Cape Girardeau County political sign set on fire

Cape Girardeau County political sign set on fire
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, Mo. - Anywhere you drive these days you'll see yard signs supporting political parties and candidates, and whether you agree or disagree with the message, most would agree setting a political sign on fire is probably going too far.
That happened to a sign in Cape Girardeau County, many of you have probably seen along I-55. The sign is located off of County Road 618, on the East side of I-55.
It says, 'Had Enough? Vote Democrat.'
The property owner says someone apparently had enough of the 32 foot sign and set it on fire. Now she has some burning questions.  "I'm beginning to feel anymore we're not free. It's not just terrorists attacking us, it's our own people," Linda Sanders says.
Friday night she managed to stop this billboard from going up in flames, now she says this is the second time someone's attacked the sign, since democrats put it up six weeks ago. "They screwed pieces of cardboard on it and sprayed "Vote for Pedro" on it. The rain came and tore that. That wasn't a big deal. But this is serious," Sanders says.
Investigators with the Cape County Sheriff's Department agree. They point out arson's hardly a prank, it's a felony. Flames also charred grass around the sign, and Sanders believes whoever tried to burn it, may have used an accelerant.
"I think it was politically motivated, because they don't like my sign. This is a republican county and they don't like democrats showing things like that," Sanders says.
Cape County Republican Chairperson John Voss says vandals showed a lack of maturity. Voss says he supports the democrats in their pursuit of justice in this case, and adds, signs alone don't convince voters.
It's a message democrat volunteers like Cynthia Adams hopes vandals take to heart. "The great thing about being an American - you can say what you want to say without fear of retribution," Adams says. Adds Sanders: "They can burn up my yard, but I'm keeping the sign up!"
It cost the Cape County Democrats close to $1,000 to put up the sign. Now they're offering $500 as reward money to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest in this case.
If you have any information, please call the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department at (573) 243-3551.
Democrats say they've also had several other signs vandalized and stolen this year. Republicans say they had signs disappear during the 2004 elections, but none so far this year.