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Uncivil Sign Wars as Races Tighten?

It happens to some degree in almost every election cycle, but it seems that signs of increasing incivility are popping up in TE.

Driving all over TE for a "who's winning the battle of the signs" story it became clear that a new battle was raging this weekend over political lawn signs.

The challenge: having your lawn sign survive what appears to be a concerted effort (apparently by supporters of both major parties) to pull signs out of the ground if they support a candiate that the sign pullers do not.

This is not a science or research based story. It is simply based on the observations of this Patch editor who spent most of Saturday afternoon driving around almost all of Tredyffrin and Easttown assessing the remaining damage from Hurricane Sandy and looking for signs of trouble with election signs.

Two of the biggest hot spots for political sign disruption on Saturday afternoon appeared to be in Chesterbrook and in front of the Gateway Shopping Center.

At Gateway at least four signs in support of Mitt Romney had been pulled from the ground and left face down on the grass. One was strewn in the main road of the parking lot.

In the grass medians of Chesterbrook there was more evidence of someone pulling down or uprooting signs endorsing Romney/Ryan or other GOP candidates.

It appears that the anti-Romney forces do not have a monopoly on uprooting lawn signs. One property owner on West Valley Road across from the entrance to Avonwood went to the trouble of marking Obama signs as private property.

As to the overall saturation of political signs, no major intersection in TE seems to have been spared. Many are filled with signs for candidates from both major political parties.

In the neighborhoods the lawn signs are plentiful as well.

What have you observed in your neighborhood? 

Any signs of political signs being disturbed?  Which candidate/party has the edge in terms of sheer number of signs?

Tell us in the comments at the bottom of this article.

You can also upload photos of out-of- the ordinary signs that have popped up in TE where you live, drive or work.

