Lakeville Journal: Please, leave campaign signs alone

First appeared in the Lakeville Journal on 09/05/2018 here.

Letter to the Editor:

It’s campaign season, and my opponent and I have planted a whole crop of lawn signs, each expressing support for one of us in the upcoming election for state representative in the 64th District. Each sign was paid for by a combination of small donations from neighbors and public financing under Connecticut’s Clean Election Law. Each was planted by a candidate or volunteer who cares enough about the future of their home town that they chose to spend their day lugging them around. Each was placed on the property of a supporter who wanted to share their political viewpoint.  

So it’s especially sad when people destroy them. Within hours of putting signs out, a vehicle drove on a lawn in Salisbury in an attempt to destroy two of them. Later, at a rally on the White Hart Green on Saturday, a driver aggressively circled the participants, “rolling coal” to blow a cloud of toxic smoke over people holding campaign signs. 

One of my opponent’s signs was also vandalized this week.

These are destructive and intimidating acts: Are the actors so afraid of a political message that disagrees with theirs that they need to try to silence it with violence or the threat of violence? 

We’re better than that. We have a long tradition of civil discourse and respect for one another, for democracy and for opinions that might differ from our own. Let’s uphold that by listening to those we disagree with, not trying to intimidate or silence them.  

And a special thanks to Charlie Kelley, who picked up and repaired those signs.

Maria Horn