“Case Sign Damage 1 Centered”
A number of “Ed Case for Senate” campaign signs have been destroyed in Hilo and around the island of Hawaii. Cut with a large “V” from the middle, the signs and banners are damaged and unreadable, but left standing. They are being vandalized in businesses as well as at the homes of his supporters.
On the island of Molokai, where around 6,000 people reside, residents report that several dozen signs have been removed and replaced with the signs of his primary opponent, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.
In a press conference today, Case says the vandalism is disappointing, and will likely cost his campaign thousands of dollars. According to local printers, each sign or banner can cost between $25 to several hundred dollars, depending on the size and color and whether it has a picture of the candidate.
In response to a reporter’s question about who may be slashing, marking and stealing his signs, Case said he doesn’t know, jokingly adding that it is “obviously someone who does not like me.” He refused to place blame on Akaka’s campaign, saying he has no knowledge of anything like that.
“Case Sign Damage 2 Centered”
One resident of Hilo says he is sickened by what he sees.
Jet Heng, a veteran from Hilo, says “I was disappointed when I saw that another two Ed Case yard signs were destroyed. The Case supporters are my neighbors who live on Kekuanaoa St. in Hilo.”
He adds that he can’t believe that “some people won’t let their neighbors support the candidate of their choice.”
“Enough is enough. This ruthless conduct has caused many neighborhood disturbances and political unrest,” Heng says.
“Case Sign Damage 3 Centered”
Heng says he hopes the island’s mayor, Harry Kim, will do something about the rampant problem.
“I encourage all voters to demand Mayor Harry Kim to handle this crisis ASAP.”
On the island of Molokai, one resident notes that wherever a Case sign once stood, it has been taken down and replaced with an Akaka sign.
Stealing or vandalizing campaign signs is illegal in Hawaii. In 2004, an Oahu resident, Michael Golojuch Jr. was arrested and subsequently convicted of stealing the campaign signs of his mother’s opponent, state Rep. Mark Moses. Moses took pictures of the crime and prosecutors opted to prosecute.
Case says while he does not know who is destroying his property, should they be caught, his campaign will press charges through the local police department.
”’Reach Malia Zimmerman, editor and president of Hawaii Reporter, via email at”’ mailto:Malia@hawaiireporter.com