Republican State Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, repairs a sign showing the Routt County Republicans' support for candidates John McCain and Sarah Palin in front of an office building on U.S. Highway 40 in Steamboat Springs. The sign has been the target of repeated vandalism. Taylor, and and Vance Halvorson, chairman of the Routt County Republican Central Committee, have replaced or repaired the sign several times in the past couple of weeks.

Photo by John F. Russell

Republican State Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, repairs a sign showing the Routt County Republicans' support for candidates John McCain and Sarah Palin in front of an office building on U.S. Highway 40 in Steamboat Springs. The sign has been the target of repeated vandalism. Taylor, and and Vance Halvorson, chairman of the Routt County Republican Central Committee, have replaced or repaired the sign several times in the past couple of weeks.

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From a motion sensor camera to a $1,000 reward, local political supporters are going to great lengths to catch those who are vandalizing and stealing candidate signs in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 presidential election.

Monday morning, outgoing state Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, and Routt County Republican Central Committee Chairman Vance Halvorson, worked - for the second time - to replace a 4-foot-by-8-foot McCain-Palin sign outside Halvorson's office along U.S. Highway 40.

After a sign was stolen a few weeks ago, the two went to great lengths to prevent another theft. The four steel posts holding the sign were encased in concrete; they affixed the sign to the posts with thick steel bolts; and they also attached strips of steel to the top and bottom of the sign to prevent it from being removed with a chainsaw. Halvorson set up a light to illuminate the sign in the dark, and police officers agreed to do extra patrols in the area.

On Monday, Halvorson discovered someone had used spray paint to write the word "suck" across the sign in giant black letters.

"I guess they felt last night it would just be easier to deface it as they did," Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said. "It's pretty low when somebody goes out of their way to do that."

Halvorson and Taylor's disappointment was coupled with outright anger.

"This is kind of ridiculous," Taylor said. "It's a sad state of affairs when we're reduced to a state where people hate so much."

The sign cost $40, Taylor had to drive to Eagle to pick it up, and the two estimate they spent $150 to $200 on the materials to set it up.

"We're talking about something that's gone too far," Halvorson said. "It's more than just a sign; it's our right of free speech."

Dave Thiemann, who works in an office adjacent to Halvorson's and described himself as an independent voter, also was upset.

"It's ugly," Thiemann said. "You can vote for anybody you want, but you better uphold and preserve our right of free speech. That's one of our greatest rights is the right to disagree with each other. That right comes with responsibility; you allow the other person to express themselves freely and openly."

Halvorson said a $1,000 reward is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest or conviction of the person or people who either stole or defaced the sign.

Rae said political signs are commonly tampered with in big election years. People caught can be charged with a number of misdemeanor crimes including criminal mischief, theft, defacing property and trespassing. No one has been caught stealing or vandalizing political signs in the city or Routt County this year.

According to the Greeley Tribune, a Greeley man was arrested last week on suspicion of stealing dozens of election signs.

Ken Klinger, an investigator with the Routt County Sheriff's Office, said he thinks theft and vandalism of political signs this fall is significantly higher than it was in previous years, and that signs for Republican candidate Sen. John McCain are being disproportionately targeted in comparison to those in support of Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

"I've not received a complaint from anybody about an Obama sign being torn down," Klinger said.

Klinger said most of the county's complaints have come from Routt County Road 36 near Taylor's home and that the Sheriff's Office has put extra patrols on the road. He said he knows of one McCain supporter who has placed a motion sensor camera on his sign to help identify anyone who messes with it.

Topher Simon, deputy field organizer at the Obama campaign office in Steamboat, said he was disappointed to see the defacement of the McCain-Palin sign at Halvorson's office.

"I was disappointed with that because it's not very constructive," Simon said.

Simon said local Democrats also are reporting stolen or damaged signs and that students at Steamboat Springs High School have had their bumper stickers defaced "in very offensive ways."

Torey Wodnik, who volunteered for the Obama office waiving signs at the corner of Third Street and Lincoln Avenue on Monday, said her mom and a neighbor have both had signs stolen as well.

Comments

Stan Zuber 5 years, 5 months ago

Yes, it is sad that some folks have dropped down to that level of expression and yes it is wrong. As far as the hate, just look at what some of the campaign's are saying in their ad's and rallies. Listen to what the crowds are yelling back. I believe some of our politicans are creating the hate you see. "You reap what you sow"

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

Bummer. Its awful behavior. My Obama yard sign was slashed last week, and my disgust was the same, if cheaper to remedy. I don't blame these Rep.s for being mad.

CNN was just showing partisans picketing A VOTING CENTER in North Carolina. Incredible.

Unfortunately, Jack Taylor has to also look in his party's mirror when considering this state of affairs. Palin's recent comments on "pro-American parts of the country" and "real Virginia" are seeds of intolerance and incivility. It is absolutely destructive, and absolutely the wrong premise for any campaign to suggest those who disagree are less American, or lesser statesmen.

Palin doesn't spray paint signs she disagrees with, she spray paints Americans she disagrees with.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

"Palin doesn't spray paint signs she disagrees with, she spray paints Americans she disagrees with."

