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Unwanted campaign signs pose a problem for SE Bend neighborhood

(Update: Adding video, comment from resident, statement from Knopp)

Just like pulling one, planting sign where not requested could be a crime

BEND, Ore (KTVZ) -- Some Southeast Bend residents found an unwanted object in their yards on Thursday.

Campaign signs. Only they didn’t put them up.

Cameron Scott told NewsChannel 21 on Friday, "Yesterday afternoon, I walked out the door and found a sign in the yard that we never asked for."

Scott wasn't the only one, either.

"We had the same signs up and down the block," he said.

The signs were for State Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, who is seeking re-election.

But Scott didn't request any and didn't know who put them up.

And that could put him in a tricky situation.

Whether putting up the campaign sign is legal or not is irrelevant to Scott.

"At first, I was like, whatever, just throw it away,” he said. “Then I got to thinking about it. I have a care home here, and we have elderly people, and we have diverse backgrounds with our clients."

Senator Knopp gave NewsChannel 21 this statement in response: "Our campaign has many volunteers, and our signs have been collected at several events and locations for people to distribute. While we appreciate the enthusiasm for the campaign, we would remind everyone to double check yard sign locations with property owners before placing them."

Scott did not contact the police, but he said this kind of behavior has put the country in a bad place.

"It's not about what party you affiliate with or what you believe in or not,” he said. “I could care less. Just be respectful and just be kind."

While it's clearly a crime to go on someone's property to deface or steal a campaign sign, putting one where it wasn't requested could land the person in trouble, too.

Asked the question by NewsChannel 21, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said, "If someone goes on another person’s property without permission, for the purpose of placing a campaign sign without authorization to do so, they have committed the crime of criminal trespass."

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.


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