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Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Gabbards hit by
‘political vandalism’

By Crystal Kua

The destruction, defacing and theft of campaign yard signs belonging to school board candidate Carol Gabbard and others endorsed by the Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values, amounts to "political vandalism," the organization's founder said yesterday.

"It's happening around the island, in different areas," said Mike Gabbard, who is Carol Gabbard's husband. "We think it's a very organized attempt by individuals who are opposed to traditional values. What segment of the community did it? It could be anybody."

Carol Gabbard came in third in the Board of Education primary election and is now one of six candidates who will move onto the general election to vie for three Oahu at-large seats.

So far, the group has found 50 signs that have been vandalized, sometimes the only signs in an area to be damaged or stolen. They have distributed over 800 signs islandwide, putting them in the yards of supporters.

The Gabbards showed examples of the defaced signs. One sign had "Kill" written on it in black marker and others had "f- - - -" scrawled atop. Others had been broken or sawed off their wooden stakes.

Mike Gabbard said he hasn't seen this level of vandalism aimed at yard signs since the campaign to ban same-sex marriage two years ago. "We're the ones always accused of being intolerant."

Carol Gabbard said the vandalism will affect her campaign. "We lost money and time," she said.

Other candidates whose signs were defaced include Casey Choi, Fred Hemmings and William Stonebraker, the Gabbards said.

They have reported the vandalism to police.

E-mail to City Desk

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