By Alison Sullivan and Audrey Dwyer
A vandal defaced a large Romney-Ryan campaign sign in Iowa City, with a racial slur and other expletives scrawled on the front.
The sign, located on the corner of Market St. and Lucas St., was seen Friday morning with the words “I [heart symbol] N*****s”, “Obama”, “99% F**k”, “1% F**k” and “Rich forever” scribbled on the sign. The large R for Romney was also removed.
The sign belongs to University of Iowa student Michael Richardson, who bought the sign last week to show his support for Romney.
“I was really surprised, we just found it this morning when we went to class,” the 19-year-old said.
Iowa City police Sergeant Denise Brotherton said police would only intervene in a vandalism situation if the property owner contacted them about investigating the incident.
“They could call and report, or we could be getting calls from people walking by saying ‘I saw this it was very upsetting’ and we could contact property owner and say are ‘you aware it says this’?” she said.
Brotherton said an incident of this nature is uncommon, but officials do receive calls on occasion about sign vandalism during the campaign season.
“I’m sure we’ve had a report or two, but nothing that draws any attention”, she said.
Sevearal incidents of sign vandalism have occured across the nation. The TCPalm in Florida recently reported vandals had slashed Romney-Ryan campaign signs with sharp knives.
Shawn McCoy, spokesman for the Romney Campaign in Iowa, was unable to comment about acts of vandalism to campaign signs or if the campaign had seen similar incident.
Officials with President Barack Obama’s campaign said they are unaware of acts of vandalism to Obama signs in Iowa and declined to comment on the specific incident in Iowa city.
“We are focused on promoting the Obama Campaign.” said Erin Seidler, Communications Director for Obama For America-IA.
Disappointed, Richardson said he will be removing the sign from his yard today.
“We definitely won’t be getting another one,” he said.