Call to stop political sign theft

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

On Saturday, September 13, almost every yard sign for Barack Obama was stolen from the yards of Barranca Mesa residents’ private property.

I reported our theft to the police and urged other homeowners to do the same. There is a shortage of signs right now, so not everyone was able to replace theirs before the signs on Los Pueblos were stolen a second time on Friday, September 19. Again, we reported the theft to the police. No signs supporting McCain were stolen from Barranca Mesa on these same nights.

I find it very discouraging to go to the trouble of getting and distributing signs and placing them in our yards only to have them stolen in the dark of night. According to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, supporters of Barack Obama have the same rights to free speech and private property that supports of other candidates have.

Before you think this was just a “childish prank,” consider the fact that this was a systematic theft over a wide area and it occurred more than once. I doubt very much that this was the work of one or two of our county’s youth. As much as I hate to think about it, this could even be a hate crime perpetrated by a local racist.

In 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Party of Los Alamos County had to replace several of our presidential candidate signs in the county-approved areas in Los Alamos and White Rock. We plan to have our Obama signs out soon in those areas. I am energized by the enthusiasm I have seen in this town for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, but I am also very disappointed by the actions of those who want to suppress support for the Obama-Biden ticket.

If you have any knowledge of who might be involved in these crimes, I urge you to do the right thing and report it to the police. We would like our signs back and would encourage all Los Alamos residents to engage in the political process in a civilized way.

Sincerely yours,

Kyle Wheeler