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‘I felt insulted,’ mother explains why she tore down fake Abigail Spanberger signs

Posted at 10:46 PM, Sep 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 06:35:14-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va., -- Dozens of fake political signs that appear to support the Democrat running in Virginia's 7th District House seat appeared in Chesterfield County over the weekend.

Supporters of Abigail Spanberger notified the campaign of signs with the candidate's name tied to issues like impeaching President Donald Trump, "want open borders," "want amnesty," and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Sunday, according to campaign manager Dana Bye.

"They were untruthful about Abigail and what her campaign is about," Bye explained. "It was no one in our campaign. It was no one supported by Abigail because they know her stances on these issues and it doesn’t follow our branding."

Bye cited Spanberger's experience as a federal law enforcement officer and CIA operations officer for supporting strong borders, for instance.

"It is a very desperate smear tactic," Bye stated.

Spanberger is running to unseat Rep. Dave Brat, a Republican.

A Brat spokesperson said in a statement, “These were unauthorized campaign signs posted by an unknown third party that the Brat campaign had no knowledge of. To allege that the Brat campaign had anything to do with them is simply false.”

The signs were stapled to posts mostly along Hull Street Road and were believed to be put up Saturday night into Sunday morning.

They did not include a disclaimer, such as a information about who created or paid for the signs, which is required by law.

"Any public communication made by a political committee — including communications that do not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified federal candidate or solicit a contribution — must display a disclaimer," according to the Federal Election Commission.

A Chesterfield resident, independent voter, and mother told CBS 6 she tore down the signs when she saw them while driving along Hull Street Road, Sunday morning.

"It was tacky and it wasn’t Chesterfield. Whoever put the signs up doesn’t know about our community and how inclusive we are. And how we don’t use tactics to scare people," she stated.

The resident didn't want to give her identity for fear the group who posted the signs would retaliate. She tore down six posters.

"It’s meant to upset people and make them feel bad and confuse them," she explained. "This is something that a small faction in this area saw fit to spend their money and time posting and it’s not going to work."

Another Chesterfield resident said they tore down about 20 of the fake political signs.

CBS 6 Political Analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said the signs are, at minimum, unethical.

"I'm not sure I've seen too many fake political signs, but in terms of what happens in campaigns this might be relatively mild," Holsworth explained.

Holsworth believed that the signs were posted by a pro-Brat group, but didn't think they would have a big impact on the vote in November.

Spanberger's name was recently in the national spotlight when her personal information was given to a Republican-oriented opposition research group,

The Postal Service apologized on Thursday for “inappropriately” releasing a cache of sensitive personal and background information about the 7th Congressional District candidate.