Local Attorney Defaces Campaign Signs

Woodstock attorney alleged to have vandalized campaign signs - unique only because he was apparently caught.

Last week, a Woodstock attorney, Robert Hanlon, was charged with a misdemeanor for vandalizing roadside campaign signs for McHenry County Sheriff Candidate Tony Colatorti. Colatorti is in a heated primary contest with Robb Tadelman for the position, which current County Sheriff Bill Prim is vacating.

Coverage of the story in the Northwest Herald, and the Daily Herald, both owned by Shaw Media, was provided by Amanda Marrazzo who did an admirable job of digging for pertinent information. In her story Hanlon's home address is provided to readers. Marrazzo also lists contributions Hanlon has made to Tadelman's campaign and, in the past, Prim's campaign.

Both Colatorti and Tadelman have condemned Hanlon's alleged behavior, and Tadelman has indicated that Hanlon's contributions to his campaign will be returned.

What makes this story newsworthy is that someone was caught. Otherwise, misbehavior around political campaigns is all too common. When campaigns order signs, the number generally includes replacements for those stolen by supporters of their opponents.

In 2020, vandals supporting 6th District Democrat Sean Casten were writing one of the most vulgar words possible on signs for his opponent Jeanne Ives.

In his campaigns for office, former McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks had a reputation for randomly putting signs in front yards without asking homeowners for permission to do so. The apparent philosophy was that they would get away with enough signs planted this way to make it worth the questionable approach. In the meantime, the signs were there at least until the homeowner noticed.

From Woodstock to downtown Chicago is a trip of just more than an hour. Chicago is world famous for its dirty politics. In Chicago, when the Machine gets out the vote, that includes voters long resting in cemeteries.

What Hanlon is alleged to have done is wrong. But it's hardly unique. In fact, the most unusual aspect of what he did is that he got caught. It's an unfortunate truth but it's the height of absurdity to try to claim otherwise.