Judi Murakami has been forced to add an entry into her campaign expenses she did not anticipate: Vandalism.
The Courtenay council candidate has had several campaign signs destroyed by vandals in the past week, and she’s at a loss to determine why she has been targeted.
“I just don’t know,” she said. “It’s a mystery to me.”
At least six of Murakami’s campaign signs have been vandalized, all in the identical manner, with the words “Elect Jesus as we need a miracle” scrawled onto the backside. The signs have then been placed among others in popular gathering areas, backside toward the flow of traffic.
One possibility for Murakami’s signs being the ones used is opportunity; Murakami’s signs are one-sided, with a plain white backing. That said, she points out there are other one-sided signs out there, and hers appear to be the only ones vandalized. She said she has discovered six signs with the message painted on the back.
The result has cost Murakami twofold; added expenses, and subtracted exposure. She has had to remove all the damaged signs.
“If you wish to get a message out that badly, there are other ways of doing it,” she said. “You could hold up your own sign at a street corner. Go pick a piece of cardboard that didn’t cost anyone any money. [Running an election campaign] is expensive enough as it is…. between signs, and cards, etcetera. I don’t need this added expense. It’s a criminal offence, and I don’t know why I am being targeted.”
She said in addition to the damaged signs, she has come across numerous other signs of hers that have been tampered with.
“I drove past some areas and noticed my sign is missing from Woodcote Park (Willemar/17th), but other candidates’ signs are there. I had also put some by the Rotary Trail but they were thrown into the bushes.
“Signs have also been moved (Fitzgerald to Bill Moore Park). When I put it back, it was moved again. Signs have also been taken apart (bus stop by Simms Park and Fitzgerald). Signs have also been turned around so the white part faces traffic.”
Comox Valley RCMP confirm it is an act of vandalism, and say the fines for such crimes are at the discretion of the court.
To report any incidents of vandalism, call the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321.