As chairs of the St. Croix County Democratic and St Croix County Republican Parties, we join together to condemn all political sign destruction and theft this election season. Candidates from both parties, up and down the ballot, have had their signs destroyed. This is not only wrong, it's against the law. This is an issue we totally agree on. It brings dishonor to our political parties when sign vandalism occurs, and neither party approves of this behavior.
Free speech, and the right to express an opinion, is embedded in our Constitution. A political yard sign or a candidate flag expresses an opinion, and that should be respected even if you disagree with it. Candidates and campaigns worked hard to pay for these signs. Voters spent their hard- earned money to buy these signs and flags. Volunteers worked hard to distribute and install these signs. Respect that effort, and leave their signs alone.
Moreover, it is against the law to destroy a sign. These signs are on private property. Under Wisconsin law, no person may deface, destroy or remove any legally placed election campaign sign or alter the information printed on it. Wisconsin Statutes 943-01 and 943-20(1) state that violators can be prosecuted and face fines ranging from $100 to $10,000 and sentenced to 9 months in jail.
Trail cams and security cameras will record vandals in action and we will report thefts and vandalism to local law enforcement and encourage that charges be filed.
Please channel your enthusiasm for your candidate in a positive way, and donate or volunteer for the candidate you support. Please respect their opponent and their supporters and leave their signs alone. That's the American way.
Tammy Moothedan, Hudson - St. Croix County Democrat Party co-chair
John Kraft, Town of Warren - St. Croix County Republican Party co-chair