amy ward November 05, 2012 at 01:03 PM
My Obama sign only lasted one hour on my lawn. Got another, tied it to my fence, Still there!
LJ Reed November 05, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Nationally this has been a huge problem this year, certainly worse than I've even heard of. With social media, a lot of the thieves and vandals stealing or defacing the signs and sometimes doing further damage to property are reporting their acts on Twitter and Tumblr and even Facebook. These self-reports sometime include pictures at times. Because of this type of 'bragging', people are getting caught, and even prosecuted.
TE Patch Reader November 05, 2012 at 01:47 PM
How about the defaced Romney sign on Sugartown Rd. I looks like some uncivil citizen decided to use a roller with white pain on it. It speaks volumes about the perpetrator. As the president would say, that is one voter who got their revenge.
Elizabeth November 05, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I can't wait for the election to be over so that ALL the signs disappear, the negative ads are gone fom TV and radio, the political phone calls and canvassers stop waking me up from my post surgical recovery. NONE of these invasions of privacy and/ or sanity are going to change my vote. Ditto for the non-stop mailings.
Andrew Snyder November 05, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Sandy?
RosiesDad November 05, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I wouldn't condone vandalism. That said, the defaced 4 x 6 foot sign is one of a pair on the fence. Totally obnoxious. Does the homeowner really believe that larger signs will convince anyone to support his candidate? I found a perfect solution to sign vandalism this year. No signs on my lawn at all. It worked perfectly.
Easttown Guy November 05, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Someone used a stencil and black paint to pain the devil on my Romney sign. A lot of work and thought went into that vandalism, only wish that the criminal would have used that time to read up on each candidate's platforms...
Jim November 05, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Lawn mowing.
Karen Bellamy November 05, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I'm concerned about the lack of civility and denying my right of free speech. If I can respect others opinions and leave their signs alone, WHY can't the other side be respectful enough to do the same? Numerous signs I put up in Chesterbrook have been totally removed. If this is illegal, why isn't the media making this more clear????
Lani Frank November 05, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Candidate signs are one thing, and it is a first amendment right we should all respect, however, there are other signs, posted in my neighbor's yard which are mean spirited, nasty, and selfish (IMHO) and this does not bode well for healing our nation after this election. Personally I would not want to have anything to do with a person/family that is so nasty and mean to post the kind of signs they have chosen to display. Clearly they want everyone to know how they feel, and now I know. They are not the kind of people I would want to be neighborly to.
RosiesDad November 05, 2012 at 06:05 PM
And as an example, I would cite the Obama + Casey = 16T debt sign that I see everywhere which ignores the trillions added to our debt by Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. There is a certain congitive dissonance there that is nothing short of remarkable.
RosiesDad November 05, 2012 at 06:06 PM
It seems to me that most of the nasty signs are posted by Republicans. And not only are they nasty, they are factually incorrect. Which is cause for concern because if people are willing to display nonsense on their own lawn that speaks to their own ignorance, it certainly does not, as you say, bode well for our nation.
Karen Bellamy November 05, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I personally haven't seen any nasty Republican signs. Either way, the negativity is not good and is not the way to promote good values to our children. Why can't everyone "play nicely"? We're all Americans. Vote and do what you think is best for OUR country.
TE Patch Reader November 05, 2012 at 07:21 PM
RosiesDad, I take that to mean in this case you do condone vandalism, since you find the sign obnoxious. Your open mindedness shows in this comment and the other in this section.
The Judinator November 05, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Hm. Perhaps I should remove that Obama magnet from the back of our car...
TE Patch Reader November 05, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Win or lose I'm sure it will be there 3 years from now, right next to the Kerry Edwards bumper sticker.
The Judinator November 05, 2012 at 08:13 PM
don't be silly! i didn't bother voting back then. that was a lose/lose set of candidates. haha
Easttown Guy November 05, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I really don't care about what signs people have in their yard or on their car, we are talking about senseless vandalism here. Civility is not lost when people post signs in their yard during a political campaign which express their opinion, it is lost when people resort to violence and vandalism to take away one's rights.
PennStateDad November 05, 2012 at 11:20 PM
As the Democratic Co-Committeeperson in Precinct 605 I've replaced every sign that I put out - at least once... That is why I always buy extra... Stealing signs seems to be what teenagers do...
Bob Byrne (Editor) November 06, 2012 at 01:12 AM
I happened to drive past shortly after 4 Monday afternoon to see a woman placing a homemade sign in support of Obama on the media of Chesterbrook Blvd a few hundred yards from Valley Forge Road. It was a polite sign but not constructed to hold up to the wind. It was essentially two pieces of poster board attached to a thin metal frame. It was still standing as I drove back past a short time later, but if that one particular sign is blown apart, it was probably the force of the wind. Not so for most of the other "downed" signs I've seen around TE... they were literally uprooted. Once the polls close and the election is over it would be a great service if anyone who put a lawn sign up on public property would be kind enough to go back and take it down. You'll save the public works crews time and the taxpayers some money.
cast4 November 06, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Both parties seem to be taking down signs on Chesterbrook blvd. I saw some older lady in the act in the middle of the day across from the shopping center. I'm not sure why Chesterbrook seems to be getting hit so hard with sign vandalism.
Romy November 06, 2012 at 03:07 AM
There are 2 ladies in Chesterbrook who feel it is their duty to take ALL campaign signs down of both parties. We have run across them over several election cycles. Guess they think the meridian on Chesterbrook Blvd. is part of the covenant of" no signs" in Green Hills and condos (which it is not). Adams drive meridian is an off limits area. I make an effort to put up any campaign signs that are down next to ones I am putting up. Don't want anyone to think I am defacing property. Let's adhere to the 1st amendment. Couldn't keep my Obama signs upanywhere =lost 12.
Hannah Goldestein November 06, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Sign vandalism is wrong. If you don't like the other party's sign, put up twice as many of your own party. I do find it interesting that so many of the signs this year -- notably the anti-Casey and the anti-Obama signs -- are paid for by the pro-Romney PACs that are paying students to put them up. They have more money than volunteers, which says a lot about their organization.
Joyce November 06, 2012 at 04:20 AM
My Romney/Ryan sign was stolen. Now I've got one that says, "Defend Freedom, Defeat Obama." If that disappears, I've got another one. And I can get more. This is stupid. Whichever ones are stolen, it just means more money to the campaign as we go buy replacements.
Pat Campbell November 06, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Wow -- one last political stab by both sides complaining about how their candidate (by name) sign was taken down. No sense leaving the impression that only one party does it. We have all lost sight of the fact that WE ARE CHOOSING LEADERS. We are not picking teams. We are not educating anyone about anything with the thousands of useless signs posted in medians. If you put one on your lawn, you are communicating YOUR endorsement. But even to the woman above who doesn't want to know her neighbors because of what their signs say -- puhleeazze.........these are political signs, not swastikas. The more passion, the more punch! The vandalism is misdirected competition -- "you took down mine, I took down yours" I assure you has been in play. I am ashamed of our community that we have worked so hard to polarize this election -- yet again. This isn't Phillies - Yankees. We all have to live with the result. It's an election -- not a fight. Why does hatred seem to fuel passion? When did we become so militant in our language? Who exactly wins when both sides are sure the other candidate will destroy us?
Pat Campbell November 06, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Again-- is it really so hard to just comment . Your first paragraph was fine, but your second paragraph camoflauges innuendo with opinion....enough already. Come by my house -- I'm registered independent and I got 84 mailers from both sides and only one candidate said anything about himself. The rest was entirely about what we should fear about the opposition. So find whatever you want interesting -- "more money than volunteers" says NOTHING but what you want us to think. Busloads of voters says something about organizations and not voters.
RosiesDad November 06, 2012 at 10:54 AM
@TE Patch Reader: I think it is possible to find something obnoxious and respect its right to be there. Thus, I might think the homeowner is an idiot but respect his right to be an idiot. I might think that he is disrespectful to his neighbors by turning the front of his house into an eyesore but that is his right. My point is that large lawn signs do not convince passers by to support political candidates more than small signs do; all it is is an endorsement by the person who put the sign there. And a BIG SIGN (as if shouting in all LARGE CAPS) has no more meaning than a one foot sign that says the same thing. Except the BIG SIGN is an eyesore and obnoxious. In my opinion. But the homeowner has the right to create an obnoxious eyesore and to have it left undisturbed just as he has the right to have his neighbors resent him for turning their neighborhood into an ugly billboard. (And for all I know, his neighbors might all love the sign in which case, more power to all of them.) Get it?
JoAnne Reimel Mc Monigle November 06, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Sign stealing is not just for Political signs......... who keeps stealing our Tarleton School Open House signs?
Publius 2.0 November 07, 2012 at 04:17 AM
GOP Losers!

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