With just three weeks left until Election Day, the vandalism in the 22nd Congressional District race continues.
Most recently, Democratic candidate Anthony Brindisi’s signs were believed to have been vandalized over the weekend with vulgar language written on them in pink spray paint. Less than two weeks ago, we reported that Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney’s signs appeared to have been uprooted and damaged.
Now, both Tenney and Brindisi are urging whomever is damaging the signs to stop.
"Signs being to faced, signs being stolen, and we have reported that to the proper authorities,” Brindisi said.
A “Brindisi for Congress” sign located on Kennedy Road in Marcy is just one of three Brindisi signs that were reported to have been vandalized over the weekend. Two others in the area were found with vulgar language on them.
"It’s unfortunate that these things do happen during campaigns,” Brindisi said. “I would call on anyone that is doing this, whether it’s to one of my signs or my opponent signs, stop doing it. It’s trespassing, it’s vandalism, and I think the authority should prosecute anyone that’s responsible or gets caught doing this."
"I denounce whoever it was; I don’t know who it was,” Tenney said. “It could’ve been a private citizen. I’m certain it wasn’t someone on our campaign because we are really clear with our volunteers that we do not want to touch a sign of his on the road or change or denounce or defame anything."
One homeowner in Marcy has painted over the spray paint damage to his Brindisi sign and has decided to keep the sign up.
"Yeah, they spray-painted it pretty good there and I did Anthony Brandis’s name, I did it in black paint because I said now he will not be silent,” said Marcy resident Dennis Yacobelli. “I don’t know, it’s people having much time on their hands, I guess."
Yacobelli said he has heard about signs being vandalized in this bitter Congressional campaign, but he was still shocked to find out that the sign on his lawn was now among those damaged signs.
"It happened Saturday night. I got up Sunday morning, probably about 7:30, 8 o’clock, and I noticed that the damage was done to it," Yacobelli said. "I called up the New York State Troopers and asked them if there’s been a rash of vandals up here and she says, ‘You’re the only one that we’ve heard of so far.’"
Tenney says that plenty of her signs have been vandalized over the past few weeks, and she says one woman was even caught on surveillance video.
Regarding the surviellance video, Tenney said, “There’s a woman in this truck, gets out of the car, pulls the sign and throws it on the ground and then gets back in the car and drives away.”
Tenney says she does plan to talk to the authorities about the video. Both candidates also say they would like to be focusing on the issues that are important to voters, not the issue of sign vandalism, and they both hope that it stops.
"I just think it’s wrong,” Tenney said. "It’s a sign of something else, there is aa lot of anger."
"They should face the full punishment under the law,” Brindisi said. “This is private property that people are trespassing on, this is vandalism, and whatever penalties those crimes carry, I think they should be pursued.”