Since someone was too lazy...............
Political Yard Sign Wars Rage as Election Nears
2 hours, 52 minutes ago U.S. National - Reuters
By Carey Gillam
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - Two weeks before a tight presidential election, tension among bitterly divided voters is translating into a barrage of attacks on political targets that can't talk back -- yard signs.
Campaign signs depicting support for either President Bush (news - web sites) or Democratic challenger John Kerry (news - web sites) are being burned, chopped down, spray-painted and commonly, stolen away in the dark of night. There were reports even of a hatchet left in one and a swastika burned into a lawn sporting a Bush sign.
Though sign shenanigans are common in election years, some Republican leaders are calling this year's activity unprecedented. Democratic leaders say attacks are so rampant that supporters should take their yard signs inside at night to protect them.
"A lot of folks are doing sign stake-outs right now," said Democratic National Committee (news - web sites) spokesman Tony Welch.
Bush and Kerry are locked in a tight battle and have waged an increasingly vitriolic campaign in advance of the Nov. 2 election. The race has again shown a U.S. electorate narrowly divided.
Lawn signs in swing states such as Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have come under attack, and emotions appear to be running high even in traditionally tame states like Kansas.
"I was outraged," said Lis Ross of Fairway, Kansas, whose "Kansans for Kerry" sign disappeared last week. "What made it worse was that they replaced it with a Bush-Cheney sign. I ran out there and ripped it into little pieces."
Perpetrators are rarely caught and penalties vary widely if they are ever enforced.
In Missouri, the theft of signs supporting Kerry and his running mate, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (news - web sites), is so pervasive that the Cole County Democratic Party in the state capital of Jefferson City this week issued a $1,000 reward to help catch the perpetrators.
"This is the worst year ever," said county party Chairman Thomas Minihan, who reported that even over-sized signs posted on area highways had been swiped. "It's costing us twice as much as normal."
In Michigan, a Bush supporter caught men in the act of chopping down his Bush-Cheney sign. The vandals ran away but left the hatchet in the sign.
In Ohio, two men were reportedly caught on videotape urinating on a Bush-Cheney sign, and in Madison, Wisconsin, someone burned a swastika into a lawn with a Bush sign.
Some people are working overtime to protect their signs. Mark Shemet of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, has had to replace two stolen Kerry signs in the last week alone. Pennsylvania Democrats have threatened to spread itching powder on signs to keep the opposition at bay, and an Illinois family last week covered their yard sign with petroleum jelly to repel thieves.
The antics have also reached beyond Republicans and Democrats. Someone in Kansas City made off with John Crowe's yard sign for Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarick last weekend, though the neighbors' Bush-Cheney signs were untouched, he said.
The actions have left both sides angry and frustrated.
"We would hope that we could keep the political discourse above the level of yard sign thievery and defacement," said Michigan GOP spokesman Chris Paolino.
But some political scientists think the activity may be a good thing.
"People really care about this election and this is one way to show it," said Richard Valelly, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. "It's American politics." (Additional Reporting by Tom Brown in Detroit and Greg Frost in Boston)
[AND A STORY FROM ANOTHER SOURCE CONFIRMS THE MADNESS GOING ON]
Political Yard Sign Wars Wage as Election Nears
Oct 20, 10:27 AM (ET)
By Carey Gillam
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - Two weeks before a tight U.S. presidential election.........
Sure sounds funny, but this is yet another sign of what our USA is degenerating into - third fucking world street politic wars. Very sad.
Mark my words: this coming November will be one of the most eventful periods in our country's history.
The way it's going, I see courts, litigation, congressional walkouts/protests, refusals to concede election victories at all levels, blatant & unprecedented election fraud(from Dem's), talk of scrapping our electoral system altogether, market upheavals, terror acts(domestic and otherwise), street protests, rioting/burning/looting in major cities, possible deaths. We're going to need many more FBI guys to cover this one.
Then again I could be crazy.
(I'm still hoping for the best and in no way do I wish for nor condone any of this activity).
Good luck and God speed America.