Campaign sign vandalism, stealing across nation (USA)

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Various news sources

Having recently personally experienced a stolen campaign sign, and a pulled-down and taken-down sign at my own home, I decided to check the web for campaign sign vandalism and stealing for just this year alone. A simple keyword search on yielded a surprising number of relevant hits. Most of the news sources are local newspapers and other local media; I presume this is just a sampling, as many incidents do not get reported to the police and/ or media; and Ixquick is a meta search engine.

Campaign sign vandalism or stealing may be a misdemeanor offense in many areas of the country.

September 23, 2008 4:27 PM
NORTH HAMPTON — Police are seeking help from the public in finding an alleged vandal who damaged a campaign sign and American flag. ...
According to police, a John McCain campaign sign was found with holes punched in it, with an American flag broken in half and lying on the ground. ...
North Hampton resident Joe Kutt said he placed the sign and flag on the property of Green’s Mobil, at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Lafayette Road. He said he has heard of John McCain signs being ripped down in recent weeks and said he had a few on his property stolen a couple of weeks ago. ...

Friday, July 25, 2008 at 6:06 p.m.
QUINCY, IL-- We been hearing from many viewers complaining about vandalism to campaign signs in several counties around the Tri-States. ...

August 30, 2008
PENSACOLA, FL-- Three of Pensacola City Council candidate Larry B. Johnson's campaign signs were vandalized Friday with derogatory words painted on them.
Johnson, who is running for the District 4 seat, said vandals spray-painted derogatory words in large letters on several signs near the intersection of Hyde Park Road and Bayou Boulevard. ...

May 15, 2008
CONTRA COSTA, CA-- Supervisor Glover’s campaign says its signs are being stolen and vandalized at an alarming rate and that Supervisor Glover has established a “vandalism patrol” of volunteers who are committed to catching the bullies who are tearing down his expensive campaign signs. ...

September 21, 2008
TWO RIVERS, WI-- This morning (Sept. 16) our free-speech rights were violated by someone who removed the sign in support of Obama for President from the front of our home, an act committed in broad daylight while children are in school, suggesting that the perpetrators are adults. ...

MERRIMAC, WI — It may be the first local instance of politically motivated vandalism in the 2008 presidential election season, but for one local voter, it's more than enough.
Tim McCumber, Merrimac town administrator and chairman of the Sauk County for John McCain presidential campaign team, said a large presidential campaign sign for John McCain on Highway 113 was damaged by someone who spray-painted the words "war" and "peace" on the sign. ...

September 18, 2008
MUNCIE, IN-- A vandal who apparently plans to vote for Barack Obama attacked the Delaware County Republican Party Headquarters sometime this week with a gold spray can.
The vandal, or vandals, left behind graffiti reading "McCain? Seriously?" underscored by a depiction of a hand gesturing with its middle finger on the western wall of the headquarters.
A Republican Headquarters sign that was leaning against the same wall was tagged with three symbols that closely resemble the round Obama campaign sign. ...
The graffiti on the wall occupied a section about two feet by three feet.

September 16, 2008
FULKS RUN, VA-- A campaign sign for presidential candidate Barack Obama was the target of a racially charged act of vandalism over the weekend, and the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office is investigating.
Deputies are looking for information about who painted the letters "KKK" on an Obama sign in Fulks Run. The same vandals apparently drew a slash over a nearby Mark Warner for U.S. Senate sign. ...

September 19, 2008
ANCHORAGE, AK-- Nearly two weeks ago, we reported catching a campaign sign thief. ...
Yard Sign VandalismSeveral days after the ’sign theft incident’ some more alert campaign volunteers called to report two vandalized signs on Jennifer Circle (photo-right). ...

September 26, 2008
LAS CRUCES, NM— Heated election seasons can sometimes bring out the worst in people on both sides of the political aisle.
Case in point, whoever has been targeting Sandra Clark and her downtown Las Cruces home, specifically her chain-link fence. And more specifically, the John McCain campaign sign she used to have on the fence and the one that replaced it, which now is also gone.
Clark had the first sign stolen about a week ago. A second one was cut from her fence earlier this week. ...
August 16, 2008
"I get calls every day a sign is down," said a fuming Paula O'Neil, who is running for Pasco County Clerk of Courts. She has seen so many campaign signs stolen or damaged that she filed a complaint with the local sheriff's office.

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CA-- The identity of the person that vandalized and was stealing a local political action committee campaign sign has been ascertained by the police. That group continues to seek protection of its rights. They report over 1,000 of their campaign signs were removed during the last two elections. An election is coming up. Candidates in the upcoming election should welcome the prosecution of those that would remove signs lest lawlessness should prevail the next time.
REWARDDo you Know Person?
We don't really need to offer a reward. We have enough information on film and the police investigator gave the chance of our apprehending this man a high probability. Yesterday he was caught on film tearing town our campaign signs.
Over 500 of our signs have been removed. ..

July 1, 2008
OLYMPIA, WA -- In past elections, state Sen. Val Stevens' campaign signs have been marked up, torn down and stolen.
None had ever been burned.
That changed in May when someone deliberately torched her 4-by-8-foot sign placed in the area of Old Pacific Highway and County Line Road in southern Skagit County.
When a replacement went up in the same spot, a vandal or vandals set that one ablaze, too.
In all, four times between mid-May and mid-June she said she put a large sign there and each time it was set on fire. ...

September 22, 2008 - 5:00pm.
CHATTANOOGA, TN-- A stolen campaign sign has one Chattanooga business owner upset.
Darrel Silvey of Silvey Metal Works says he put out McCain-Palin signs last week.
This weekend, he says someone stole one of the signs. ...

September 14, 2008
FAIRBANKS, AK— Maybe political operatives are driving around late at night, stealthily removing their enemies’ campaign signs. Maybe it’s just teenagers horsing around.
Either way, missing and vandalized campaign signs are the plight of any election campaign, and this year is no different.
“Somebody stole my own campaign sign from my own front yard,” said Rep. Jay Ramras, the Republican running for re-election in House District 10.
More than a dozen yard signs supporting Cynthia Henry’s campaign for the state Senate have gone missing.
Yard signs can cost $6-$12.
“It’s disappointing,” Henry said. “I like to think it’s just mischief, but I don’t know.”
Democrats are being targeted, as well.
Two custom-made $400 “Barack Obama for President” signs have been torn down from the front of the Laborers Local 942. The union hall has a video recording of the vandal or vandals, union leader Tim Sharp said.

April 7, 2008
SMICKSBURG, PA– State police say a swastika was spray painted on a campaign sign for Sen. Barack Obama in an Indiana County couple’s yard.
Kamal Youssef and his wife, Maria, say they found the defaced sign Saturday.
Police and an Obama campaign official say it appears to be an isolated incident. ...

September 29, 2008
NEWPORT, TN-- Both candidates in the race for the Eleventh District State House seat say they are having trouble with vandals who remove their campaign signs. Last week Republican Dan Ford said a number of his signs have been removed. ...

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