Swastikas Drawn on Political Sign
Drive anywhere in Erie County, and you'll likely see political signs.
But one thing you don't often see is swastikas, the Nazi symbols that now adorn a Mastriano for Governor sign on Route 97.
"I built that sign," said Republican Brian Shank. "If you want to be mad at me, fine. Be mad at me. But don't take it out on the sign. The sign is an inanimate object that just stands there."
Despite vast political differences, on this issue, Shank and Democratic Party Chairman Jim Wertz actually agree.
Political signs are protected, free speech.
Defacing them is anti-American.
"There is no there is no room for this in our society," Wertz said. "It doesn't limit free speech. It only makes it more hostile. If we're going to engage in a discussion, let's engage in a substantive discussion."
There's no way of knowing who drew the swastikas, but if it wasn't the property owner, the drawings aren't just disgusting; they're criminal.
"There are always challenges of people stealing signs and what have you," said Erie County Clerk Julie Slomski. "That shouldn't happen. These cost campaigns money. They cost individuals money, and defacing any property should never be part of the process."
Political leaders across the board agree: don't destroy signs.
Use your voice another way,
"Please, just get out and vote," Shank said. "That's the best way to make your voice heard."
Although this happens to be the sign of a Republican candidate, this isn't a partisan issue.
Wertz says thousands of Democratic signs have been destroyed in the last two election cycles.