The author is the chair of the Wilton Democratic Town Committee.

As upset as [Republican Town Committee chair] Mr. Alper may be over his missing/damaged signs, his response is shameful and thoughtless.  It is both disappointing and offensive that he would paint the entire Democratic Party (“the oppostiton”) with one broad stroke as having a “value system beneath being an American.” And that we have a propensity to steal.

Mr. Alper has blatantly stereotyped fellow Wilton citizens because of the behavior of an isolated few, who may or may not be Democrats, but clearly object to Trump.  He is emulating the standard bearer of his party, the man who thinks Mexicans are rapists. It is unfortunate that in a community as highly educated as Wilton, the leader of the majority party would stoop so low.

Mr. Alper, I am sorry you have lost some Trump signs.  Over the many years I have been involved with politics I have lost quite a few political lawn signs myself.  Historically my response has been to shake my head, mutter a few words and replace them.  It never dawned on me to call the police and attack a large portion of my community.

As the leader of the Democrats of Wilton, I hereby publicly ask all citizens to leave Trump signs alone. Whether those who ran over or removed the signs were acting as a prank or as an emotional response to Trump and his message of hate, I ask you to take the high road and let them all stand.  Let Wilton be full of unmolested Trump signs.

With the Democratic Town Committee’s limited budget for campaign activities, I can think of nothing that would motivate our Wilton Democrats more to vote on election-day than to see Wilton covered in Trump signs.

Mr. Alper, if you have more Trump signs, I offer to personally go with you to every location where a Trump sign was vandalized or taken and put them back up.

I am passionate about my rights as an American and the right to free speech.  As I recently taught to a local group of Boy Scouts, along with the rights of being an American we have duties.

Our duties are to support and defend the Constitution, stay informed on the issues, participate in the democratic process, respect and obey laws, respect the rights beliefs and opinions of others, participate in your local community…..

I respect your right to have a Trump sign.  I am sorry it angered someone to the point of vandalism.  This act of vandalism is no excuse for your outrageous statements about Democrats.  I and every thoughtful citizen of Wilton should be offended by your remarks.

3 replies on “OP ED: ‘Vandalism No Excuse for Outrageous Statements about Democrats’”

  1. Deb,
    I appreciate your comments and position to safeguard free speech. In years prior, many of the incidences were not either reported or acted upon. People were told, don’t go public with it despite the direct trampling of free speech and destruction of property, sometimes trespass, and disregard for the resources inherently required to develop, create, and distribute the signs.

    So, it is good to have both sides together take a stand against vandalism or theft. I think we can agree that there is a lot of work and resources that go into elections. Signage is just one of the facets, but it includes people’s time and money. Time to create, organize, distribute to constituents who have directly requested or paid for the signs. Here is an opportunity to band together.

    However, I have direct experience in which just hundreds of R signs over the years have disappeared or been vandalized. . In 2008, over 300 R signs were taken from the voting precincts in Wilton between the hours of 2 am and 5 am the day of the Presidential election. Democrat signs not touched. In other incidents, teen agers were seen stealing only R signs along a road at night – the D signs were left standing and adult males were seen driving on private property to gain access to and remove R signs. In 2010, two Wilton women watched a DOT truck go down Route 7 and remove only R signs, leaving D signs standing. These two courageous women followed the truck to a depot along The Merritt Parkway and asked the man they saw remove the signs why he only took the R signs. He said his boss told him to take only R signs. These women found piles of Republican signs at the depot.

    In 2012, the DTC was given access to the high school email system to solicit volunteers for their fall campaign efforts; however, the system was supposed to be only for the spring internship program and the RTC was not given the same opportunity. In 2008
    , the LWV reached out only to the Democratic Model Congress caucus for the Congressional debate preparation despite knowing there was a R caucus leader too and despite the responsible student leader of the Model Congress (who would have made certain that both D and R students would be included) had been reaching out to LWV and was being ignored. In the past, during very critical election years, Ds worked the ROV offices at a rate of 7 times more than Rs despite Rs being available and willing.
    I think if we are to encourage civility, it is a good start to remind people to treat other people’s property with respect and to honor the First Amendment rights of people with whom they disagree.
    It appears that the parents of the person involved in one of the recent incidents addressed one of the incidents and gives us a real reminder that we are a community.
    Thank you for being part of this very important discussion.

  2. Ms. McFadden, As a life-long registered Republican I am appalled and disgusted by the comments from Mr. Alper – he is stereotyping his fellow Wiltonians for the foolish/childish actions of a few – shame on him! I am even more disappointed that other members of the Wilton Republican Committee haven’t stepped forward to correct Mr. Alper and/or to publicly take a stand against the outlandish behavior and comments of the Republican Presidential nominee – disgraceful!

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