Friday, May 23, 2008

Dan Seals Campaign Stunt Irks Lincolnshire Police, Snarls Traffic

UPDATED: Scroll Down
If you went out for lunch yesterday in Lincolnshire and couldn't make it back to work in time, thank Tenth District Congressional candidate Dan Seals. Seals has Lincolnshire's police chief, Randy Melvin, fuming following a campaign event held from noon until 1:00 yesterday at a gas station in this far northern suburb of Chicago. While Seals' campaign staffers passed out election bumper stickers at the Marathon on Milwaukee Avenue, Seals' chatted up motorists as they pumped half-priced gas. The difference in price (up to ten gallons--a little under a $23.00 gift to motorists) was paid for by Seals' congressional campaign. Meanwhile, Chief Melvin was forced to deploy nearly half of his police force to direct traffic, which lined up for an estimated mile and a half as drivers waited for subsidized gas.

Melvin was particularly irked that he was unable to make plans for orderly traffic control as Seals' Campaign failed to notify him in advance of the publicity-seeking stunt. Melvin did not comment on whether the Village of Lincolnshire will be billing the Seals campaign for private security services, a common practice in Chicago's northern suburbs when additional police protection is required for what are esentially private events.

In commenting about the situation, Seals said "What this is about is to show how expensive the price of gas has become."

Seals, a newcomer to the North Shore area, lives in the neighboring 9th Congressional district. His campaign depends heavily on political workers from the city of Chicago.

Despite concerns by the press, Seals denies any culpability for his actions under 18 USC 597, which provides penalties for vote buying.

h/t Team America, who's named this fiasco "Gas for Votes."
UPDATE: The Seals campaign has been sent a bill for $2,200. for the traffic control by the Village of Lincolnshire. I imagine the Seals campaign is delighted with the publicity generated by the gas stunt and will consider the cost very reasonable.


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