Of couse, this really adds to the quality of the discourse.

The 'Cuda has certainly taken more than her fair share of abuse from the left wing zealots and media. Her good sportsmanship on SNL speaks volumes about the kind of woman she is. I guess alleging incest is just a great joke and a fair political gambit, eh?

American politics, on both sides, has devolved to who can sway the largest bunch of uninformed idiots with the most shallow rhetoric imaginable. The candidates have turned themselves over to be groomed, handled and packaged by idealogues who are of questionable character.

The entire American political establishment distilled to its essence could not fill one of Washington's shoes.

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

I think the more important issue is the Obama campaign paying ACORN $832,000 dollars of campaign money much of which is coming from illegal foreign sources that Obama fails to provide source info on as required by law. ACORN is registered as a bipartisan organization that is tax exempt and receives OUR tax dollars. The FBI is currently investigating this group and it is now reported that the Project Vote organization, which OBAMA has ties to, is a shell for ACORN. We now see news videos of ACORN workers admitting they are telling all new voters to vote for OBAMA and at the ACORN convention recently Maxine Waters(D) spoke about getting OBAMA elected with the help of ACORN.

I don't know about you, but for me regardless of who I would vote for OBAMA or McCain, I want a fair free election and this attempt at stealing the election is damaging to this Country. Regardless of whom is elected these crimes will be followed up on and the FBI will finish their investigation. Let the chips fall where they may.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM, One of our parties has made a tactical habit of adding social stigmas to its opponents' positions. Any opponent, along with his position, is tainted by simply standing up. That's wrong, and is extremely divisive.

Weaving "patriotism" or "real Americans" into an argument is a where the discourse hit the gutter.

Seeski, Its my understanding that ACORN actually called for the investigations into the regstrations. I regret wrongdoing, but ACORN has recieved bipartisan support, and the issue appears to be with subcontractors acting out of line rather than ACORN itself.

The statements you quote rhyme with the voting machine manufacturer CEO? saying in 2004 that they would deliver Ohio to Bush. All unfortunate and wrong.

Our election system is nearly broken and definitely leaking. Scares me too. We all want a fair election.

These registrations, if used to vote would lead to felony charges. In the past 4 years the nation has only had 120 or so voter fraud cases and only 80 convictions. Yet there are thousand of lawyers poised again. ACORN is one of many problems in this year's election.

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

A news story reported today that a lawyer for ACORN found internal problems. You can go with the ACORN spin and excuse it away by saying oh, it is the subcontractors blah blah blah. Sorry though the cat is out of the bag on this one and it ain't gettin back in.

<p>nytimes.com - The June 18 report, written by Elizabeth Kingsley, a Washington lawyer, spells out her concerns about potentially improper use of charitable dollars for political purposes; money transfers among the affiliates; and potential conflicts created by employees working for multiple affiliates, among other things.

As far as your little story of remembrance from the 2000 election, I also voted for Gore and I never bought into that nonsense that some IT gurus were handing the election to Bush. I was also upset about the Florida ballot issues but after 2 recounts I moved on with it. My Parents live in Boca and we are Jewish and would NEVER vote for Buchanan. I choose to live in the now and don't hold these silly ideas that Gore really won. Quite frankly, after 9/11 I am glad Gore lost. We would still have Saddam Hussein sending us his surprises like 9/11 and the 1993 WTC bombing.

Yes I said it and I am prepared to back it up if need be.

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

Oh, and the Secretary of state from Ohio, Jennifer Brunner, is not cooperating with the election board by holding on to the 200k suspected fraudulent ballots. I love the homeless shelter that is being used for Obama voters from out of State to come and register using that address and then vote. So we know we already have voter fraud occurring there. It is going to be an ugly day on November 5th.

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knee_dropper 5 years, 5 months ago

You said it seeu, why don't you back it up. HOW is Saddam linked to 9/11 or the 1993 WTC bombings?

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

OK knee, Clinton's Iraq adviser during his 1992 campaign who gave her testimony before the 9/11 commission. I read both of her books and the details and evidence was overwhelming. I am also going to add a clip from c-span with her from 2003. http://www.lauriemylroie.com/ http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/hearing3/witness_mylroie.htm http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library/includes/templates/library/flash_popup.php?pID=179704-4&clipStart=&clipStop=

Saddam Hussein's connections to the Oklahoma City Bombing. http://www.jaynadavis.com/

This link has a full expose and is worth scrolling down and reading through. http://www.husseinandterror.com/

I really don't understand why so many Americans defend Saddam Hussein's so called innocence of terror against the US or his ties to Al Quaida. You also have to ask your self why did Sandy Berger steal and destroy documents pertaining to 9/11 during the 9/11 commission hearings. He was covering up evidence that would have shown that Clinton new the terrorism was State sponsored by Iraq and he tried to handle Saddam politically. Had Clinton admitted to these facts in 1993 we would have had to go back to war in Iraq and kill or capture Saddam. He did not have the stomach for it and it cost the US thousands of innocent lives through all the terrorism and the eventual Afghanistan and current Iraq war.

