Negative Option Lawn Signs– Rick Johnson Campaign - News from A Harper Supporter

I received an email today but I told the writer that it was too long and I would only post some exerpts in the post. Here is the document if you want to read the entire letter.

The theme of the story is Brian Johnson received a Rick Johnson Lawn sign that he never ordered. Brian is no relation to Rick Johnson.

The funny part is Rick Johnson’s office declared the sign being on his lawn a trick by Liberals and that they never placed the sign there in the first place. They have accused the Liberals of stealing conservative signs and moving them to other lawns.

Brian was in receipt of a letter that states if the lawn sign was not ordered to please contact the campaign office and they will remove it “right away” .

So this is what they are doing? putting signs on lawns — then will remove it if you really want them to. hmmm.

Let me add, this is a tactic from the municipal level , I know people who did it in a previous election. This won’t be tolerated at this level.

Here is the letter from Rick Johnson in an image file.

The following is some excerpts from the letter. (Chosen by me- remember I am biased)

I’d like to start this letter by saying that I am a huge supporter of Stephen Harper.

Until recently, I have been a member of the Conservative Party of Canada since its inception and was a member of the reform party prior to that.

With this said, I am also a supporter of Mark Holland and will be voting for him on October 14th. Although Mark is a member of the Liberal Party of Canada, my support for Mark is the consequence of two main drivers. First, there is Mark’s impeccable service and support for this community. His dedication to this riding, his accessibility and his willing to listen to all points of view is refreshing in politicians today. I believe Mark to be honorable and, frankly, on a personal level, I like him.

So I want to know the following then.

1) If Rick Johnson does not know how the sign got on the lawn why was a letter in the mailbox - signed by him ?

The Mark Holland campaign of which I have helped take sign orders is only placing signs on lawns if people specifically ask for them.

The site claims this race is too close to call, I don’t buy it. A poster said that the Rick signs are more numerous then Mark’s and it mean votes rather then side of road signs that just cost money. That statement does not mean much when signs appear on lawns unwanted.

Ajax Pickering does not need sign crap going on , we need accountable representation and that is Mark Holland.

4 Responses to “Negative Option Lawn Signs– Rick Johnson Campaign - News from A Harper Supporter”

  1. SM Says:


    What proof do you have that any of this actually happened?. We’re supposed to accept this as the truth simply because Brian Johnson writes a letter saying so?. This sounds really childish if you ask me.

    Even if the allegations were true, why would somebody go to so much trouble and lose so much sleep over a lawn sign?. I’m surprised he didn’t call the Prime Minister to have it removed. If it bothered him THAT much maybe he should have just pulled the damn thing out himself!. Based on that letter, it sounds to me like Brian had a beef with them long before this alleged sign appeared on his lawn.

    What proof does he have that the campaign office hung up on him?. Did Brian speak to them in a manner that was appropriate or did he get on the phone and yell at them?. That we don’t know!. Remember, there’s 2 sides to every story.

    While on the topic of signs, could you tell me what the rules are in regards to posting large signs on town property?. If memory serves me correct, I think these signs are only allowed on Regional roads. How come Mark Holland has large signs posted on non-regional roads?. Just to name a few…. Monarch Ave by the Lear plant, the enterence to the Ajax Community Centre (between Harwood and Monarch), in front of a school on Pickering Beach road. This is all MUNICIPAL PROPERTY!!.

    Plus, I think it was in poor taste on behalf of Team Holland to plaster Chambers Drive and Beck Crescent with Liberal signs (also municipal property). They did it last Saturday when Harper was coming to the Convention Centre. It served absolutely no purpose whatsoever.

    That’s my two cents.

    Karem: The letter that was received with the sign however is a curious fact. If you are placing a sign on a lawn based on a verbal request then a notice with the sign is not needed — if this sign is not wanted , we will remove. There is a second link in the post, did you read that one Shaun? I am not commenting on all aspects that was in the letter but I know he stopped short of the PMO’s office but did call the Conservative Pary of Canada :)

  2. Brian Johnson Says:


    A few of points.

    On the proof whether it happened or not: Karem has no proof other than the letter and my word. However, I would hope that Karem knows enough about me to know the kind of person that I am and how much integrity and principle matter to me. I don’t want to speak for her but I think she has a good idea of the lengths I will go to in order to stand up for what I believe to be right and I hope she knows and trusts me enough to know that I’m not one to make things like this up. To her credit, she did require proof and a copy of the letter that came with the sign.

    Am I being childish? If that is your assessment then so be it. All I know is that someone came to my home, came on to my property and used me and my name to represent support that was not there. My name is very important to me. What you think of me is immaterial to me but I am VERY selective of who I put my name next to in business and in personal life. I own a business in an industry where a person’s name and reputation are everything and I protect my name and it’s use fiercely and I make no apologies for it.

    As for removing the sign: I work out of province. I work 2000km away from Ajax. Even still, that’s not the point. I shouldn’t HAVE to remove the sign nor should any of my relatives or neighbors. It should not have been put there in the first place and it should not be up to me to remove it. Again, this is a matter of principle. If Rick’s team could put the sign there than they can darn well come and get it. It should not be up to me. Remember, HE is the one who misrepresented me. HE is the one who violated MY property rights. I should not have to lift a finger to move the sign.

    As for the office hanging up on me: Did I speak with them in a tone that was appropriate? I indicated in the letter Karem attached that I was less than cordial but I do not feel I was abusive I certainly wasn’t profane. The first individual hung up when I sternly told him that I did not want him cutting me off or speaking over me and I expected him to listen to what I had to say before he tried to cut me off. Rick hung up on me only after he accused me “and my red friends” of playing sign games and informing me that NO ONE would be coming to pick up the sign. (For the record I am not a member of the Federal Liberal Party. I am not a team member of the Mark Holland Campaign and the last I spoke with Mark was the weekend after Labour Day when I ran into him at the Winnipeg Airport. Mark did send me a Facebook Message expressing his regrets for the treatment I received from Rick’s office but that is it)

    At this point I informed Rick that it was exactly these tactics and ethics that forced me, a lifelong Conservative, to make the choice to leave the provincial riding association. So do I have a beef with them? Yes I do. In my mind they are employing tactics and a level of professionalism that are sadly lacking.

