220 Jewett Blvd, PO Box 218, White Salmon, WA 98672 | 509.493.2112
Vandals destroy signs, incident reported to KCSO
On private property
SIGNS OF THE TIMES -- Jim Mininick shows some of the defaced signs that he helped erect outside the Centerville Highway right-of-way. The vandalism was reported to the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office.
October 02, 2012
By SVERRE BAKKEDemocrats in the Lyle and White Salmon areas are wondering aloud why anyone would want to vandalize or steal their campaign signs.
Last weekend, two plywood billboards holding Democratic campaign yards signs -- which had been placed on private property on a corner outside the Centerville Highway right-of-way -- were taken down. Two signs, both for President Obama, were sprayed with red paint.
Jim Minick of Lyle, who's part of a group that erected the signs, said Tuesday, "It looked like a direct attack on Obama particulary and on our other candidates generally. Whoever did this just dismantled the whole thing, probably hoping we'd give up and forget about it."
Minick learned about the vandalism Sunday when a friend called him to say, "I'm surprised you haven't got the signs back up." Minick reported the incident to the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office Sunday and met with a deputy on Monday at the scene to give a statement.
Also Tuesday, a White Salmon resident who lives near the intersection of Estes and Green reported she had had campaign signs stolen from her yard.
According to state law, it is illegal for anyone to remove or deface lawfully placed political advertising, including yard signs and billboards. Stealing signs worth more than $250 collectively is a class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine upon conviction. Upending or stealing a sign is a third-degree misdemeanor that carries penalties of 90 days in jail and $1,000 fine for each count.
When Minick saw what had happened to his group's signs, he said, "At first I was angry, then just kind of disappointed people would try to abridge my free speech rights. Everybody has the right to their opinion and to support the candidates of their choice, and then it's on to voting. Something like this is just un-American, in my mind."
Two weeks ago, someone painted over Obama signs Minick had placed on his own property. He said it was unsettling knowing that someone had trespassed onto his property to deface the signs. But he took in stride.
"We left them up for a couple of weeks after as kind of a statement to those who did it and those who might be thinking it," Minick said. "Then this happened, so we just replaced them all Monday. I hope that's the last of it."