Turlay, Leavitt ask for end to sign wars

(This post ran in Sunday’s newspaper.)

As sure as political signs go up every election season, some signs get torn down.

Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt and his challenger, city Councilor Bill Turlay, would like it to please stop.

Look, they even posed for this playful photo to show they don’t hate each other. They want the matter settled at the ballot box.



As previously reported, the metal frames on some of Turlay’s signs have been bent, while Leavitt’s signs have been torn down or spray-painted with “liar,” which fits the nickname (“Tim ‘The Liar’ Leavitt”) given to him by his critics.

There’s no way of knowing who damaged any of the signs unless someone confesses, or someone gets caught in the act.

Both candidates said Sept. 27 they want the destruction of signs to stop.

Money goes into making those signs, and energy goes into putting them up, Turlay said.

“Destroying someone else’s property is against my core values,” Turlay said.

(I should note that, regardless of anyone’s values, removing or defacing a political advertisement is a misdemeanor.)

Leavitt said sign vandalism comes with the territory of running for political office, but he asks people to respect the signs as part of the democratic process.

“Let’s get through this election and try to keep everything above board,” Leavitt said. “I think our community deserves a mayoral race that is respectful.”

Before we leave the topic of signs, I was emailed a picture of a Turlay supporter’s truck parked outside of Vancouver City Hall. The truck belongs to Dick Sohn, who has donated $900 to Turlay’s campaign, according to the state public disclosure commission. A large black sign with yellow letters reads, “Leavitt lied/Leavitt Lies/He’ll Lie Again/One Term Tim.”

Turlay, when asked about the sign on Sohn’s truck, said, “I’m not going to go there.”

He said telling people not to destroy signs is one thing, but he’s not going to infringe upon anyone’s freedom of speech.

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at stephanie.rice@columbian.com or 360-735-4508.

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