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Vandals damage campaign signs at Kona residence

April 24, 2014 - 12:05am

A David Ige supporter woke up Wednesday morning to find the campaign signs he had put up Tuesday evening had already been vandalized.

Bill Murtagh, who lives on Royal Poinciana Drive, just received the signs Tuesday.

“My wife was watering the grass this morning and we noticed that one banner was ripped,” Murtagh said.

At first, the couple assumed children walking to Kahakai Elementary School had ripped the sign — until they looked at their second sign, on the other side of their property. That, too, had a chunk sliced out of it.

“We knew it was intentional,” he said.

Ige is running for the Democratic nomination for governor.

The neighborhood has lots of signs all around, Murtagh added, from county ones to garage sale notices. Those haven’t been vandalized, he said.

“I thought it was strange they did this,” he said.

He would like to put up new banners, if the candidate’s committee is interested in doing so, he said.

A check with organizers for several other campaigns Wednesday indicated the vandalism wasn’t a trend in West Hawaii. Robert Kim, who is working for Ige’s campaign here, said he hadn’t heard of any other acts of vandalism to Ige’s signs, which arrived on the island only this week.

Shane Peters, communications manager for Neil Abercrombie’s gubernatorial re-election campaign, said he wasn’t aware of any vandalism to his candidate’s signs.

Vandalism “is not really typical,” Peters added. “Signs do ‘go missing.’ Vandalism is a pretty rare act.”

It’s also a bad political move, he said, because it can create sympathy for the candidate whose sign was damaged.

No signs for U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa have been vandalized in West Hawaii as of Wednesday, spokesmen for those campaigns said. Schatz and Hanabusa are running against each other for the Democratic nomination in the U.S. Senate race.

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