(La Porte, IN) - The ongoing political feud in La Porte County is spilling into campaign signs in the form of "Dump Sheila" and "Fire Friedman" signs.
The campaign sign also shows the faces of Commissioner Sheila Matias and County Attorney Shaw Friedman. Beside the face of Friedman is the image of a green-colored money bag.
For over a year and a half now, La Porte County Auditor Tim Stabosz has alleged Matias is a "political puppet," allowing Friedman to run the county and profit from it.
Friedman and Matias are Democrats. Stabosz is a Republican.
In response to the allegations, Friedman filed a still-pending lawsuit charging Stabosz with defamation of character.
Friedman responded to the campaign sign.
"If taxpayer dollars are really the issue on those signs, who's cost taxpayers more than Tim Stabosz? Between his late bond payment, the embarrassment of losing the county's credit rating, and now having to redo 44,000 tax bills that he messed up, that's over a quarter of a million dollars he's cost taxpayers," Friedman said.
Matias called the signs an embarrassment to La Porte County and a form of "hate speech." She also says her focus during the campaign is on what she accomplished, the work that still needs to be done, and listening to people to solve real problems.
Matias is running for a second term against Republican Connie Gramarossa. Gramarossa is currently a member of the La Porte County Council and a former member of the LaPorte County Commission.
There are claims that Stabosz is behind the making or funding of the signs. But, on his Facebook page, Stabosz said the local Republican Party produced the signs.
Stabosz also called the signs "splendid" in his post and informed people they could pick one up at the Republican Party headquarters at 814 Jefferson Ave. in La Porte or contact him personally for a sign.
So far, attempts to reach Stabosz and La Porte County Republican Party Chairman Allen Stevens have been unsuccessful.