Vandalism and clashes mar South County campaigns
October 13, 2014
While the theft or vandalism of signs is a common problem for campaigns across San Luis Obispo County, in South County the battle for the Arroyo Grande mayor position and the District 4 supervisor seat have escalated to include verbal disturbances and felony vandalism.
In less than two weeks, Patty Welsh, an Arroyo Grande woman who has taken on the task of placing Jim Hill for mayor signs throughout the village, has endured vandalism on two different vehicles promoting Hill’s candidacy. In both cases, Arroyo Grande police responded to vandalism reports.
Two weeks ago, Welsh parked her truck in her driveway and placed an elect Jim Hill sign in the front window. Sometime during the night, someone smashed her front window.
On Friday night, Welsh and another Hill supporter met at Chili’s Restaurant in Arroyo Grande to discuss the campaign. Welsh parked her white Volkswagen, which sported a Hill for mayor sign on the side window, outside the restaurant.
During their meal, someone vandalized Welsh’s hand-written campaign sign and also wrote “nigger” in black ink on one of the car doors.
On Saturday, during Nipomo’s Oktoberfest celebration, John Brunsfield, a Nipomo man who purchased and placed signs in the Nipomo area that say “Lynn Compton is a fraud,” became verbally abusive at the supervisor candidate’s booth.
After attempts by event staff to diffuse Brunsfield failed and he refused requests to leave the premises, a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputy escorted him from the event.
There are 23 days of campaigning left before polling day on Nov. 4.