GOP lawmaker's campaign team installs tracker to find person taking down his signs

Representatives for GOP Rep. Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedJordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker Overnight Health Care: Kavanaugh questioned if Roe v. Wade was 'settled law' in leaked email | Senate to vote next week on opioid package | Officials seek to jail migrant children indefinitely | HHS chief, lawmakers meet over drug prices House Republicans huddle on 'tax cuts 2.0' MORE's (N.Y.) campaign placed an electronic tracking device inside the lawmaker's campaign signs, which the team used to track down a sign allegedly stolen by a liberal activist.

The Ithaca Journal reported Wednesday that Reed campaign manager Nicholas Weinstein confronted the activist, Gary McCaslin, at his house after using the tracker to determine the sign's location.

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McCaslin gave up the sign during the first visit, but Weinstein reportedly returned to the house after realizing that the tracker formerly in the sign had not been returned.

"I can't believe this, Nick. You tracked this sign to my house?" McCaslin says in the video posted by Reed's campaign. "Is Tom Reed that desperate that he has to put little things like that inside of a sign and track it?"

"You found the sign, I'm keeping the tracker — you call the police," he added to Weinstein. 

McCaslin was charged with petit larceny for the sign's theft, but his attorney told the Journal that McCaslin removed the sign along with others thinking that it was a primary election advertisement that had overstayed the deadline to be removed, and had later attempted to return the tracker to Reed's office only to be rebuffed.

"There is no factual predicate to show that Gary McGaslin committed a crime," his lawyer, Christina Sonsire, said. "We feel strongly that there was no criminal wrongdoing. This shines a light into just how inappropriate the political climate has become."

Weinstein told the Journal that McGaslin's alleged theft of the sign was not a surprise.

“It is no surprise that our opponents are resorting to stealing our signs," Weinstein said. "They know just how far out of touch they are from values the majority of us care about and are willing to go to criminal lengths to try and hide their 'Extreme Ithaca Liberal' agenda from the public.”

Reed is running for reelection this year in New York's 23rd Congressional District against Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano. He previously won reelection in 2016 over John Plumb (D), winning 57 percent of the vote to Plumb's 42 percent.