Former chair of the 2nd LD, Bill Harrington, hanging out with the signs.
Former chair of the 2nd LD, Bill Harrington, hanging out with the signs. Bob Akervick

Leeroy Perkins, the state committeeman for the Democratic club down in the 2nd Legislative District, said two teams set out three weeks ago to install over 40 yard signs along major thoroughfares all over the South Sound region. They tacked all the signs to "wooden stakes, for longevity." But two days later all the signs had disappeared.

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The signs supported campaigns for Gov. Jay Inslee, Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. House Rep. Kim Schrier, and Veronica Whitcher Rockett, who's challenging State House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox.

Sign wars break out in Washington every year in nearly every race. Who could forget all the sign troubles Dino Rossi endured during his four absolutely humiliating losing campaigns? Or last year's Ari Hoffman yard sign debacle? This past summer, a sign thief in Lake Stevens assaulted someone who witnessed him in the act, according to the Herald. It's wild out there.

Perkins said he knows people vandalize or steal signs every year, especially blue signs in red districts and vice versa, but "this year it's different," he said.

"Almost every sign our teams put up between Eatonville and Orting and over to Highway 7 in Spanaway have just totally disappeared. No broken pieces or debris or even whole signs simply uprooted and laying on the ground," he said. "Our signs have been picked up and taken."

Perkins said he's heard reports of sign theft all over Pierce and Thurston County, and not just in the 2nd LD. Anecdotally, he said allies up in the Puyallup and Bonny Lake have reported missing signs. "People are putting a little sticker on their signs that say they'll donate $100 to Planned Parenthood if it goes missing," he said.

Indeed, on Monday Adrianne Moore, a Democrat running for a statehouse seat out in north central Washington, said in a Facebook post that her signs "keep disappearing." The post includes a cute illustration of a monster making off with a Moore sign as a surprised supporter exclaims, "So Bigfoot is real after all!"

State law prohibits removing and/or defacing political signs. Prosecutors can charge violators with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in county jail or a $1,000 fine per sign.

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When Perkins asked Minority Leader Wilcox to remind his followers of this fact, "to his credit, he did," he said.

The rampant sign theft will keep Perkins and his crew from putting out any more signs until the week ballots drop. "When you spend days out there doing this, getting flipped off by Trump supporters, and then two days later come to find out someone undid all the work you did, it's real disheartening," he said.

If you got any leads on the sign thieves, let Perkins know.

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