    At the end of the day Rick and his team could have easily fixed this. Instead they brushed me off and decided to treat me in a totally unprofessional manner that would NEVER be acceptable in the business world I work in. They only needed to come pick up their sign. They chose not to and to try to make it my problem. ANYONE who knows me would know that that is a mistake.

    If I am put in a position where I have to fix a problem that was created by someone else then I am going to REALLY do my best to fix it. The real problem here is not the sign. The root cause of the situation is, at least in my mind, the poor leadership and ethics of a broken riding association and the candidate himself. I choose to address root causes whenever possible. Treating the symptom and not airing the broader issues only allows the rot to continue.

  3. Adrian Lambert Says:

    Karem: I can no longer not comment on this issue as there seems to be emotions running at a high level

    Mr Brian Johnson has stated that he spoke on the telephone with Rick Johnson at his campaign office during this incident. That is unfortunately not the truth. He in fact spoke with me that afternoon and this was a result of him being verbally abusive to one of our volunteers. The call was transfered to me and I also received the same verbal abuse that our volunteer had received. A significant part of Mr Johnson’s letter goes on to describe a converstation that he had with our candidate Mr Rick Johnson and of course the two Mr Johnson’s never spoke with one another. If Mr Brian Johnson would have allowed us we would have let him know that we have had a number of our supporters who had requested signs and they were delivered, only to discover in the following days that these signs had disappeared from their lawns and many of these have been located on other lawns within the area. There seems to be a sytematic attempt by unknown individuals to damage or destroy election signs. This is easily seen by the outright vandalism directed at the signs of the CHP candidate. Normally during an electon period we find that 10 to 15% of the signs are damaged or disappear during the campaign and have to be replaced. In this campaign we have found that the attrition rate is in excess of 25%. It is truly unfortunate that these unknown individuals who damage or vandalise these signs take the risk of having charges filed against them under the Canada Elections Act. A criminal charge that could stay with them for the rest of their lives and could, as a result, bar them from any international travel or many types of jobs that require security clearences as they would have a criminal record
    If Mr Brian Johnson would have given our volunteers time to supply this information to him maybe he would have been a little more understanding. However that was not the case so we were unable to meet his “immediate” demands for the removal of the sign. Later that evening the sign was, in fact, removed.

    Election Campaigns are highly emotional events for a number of people, but when emotion gets in the way of sound judgement then problems may occur.

    To clarify: Mr Brian Johnson never spoke with Rick Johnson during this incident. Mr Brian Johnson never requested a sign from our campaign to be placed on his lawn and our records indicate that we did not place that sign on his property. It would not make sense to place a sign on the lot of a person to whom we know is a non-supporter. There have been the occasion where we have placed a sign on a property that we had identified as a supporter in the past few months and then received a call from a new owner or new tenant to say that they had not requested a sign. In these cases we ask that the caller place the sign on the side of their property and we then pass by and pick up that sign as soon as possible.

    Adrian Lambert
    Official Agent
    Rick Johnson Campaign

    Karem: Thank you for the information Adrian, I do question the practice of putting signs on a property based on pre-election information however. We have been in the state of “is there going to be an election” for months and each time the election was not called. Ajax has a lot of new people come and people do move more now then they use to. Personally , I don’t think it is wise to put signs out without a specific request during the campaign period.
    I was knocking on some doors in my area today and I am very disheartened with the number of people telling me they do not even vote and felt uneducated on the issues so I do commend you and your volunteers for being dedicated to your beliefs, your just in the wrong party :) *wink*
    I have heard stories from other elections that Mark had serious sign trouble, there are people out there who just want to cause trouble. Are those letters distributed with all signs ?

  4. Brian Johnson Says:

    To clarify and to apologize on one front, when I spoke to the volunteer I did demand that the sign be removed. I also indicated that if the volunteers were too busy to pick up the signs then I expected Rick to get the sign himself and that if she could not assure me that the sign would be removed immediately then I wanted to talk to Rick himself immediately.

    Adrian, I assumed that you were Rick. I had asked to speak to Rick. I was forwarded to you. You never identified yourself as NOT being Rick.

    Furthermore, my associate that called me indicated that Rick had spoken to him and indicated that he had spoken with me. I drew the conclusion that it was indeed Rick who had hung up on me. For that I apologize.

    I also offer Karem my humblest apologies for this misunderstanding

    However, to also clarify some of Adrian’s inaccuracies.

    1) you asked me to allow you to explain yourself during that conversation and I sat back and let you talk. You indicated, and I quote “your little red friends” are moving signs

    2) You flat out told me that NO ONE would be coming to pick up the sign. You told me that in no uncertain terms. I stress again. You made a point of telling me that the sign would not be picked up. You emphasized it

    3) The letter arrived in the mailbox with the sign in question so either you’re information is inaccurate or you are accusing the Holland campaign of forging Rick’s signature and circulating it with Rick Johnson signs..Is this what you are suggesting?

    4) The sign was NOT removed from my property that day. In fact, it was only after a truck showed up at my property and for some reason (it boggles the mind why) did not remove the sign and only after I placing a call to Conservative Party Headquarters in Ottawa to complain that the sign was removed.

    I admit I made an error Adrian. I’m the first to do so when I discover it but please make sure that your story is indeed accurate when you correct others

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