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

Here is a 1994 Charlie Rose interview. So the truth has nothing to do with Bush as this is 7 years earlier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4EoYoSl0ik

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knee_dropper 5 years, 5 months ago

Wow seeu, I can't believe that the government's been hiding that whole conspiracy from us all those years! Man, just image if this got it, it would vindicate the Bush administration, justify the Iraq war and tar the Clinton administration. Must be some powerful liberal politics at work there... until Laurie Myroie name is googled. What you fail to mention is that she was a huge fan of Saddam and an Iraqi apologist before he had invaded Kuwait. Let me know when you've got at least one credible source to back up your claims.

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

Yea I believe you for sure that is why Clinton had her as his adviser on Iraq because she is an apologist. Now it is your turn to post your sources. I did. You can lead a horse to water........

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

Please don't waste my time with the garbage from Pringle.

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knee_dropper 5 years, 5 months ago

Here you go seeu, "Mylroie continued to advocate engaging Saddam, even after the Iraqi dictator slaughtered tens of thousands of Kurds in what became known as the Anfal campaign of 1987 and 1988. That horrific attack caused the Reagan Administration to formally condemn Iraq for its use of chemical weapons in September 1988. In May 1989, Mylroie wrote in The Jerusalem Post that Israel and the United States should not 'poke' Iraq 'with a stick' and should refrain from tossing 'idle threats and harsh words' at Baghdad. She suggested Iraq might become a benign, if not positive, presence in the region."
P. 69 of Hubris, Isikoff & Corn, 2006.

This is a link to an article by Peter Bergen about Mylroie.

www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0312.bergen

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

Yea, I thought so. You are bringing the lefty attack the messenger stuff. You are not addressing the evidence she presented at the 9/11 commission or that she provided in her writings. I will also take a leap of faith and say you have read none of the information she provides in her testimony. I read all the puke you are presenting here. How about attacking this messenger regarding the Oklahoma City bombing?

http://jaynadavis.com/

My first time here in the boat was December 1996 and I got into a conversation with a man from Oklahoma City who told me that there was a Middle Eastern connection to it and at that time I thought the guy was a right wing nut. I saw this investigative journalist on TV and bought her book and you can send out all the junk you wish but I am convinced that Saddam Hussein sent the death to Oklahoma City. Go ahead take up his defense on this one.

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

windle, The new ideas aren't new. They are the same old tax and spend Liberal themes but now we have a new name for welfare, spread the wealth around.

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knee_dropper 5 years, 5 months ago

Seeu, you wanted where I got my info from and you got it. "Lefty attack the messenger stuff," pretty funny. I find your two sources to be pretty suspect, and yes, I did read most of the material you posted. If it seemed like I attacked the messenger, it's because she obviously had it out for Saddam and I was wondering why. It seemed really interesting that she went from a devout supporter even after he gassed the Kurds to unrelentingly calling for his head. Not even the Bush administration tries to link Saddam with 9/11 anymore, not to say that they really tried, and what did they get?

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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

knee, Please let me know where I can find the info on Mylroie's admiration for Hussein and where she was condoning of his gassing the Kurd's. If you truly read Mylroie's writings you will find where she states several times that Bush has been mum on the connections. But if you read her book you will see documented proof of the links Saddam has had with terrorism. What about the evidence from the Jayna Davis investigation of Oklahoma City? Is she also a closet Saddam Hussein supporter as you suggested about Mylroie? How do you explain away the connections with Ramsey Yousef and Kahlid Sheik Muhammad that are well known in the first WTC attack in 1993 and the well known contact that Terry Nichol's had with Yousef in the Phillipines early in 1996 just before the Oklahoma City bombing and the arrest of Kahlid for the 9/11 attack of 2001? The same operatives were handling the operations all along and they have been linked through several different sources to Iraq. Bush has political reasons for his silence one of which is Intel protection but I believe the main one is to keep the trust among Presidents to not whistle blow on each others political mistakes. And Clinton made a big one after the 1993 attack on the WTC. That is the only explanation for Sandy Burgler to have stolen and destroyed classified archives that pertained to the 9/11 commission hearings. He plead guilty. Rewriting history is a dangerous tact just for the sake of ones legacy. So it will be Bush who takes the blame in the end but I don't care as much about that as I do that the true killer is gone for good and for that I am grateful to Bush.

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

Seeuski-

You call on Obama's relation with ACORN, which is completely true, not all of us are perfect. However, I see McCain funding billions of dollars on a war we have "already won" and into a healthcare plan that will tax it for the first time.

Not only this, I see McCain following in Bush's footsteps and we all know where that has lead us.

I still and go encourage all who haven't yet to GO VOTE!!!!!!

                      -Peace
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seeuski 5 years, 5 months ago

Yes vote for change. Obama/Carter

Just one thing about your post. The economy until this Summer was rolling. The housing crisis caused the domino effect that has ruined the Economy worldwide. The culprits are those that relaxed lending guidelines and gave money to unqualified borrowers and investors who used the system to get rich. The difference between you and I is who we will blame. I say why would anyone want to reward those that are most culpable by giving them a free ride and a majority in the House, Senate and the White House. We are all going to suffer if it happens.

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