The best thing ever for people who sell lumber in 2 x 4's and nails and the like is the biannual mania around here known as "Election season."
Our local laws permit outdoor advertising of political candidates for 60 days prior to an election, and with Maryland having a primary election at the end of June, the wooden supports with colorful signs are all over town. Often, people who live in well-traveled locations wake up to find that overnight, a 4' x 8' "O'Hoolahan for County Council" sign sprouted on their front lawn - a sort of immaculate erection. No one asked them, but someone sent a sign crew over at 3 AM to post the sign.
And then, this being Maryland, you get the dirty tricksters who go around stealing the other candidate's signs. People involved in this nefarious activity tend to be volunteers or buddies with pickup trucks and nothing else to do, but, this past Saturday, according to the Baltimore County Police via the Baltimore SUN paper, the perpetrators included a high-ranking government official.
Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry J. Ronald DeJuliis, a man who is often referred to as J. Ronald DeJulius, was allegedly involved in removing campaign signs belonging to incumbent District 42 Senator Jim Brochin from a sidewalk area over by the BelLoc Diner at Joppa Rd and Loch Bend Drive.
DeJuliis's wife, Connie DeJuliis, is running against Brochin in the June primary. She told the police that her campaign had permission from the property owner to mount her signs on his land, and that her husband figured Brochin's campaign signs had been placed there improperly.
"I say it's much ado about nothing," said Connie DeJuliis in the newspaper. "It was clearly a misunderstanding."
Marc Lazerow is Brochin's campaign manager, and he said he found the destruction in progress, got into a verbal hassle with J. Ronald DeJuliis and called 911. When the police arrived, all participants were still on the scene, and charges of misdemeanor theft were filed against JRDeJ. Lazerow is going back to the courts to file charges against two men who were with the commissioner at the time.
According to the SUN, Ronald DeJuliis's duties as Commissioner of Labor and Industry include overseeing workplace safety, employer compliance with wage laws and the regulation of apprenticeship programs.
That's where you know his name from! All elevators in the State of Maryland bear his signature on their annual permit, mounted right by the buttons.
And that's a good sign.