Early destruction of Campaign signs this season brings concern and comments from Executive Satpal Sidhu and candidates.
The campaign season is just underway and the vandalizing of signs has begun. Four years ago Trump signs were seen burning on the Mt Baker Highway near the Britton road more than once. This year back in February a Trump display was burned by vandals at the Corner of Enterprise Road and Grandview. See the Story Here.
But some observers believe that this year the campaign practice of defacing opponent signs has risen to a different level and now seems organized by a few people who want to use the symbols and signs of protestors as their preferred way of expressing their hate speech on campaign signs. Using “BLM” (Black Lives Matter) and “ACAB” (All Cops are Bastards) as their way of expressing disrespect for a particular Candidate.
Our concern was that a large event at Heritage Park where many BLM and ACAB signs were apparent may have supplied an impetus for this vandalism.
One of the many speakers at this event was Executive Satpal Sidhu who has campaigned frequently for an end to racism. Our question and response are recorded below.
QUESTION FROM THE FOURTH CORNER:“Rep Luanne VanWerven’s signs were defaced with racist graffiti. We… wondered if you had a comment on this behavior especially so early in the campaign season? Also I understand you attended the “protest” at Heritage Park in Bellingham and spoke. There were several signs at that protest backing ACAB and BLM.. Do you think your attendance and speech at this event emboldened the vandals that destroyed these signs?”
HIS ANSWER: “
In addition Fourth Corner asked 42nd district candidates what their response was to this sort of activity.
Rep. Luanne VanWerven stated on her facebook page “This is so disappointing and has no place in an election. No matter what side you are on, no one should have their campaign signs defaced or destroyed. I hope we can rise above this and work together for a better community.”
We asked Rep Sharon Shewmake the following: “Rep Luanne VanWerven’s signs were defaced with racist graffiti. We are going to publish soon and wondered if you had a comment on this behavior especially so early in the campaign season?”
She responded very quickly with the following response: “Nobody should be doing this. Not only is it wrong, it’s also pointless. Instead of wasting time defacing signs I’d encourage those who want to see positive change to register voters and vote themselves. It works.”
We also asked Candidates in the 42nd Jennifer Sefzik and Alicia Rule for their comments and received these responses:
Jennifer Sefzik: ” I’ve known Luanne personally for many years and know that she cares deeply about matters of justice and individual rights.
We can all agree that people deserve a voice, however, defacing property is a crime and an unacceptable way to express a message! Please contact law enforcement if you have any leads on who did this.”
Alicia Rule: “I just gave my opponent a call to express my heartbreak and disappointment in someone’s choice to vandalize her campaign signs. She and I are in agreement that we are both committed to running strong campaigns that focus on the issues and never would condone or encourage vandalism. I hope this is the last vandalism we see in this election.” From her facebook page.