By JOE LoTEMPLIO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Assemblywoman Janet Duprey is upset over some of her campaign signs being marred by what she says are hateful messages.
“I’ve been in politics 37 years, and these past two weeks have been the worst of that time,” Duprey said.
“It’s one thing to hear about it, but when you see it, it really is something else.”
Duprey said that at least nine of her campaign signs were spray-painted in the Ellenburg, Churubusco, Chateaugay and Burke areas over the past two weeks.
Some had the phrase baby killer sprayed on them (with the misspelling “babby killer”). Others had what appeared to be “queer killer” written on them.
STAND ON ISSUES
Duprey, a Republican who has been in the Assembly since 2006, has drawn criticisms from some Republicans for her support of gay marriage and abortion rights.
She is being challenged this year by Democrat Timothy Carpenter, a City of Plattsburgh councilor, and by Conservative Party candidate Karen Bisso, a City of Plattsburgh teacher.
Duprey won an apparent victory over Bisso and David Kimmel in a Republican primary on Sept. 13. The results will not be final until the absentee ballots are counted next week, but the outcome is not expected to change.
Duprey said that having campaign signs stolen is part of the business, but she has never seen vandalism like this.
“They took these signs out of the ground, spray-painted them and then put them back,” she said.
“That, to me, is just an incredible hate message.”
State Police are investigating, and Bureau of Criminal Investigation Capt. Robert LaFountain said anyone with any information about the vandalism is urged to call 563-3761.
LaFountain said the charge for vandalizing signs is criminal mischief, a misdemeanor.
“I would like to see somebody arrested because this has just got to stop,” said Duprey, who said she received death threats last year after she voted in favor of same-sex marriage last year.
“This is just hateful and not what we do in the North Country. We can disagree on issues but not this way. And it is disrespectful to people in those communities.”
Both Carpenter and Bisso denied any involvement in the vandalism and denounced the perpetrators.
“I think this is just horrible, and I don’t support it in any way whatsoever,” Bisso said.
“This kind of thing has no place in politics, and it is inconceivable that this happened. I feel badly about it, and I hope they find out who did it.”
Carpenter said he hopes this will be the last of the vandalism.
“This is too bad. The voters should decide based on merit not something like this,” he said.
“Fortunately, I think the majority of voters are smart enough not to be swayed by what is written on
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