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Political sign theft motivates Eau Claire neighbors to put more up

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Political Signs 09-23-2020

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - If you've driven the popular downtown route of Lowes Creek Road to State Street, you likely noticed an abundance of political signs, and there's a reason for that.

Two neighbors said they've had a slew of political signs stolen from their yards, but that's not stopping them from showing support for their candidates.

Dennis Vanden Bloomen of East Lowes Creek Road really likes Donald Trump.

"I have hundreds of cars a day that go by on this street, and they get to see it so they get my opinion," Vanden Bloomen said.

Some are not so supportive. Six of his signs were stolen this election season.

"It just makes me mad so I've upped my game. I've had to wire the signs. Get more signs, put up game cameras. So I have pictures. I've had to contact the sheriff. Send them pictures," Vanden Bloomen said.

A quarter mile hike will bring you to Ken Fulgione's yard where red, white and blue cover the green of his lawn.

"Having these many signs is fun because one, people comment on them. And two, we let the neighborhood know there's some alternatives out there. And it's a big area. A lot of traffic," Fulgione said.

There, you'll find not one, not two, but nine signs supporting Democrats. That's making up for the 11 signs stolen so far.

"I decided that I'm either going to put a battery on it and electrify one, but I don't want to hurt anybody. So, the next best thing was to put a whole bunch of them up there and let's see if they want to make that much work to take down a dozen. I think at one time I had 14 signs up here. That seems to work. They're not taking them down like they used to," Fulgione said.

Thieves may not accept their opinions, but Vanden Bloomen and Fulgione respect each other's.

"There's no disrespect. I have very, very good friends that I'm pretty sure they vote Democrat, but that doesn't deter us from having conversations," Vanden Bloomen said.

"People have the right to do that and as long as you don't take it so personal that you get angry and yell at each other, which makes no sense. The rule I go by is 'shut up and vote,'" Fulgione said.

Another deterrent idea -- Vanden Bloomen takes his signs in at night most of the time.

Katrina Lim

Katrina Lim joined the News 18 team in August 2019 as a multimedia journalist. She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in all time zones of the contiguous U.S.A.

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