FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2020
CONTACT: Jason Shepherd
Cobb GOP Chair Calls on Democratic Counterpart to Denounce Vandalism; Theft of Signs
Democrats Entering Private Property at Night to Destroy Signs for Trump; Other GOP Candidates
(MARIETTA, GA) – Cobb County Republican Party Chairman Jason Shepherd calls on Cobb Democratic Party Chair Jacquelyn Bettadapur to denounce the destruction, vandalism, and theft of signs on private property and to actively discourage Cobb Democrats from engaging in vandalism and theft of signs, especially Donald Trump signs.
“The issue isn’t limited to yard signs, which have been disappearing out of people’s yards at an alarming rate,” said Cobb GOP Chairman Jason Shepherd. “We are having to replace or repair our large Trump signs daily as Democrats are entering private property to slash, vandalize, and even steal the signs, most of which are 8x4 feet!”
The vandalism and theft started almost immediately as the Cobb GOP started distributing Trump/Pence signs back in July. As people started returning to Cobb County Republican Headquarters asking for replacement signs, the Cobb GOP decided to print signs notifying would-be vandals and thieves, “You May Steal Our Signs, But You Cannot Steal Our Vote!”
When the larger Trump/Pence signs arrived, the problem got even worse, starting with the very first 8x4 Trump/Pence sign being cut in half just hours after it was put up on the property owned by an Asian-American Trump supporter in Mableton. Within the last couple of days, Trump signs have also been either defaced, destroyed, or stolen on private property across Cobb, including at the home of Mrs. Gwen Tritt, the mother of County Music Star Travis Tritt, who is in her 90's. Vandals have even brought ladders onto private property in order to deface and destroy signs that were placed higher to be out of reach.
“If you needed any other evidence that putting our county in the hands of Democrats will bring the same kind of lawlessness we have seen in other Democratic run cities this past spring and summer, you only have too look at the utter disregard they have for both freedom of speech and private property, going so far as to frighten and silence a 90 year old woman” said Shepherd. “The Cobb Democratic Party, if it truly believes in law and order and free speech, will do everything it can to put an end to it.”
However, many homeowners are putting their signs in places where security cameras can pick up the thieves and are ready to prosecute if they can be identified.
“These Democrat ‘sign ninjas’ operate in the dark of night, but we are getting eyes on them and are ready to prosecute when they are caught,” added Shepherd. “This happens in every election, but I have never in more than 26 years of campaigning seen it to this level and extent.”
In addition to silencing the free speech of their fellow citizens, vandalizing and destroying candidate signs can carry with them a number of criminal penalties, including charges related to entering private property in order to vandalize, destroy, or steal a sign. These can include charges like theft, destruction of private property, and criminal trespass, each of which can carry jail time, fines, and probation.
However, in addition to the criminality of the action, Shepherd looks at it as a desperation by Cobb County Democrats.
“Winners don’t care what the other side says. Winners just win,” said Shepherd. “By working this hard in the dark of night trying to silence people shows the Democrats’ message is not a winning message and ours is winning BIGLY.”