Letter to Editor - re: Yard Sign Vandalism in Winnetka

Is the line of what's acceptable free speech different in 60093?

Dear Editor -

Inspired by brave Highland Park resident, Betsy Brint, who wrote an open letter to the person(s) that trespassed and stole from her (http://highlandpark.patch.com/articles/an-open-letter-to-my-yard-sign-vandal), we have a similar story with a Winnetka twist. 

Three days ago, we posted several anti-Romney signs in our front and side yard. Granted, the signs are "rated PG." (PARENTS - Be warned, graphic descriptions follow.  Shield young eyes).  They are cheeky and some would say "sophomoric," but our sense of humor leans that way.  It ruins the punchline to have to explain the joke, but before his Big Bird and 47% comments, the big Romney har-dee-har-har was the tale of when he stuck his dog on the car roof on a family vacation.  One of our signs says "You're doggone right I'm for Obama!"  Another one says "Dogs Against Romney. PEE Here!"  

There's dual meaning for that latter one.  Living across from the Village Green, we are guaranteed to see two things everyday -- canoodling pre-teens on the cannon and leash-law violators letting Scooby relieve himself on the cenotaph.  "PEE Here" is simply reminding those dog owners they have other options.   

On Friday afternoon, between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m. someone ripped two signs and tossed two others in the street. Replacements were promptly put up, but they were stepped on the following morning.  The Winnetka Police Department have filed a report and have promised to do more drive-bys.   

Reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.  Several people have come to the door to ask if they could pose for a picture outside.  I got high-fives and atta-go's from five tipsy strangers @ Little' Ricky's.  The pre-teens leaving Love's and heading to the Green give us "thumbs up."  On the flipside, we got one anonymous letter from "Fellow Winnekan Neighbor" and unnamed people mysteriously called the caucus chair to tattle.  

We're not mad at whoever did this.  But we're puzzled.  I've lived in some sticksville towns (Grand Forks, ND, Clovis, NM, Mountain Home, ID) and major metros (NYC, LA, SF), and I've always displayed my viewpoints with colorful, edgy bumper stickers, yard signs, etc.  Yet only in Winnetka have our signs have been trashed and several of our car stickers removed. Why is that?   Is the line of what's acceptable free speech different in 60093?  We're genuinely curious and hope people will voice their opinions below.

Cheers - - Jen McQuet528 Maple

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Catherine Karabas October 27, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I'm on my 4th election sign because they keep getting stolen out of my front yard. I think it's kids, because adults surely understand that stealing a sign won't change my vote. That said, elections are serious and especially this year, when people feel so much is at stake, I feel it lacks integrity to make 'sophomoric' humor about the opposing candidate instead of just supporting yours. Our kids are watching us.
Molly October 28, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Scary thought...today's kids, tomorrows politicians. Lets raise them right folks.
Jennifer Mcquet November 08, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I was very happy to take my signs down this morning. End of chapter '12.... Folks might find this entertaining.... http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2012/11/floridian_steals_neighbors_oba.php
North Shore Lady February 15, 2013 at 09:09 PM
I thought people of Winnetka had class...grow up and stop making the rest of us look bad.


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