Vandals hit Waimanalo campaign signs
By Walter Wright
Advertiser Staff Writer
State Rep. Joe Gomes filed a complaint with police yesterday that two of his re-election campaign signs in Waimanalo had been defaced with graffiti making derogatory references to homosexuals.
Gomes, R-51st (Lanikai, Waimanalo), said aides told him another sign, a banner on Kailua Road, had been slashed.
The legislator said other candidates' political signs near his were not touched.
It was the third major case of vandalism reported this year involving campaign signs.
Charles Aono, a Democrat campaigning for the seat in state House District 36, (Pearl City, Waipahu), reported last month that 36 of his 230 campaign signs have been stolen since he began campaigning in May.
State Sen. Cal Kawamoto, D-19th (Waipahu, Pearl City), said last month seven re-election signs posted in front yards of supporters were stolen.
Other candidates in the Pearl City area have reported their yard signs taken as well, as have some churches and other groups.
Kawamoto, who didn't see a political motivation in his case, is offering a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of whomever is responsible.
Gomes said he didn't have money to offer a reward, but would ask the Campaign Spending Commission if he could use $500 in campaign money for a reward.
"This isn't just an attack on me and my supporters, this is an attack on the democratic process," Gomes said.
Reach Walter Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8054.