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Who stole my campaign sign? Snoqualmie Valley's election season marked by vanishing signs
It’s a spooky time of year for election signs. The ubiquitous “vote for” placards posted throughout the Valley have been mysteriously disappearing in places, never to be seen again.
So what dark forces snatched up most of Marci Busby’s signs from Fall City two weeks ago, or picked off her opponent David Spring’s signs within the hour they were posted in a North Bend neighborhood? We’ll probably never know, because neither Snoqualmie nor North Bend police have received many reports on the disappearances—a typical sign costs under $5, so it’s hard to think of as a theft —and if they did, they wouldn’t have much to investigate.
“The police said that, since there was no eyewitness, that nothing could be done,” Spring wrote in an e-mail to the Record, referring to a report he filed, not so much for his missing sign, but to report collateral damage to a nearby street sign.
Spring said he’d placed his campaign sign near a county road sign by Twin Falls Middle School, and a driver, apparently intent on removing his sign, knocked them both over.
“Someone drove their car right at the street sign—knocking over the street sign,” Spring wrote. “They then took my sign and drove over it several times….”
Most of the time, the sign-nappers seem to be content with swiping the goods, even out of private yards, Busby reported.
“We never imagined someone would take approximately 100 signs in one night. Signs were also taken from people’s yards on their private property,” she wrote in an e-mail update. A few of the perpetrators, though, are more destructive. Besides tire tracks, Spring has found signs with broken stakes, cut-off stakes, and torn to pieces, in total about 40 of the 190 he has posted.
Heather Munden, who recently took down her signs in Snoqualmie, reported losing 27 of the 83 she had originally posted. She’s also experienced sign tampering, but hesitates to call it vandalism.
“One creative individual, who I don’t know and never met, wanted to join in on the fun,” she wrote in an e-mail to the Record. Maybe it was Tim Barnes, maybe someone playing a prank on him, but shortly after Munden had added “endorsed by” cards to her signs, Tim Barnes made an addition, too.
“He printed his own endorsement sign and placed it over an existing (one),” Munden wrote, “so drivers on the Parkway would read ‘Endorsed by TIM BARNES 29 Handicap.’”
City law in North Bend and Snoqualmie allows signs in public right of way, while county law does not; all signs must be removed by 10 days after the election. Tampering with election signs is a misdemeanor offense.