler's actions, do you believe they respect the position of City Councilman? Do they respect the voters of their district? The answer, unfortunately, is no.
Snipe sign next to CFABA sign.
Snipe signs on telephone pole.
Bill Moritz' vehicle parked in front of Randy Crisler's house on the night in question.
License plate of Bill Moritz' vehicle.
Knocked down yard sign - was replaced by snipe sign.