Delawareans Calling to Draw Giant Penises on GOP Candidates’ Yard Signs
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – November 1, 2018
With one week left before the midterms, online trolls and various vandals are becoming very active across the States.
Examples of vandalism include not only salting lawns, egging, or breaking windows, but also include "political vandalism"—the act of defacing opponents' political posters, bumper stickers, billboards, and yard signs. The First State is no exception, where people are finding more and more forms of defacement, and are discussing these tactics on platforms like Reddit and others.
Just a few days ago, one Reddit user u/Lyft2016 made a post in subreddit r/Delaware titled “An open letter to the youth of Delaware”. His post reads:
Dear youth of Delaware,
As election season is drawing to a close I have noticed something that has deeply disturbed me. I fear that our youth are somehow being lead astray. Nay, I dare say that you may be on the completely wrong path.
In North Wilmington, there are 2 individuals with the last name Weiner running for office. One of whom thought it prudent to include her face on her signs.
And yet, I have not seen one giant penis drawn on any of them. How could this be? Have we lost our ability to draw penis’? Is there a sharpy shortage I am unaware of?
As a red blooded American I must stand up and decry this shameful omission.
In New Castle County, Erin Lutes Wienner from Wilmington is running for State Representative.
“Technically her sign is begging for crudely drawn penises,” u/Lyft2016 later added.
“Some days I question reddit... today, I applaud it. I cant believe this is a subreddit,” responded user sessejeibert
User isthisnametake_idid said: “On behalf of my fellow youth, we apologize and promise to remedy the situation.”
“I’m a teenager, so I’m going to do that,” A_Generic_Reditter confirmed.
“14 y/o Delawarean here, I’ll be sure to bring a sharpie wherever I go in case I see one,” claimed another user pandajuice17
User bobbysr warned: “What ever you do, DONT leave a can of spray paint at the foot of the sign....”
Erin Wienner’s opponent in District 10 is Rep. Sean Matthews (D).
“I am different than my opponent in that I am a constitutionalist and I believe that our rights as citizens should not be infringed upon. I firmly believe that our government should not usurp a parents inclusion in all decisions for and regarding their children and grandchildren. As the mother of a teacher, and the wife of a former teacher, I see that our tax dollars are not getting to the classrooms, teachers and students. I will not vote the way party leadership and special interest groups tells me to vote. I will listen to my constituents and I will vote my conscience,” wrote Wienner on her campaign’s Facebook page “Erin Wienner State Representative.”
This summer, someone cut apart a new Erin Wienner yard sign.
“Feeling the love. They cut the new sign down. Working with police,” Wienner wrote in her Facebook.
“That's what the Democrats do best tear things down,” commented Facebook user David Goodwin.
This was not the first time that GOP candidates’ yard signs have been vandalized.
In mid-July, another of Wienner’s 4' x 8' signs on Naamans Road went missing.
“Feeling the love AGAIN! We just lost another 4' x 8' sign. This time it was on Naamans Road. They took the posts this time. This time the area is covered by the State Police instead of the County. Report Filed. I was advised by the police not to post how it is being handled.” Wienner wrote on her Facebook page.
Chad Wilkie commented on the accident: “Only way democrats can win is by stealing signs, rigging an election in their favor or voting early and often”.
Just a few months later on October 11, vandals sprayed a large X over another of her yard signs.
Another GOP candidate, Robert S. Weiner from the 2nd District-Brandywine Hundred West, is running for County Council.
“My duty as your County Councilman is to make county government work for all of us. Since 1996, I have dedicated myself to respond promptly to every constituent request,” Bob Weiner wrote on his Facebook page.
According to the candidate’s website, Bob has created citizen Anti-Graffiti brigades throughout his district to tackle quality of life issues, starting with graffiti. Eventually, he wants to cut down on litter and illegal signage.
“Graffiti in the 2nd district - particularly on I-95 and CSX overpasses - is bad, and neither the DelDOT nor the railroad, have the manpower to keep after it,” he said. “The Citizen Brigades operate immediately after graffiti appears or re-appears on publicly owned structures in order to frustrate graffiti vandals.”
The most common vandals, youth, are often spurred on by their low status and boredom. While the material involved is temporary, it can have long-lasting effects, reflecting both negatively and positively on the candidate whose material is being vandalized as well as on the presumed candidate whose supporters are engaging in the vandalism.