Montville man says vandals destroyed political signs on his lawn

Posted July 13, 2012, at 6:04 p.m.

MONTVILLE, Maine — John Bednarik’s homemade political signs apparently got under the skin of someone.

Bednarik contacted the Bangor Daily News on Friday morning to report that many of his lawn signs in support of liberal causes had been destroyed during the night. And they were not the thin, cardboard-on-wire variations. Bednarik made them from quarter-inch and three-eighth-inch thick plywood, and fastened them to stakes with screws.

It was the third time in three years that his signs were destroyed, he said. Once, it appeared that a pickup truck took them out, swerving off Route 220 to hit them.

This time, Bednarik said, it appeared from the tire tracks on his lawn that someone stopped to do the dirty work and smash up the signs by hand.

One of the destroyed signs read, “I was a soldier, I am a Democrat and I’m fighting for my fellow Americans.” Another featured a bar chart showing that 1 percent of the population earns 74 percent of the national income.

Still another somewhat playfully urged people to “Occupy Montville,” a reference to the Occupy Wall Street movement that probably wouldn’t build a following in this western Waldo County town of 965.

“I used to have a tent out there,” Bednarik said, which may have persuaded would-be vandals to lay off the signs, thinking someone was sleeping on the lawn.

Bednarik and his wife Leslie Woods are longtime Democrats, and have been active in the Waldo County party. They planned to call state police about the vandalism later in the day. The couple also is considering posting a reward for information leading to the culprit.

According to state law, “a person who takes, defaces or disturbs a lawfully placed sign bearing political messages relating to a general election, primary election or referendum commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of up to $250 may be adjudged.”

“Hey, you can’t have political freedom of speech if you destroy political signs,” Bednarik said.

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