Unhinged political sign defacement plagues local House candidate

This pile of signs for LD 12 Democratic House candidate Paul Weich was left near his home last week while other signs cut into similar strips were scattered on the street. /Facebook

By Paul Maryniak |Arizonan Executive Editor 

As the countdown continues toward the July 6 start of early voting for the Aug. 2 Primary Election, an Ahwatukee lawyer seeking one of the two Democratic nominations for the Legislative District 12 House race has been victimized by repeated – and somewhat deranged – vandalism of his political signs.

While candidate Paul Weich’s signs in Ahwatukee have been being mutilated or removed for more than a month, the culprit last week shredded an unknown number into long strips, then left a pile and scattered them on the street on the entrance to his neighborhood. The vandal also has extended his bizarre campaign to Tempe, removing signs at various locations in that city, Weich said.

Weich called the act “a horse’s head type of message” – a reference to the classic scene from “The Godfather” when a rebellious movie producer wakes to find the head of his beloved race horse on his satin sheets. 

Weich is not the only Democrat whose signs are subject to the childish vandalism. Ahwatukee resident Stacey Travers’ signs have been stolen and some have been mutilated – though not like Weich’s have been. 

“While frustrating, we look forward to continuing to meet the voters of LD 12 and hearing about the issues important to our community,” Travers said.

An outraged Weich said that while the expense to his campaign is no laughing matter – about $1,000, he said – the even bigger concern is the time it takes to replace them as the campaign enters a critical stage. “I need to keep my name out there,” he said. “Everybody else has their signs up and mine are the only ones being targeted.”

“We haven’t seen this level of sign shenanigans, sign stealing, in quite a long time,” said Weich, who has lived in Ahwatukee for 20 years. “This guy is trying to bring it to a new level.

While the destructively childish activity has cropped up in various other East Valley communities, especially in local elections, such vandalism has been relatively uncommon in Ahwatukee. 

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