Campaign Signs Gone, Disappear Days Before Election

Blue and white election signs for School Committee Candidate Brenda Furtado have disappeared off lawns.

Attleboro School Committee candidate for re-election, had to pull her election signs from the lawns of her supporters in Ward 4 just days before the election.

Why? According to Furtado she began pulling signs Friday night after they were disappearing frequently.

"This election year has been very negative, together with the personal attacks and defamation of people's character," Furtado said. "This is uncalled for."

Furtado said she was tipped off to Phase I of her opponent's campaigning strategy, which was to pass out a negative letter signed by Helen Johnson, Ward 2 Candidate Bill Larson and Ward 1 Candidate Shawn Moran.

"This letter was to be distributed out in their wards attacking the three incumbents," Furtado said.

Larson confirmed that it was, in fact, his signature. "The three of us signed a letter coendorsing eachother," Larson said Sunday morning. "We wrote the letter and we sent it to the Sun Chronicle."

Larson said he wants to be part of a committee where not all nine members agree on every vote and decision because if they did it would not serve the purpose of having a committee.

"We all have disagreements and that is good, but we also have to repectfully disagree," he said. Johnson also confirmed her signature on the letter and said she stands by all that was written in the letter.

Furtado, however, said the negative campaigning did not end with the letter.

"I was also tipped off that Phase II of my opponents strategy to steal all of my signs so that I do not have any left on election day," she said. "If this is how they campaign, I can't imagine how they will be advocates and role models for the children in Attleboro."

Larson said he had nothing to do with removing Furtado's or anyone else's signs for that matter. He did, however, say that he straightened others signs while he was fixing his signs after the snow storm. 

"I’ve lost a couple signs," Larson said. "I’m assuming everyone loses signs. These things are going to happen; we are all big boys and girls."

Asked about the others being involved, Larson said: "I don’t know of a Phase 1 or Phase 2. I haven’t heard about an organized effort to remove anyone's signs and and I would be disappointed if I heard they [had plans to] remove them."

Johnson said several of her 50 signs have also disappeared from supporters' lawns. Johnson said she had nothing to do with Furtado's disappearing signs.

Furtado said she will not participate in the negative tactics. "Just like I instill in my boys, you play by the rules, win or lose and do the best that you can and walk away with your head held high," she said. "I have been Ward 4's voice and have not let them down.

"I have fulfilled all my promises, since last time running," she added. "I look forward to the election on November 8 and will be honored to represent Ward 4 again, on the Attleboro School Committee."

Rick DiGiacomo November 07, 2011 at 10:56 PM
Dottie, I agree with much of what you wrote actually. Certainly one must factor all these things into their decision and I usually toss the stuff right in the trash too. While I probably wouldn't have sent a letter myself, I do think there is big a difference between the anonymous letters in the Mayoral race and the one we're discussing here. I have seen it called slanderous, underhanded and sneaky but I haven't seen anyone refute a single item in it. I don't know how something that was signed and sent to the editor of the newspaper can be called sneaky or underhanded. From a political standpoint one could call it misguided, another might call it excercising their First Amendment rights. Certainly the people involved felt strongly enough about it to send it. To say the Committee has been dysfunctional would be charitable and to deny that the actions of those mentioned contributed greatly to that dysfunction would fly in the face of reality. I find it absurd that the Furtado supporters condemn the letter writing while at the same time their candidate is openly accusing her opponents of stealing signs and having a multi-phase campaign against her. Saying she was tipped off by someone else doesn't let her off the hook unless she's willing to provide some evidence. Her anonymous supporters then go on to say they have "real evidence" of the phases of the plan but refuse to show it? And they're complaining about a letter that was signed and sent to the newspaper? Really?
LXA November 08, 2011 at 01:14 AM
Dear John, I have every right to say what I want. If Ms Holmes is going to say that Mr. Larson should take "his soiled name and business out of Attleboro" I can sure as hell tell her to seek employment else where! By saying this does not mean that I want to silence any critics of the superintendent. You have no idea what my views of the superindent are! You claim I have misinterpreted what was written, but so have you.
michelle walton November 08, 2011 at 01:21 AM
@Chris D Here, here! Well written, great points. I agree with you about Furtado and Stohrs, and Durkin. She no longer sits up front and runs the meetings (although sometimes Ray makes me wish she would). Two years ago everyone wanted the SC out because they just smiled and nodded. Now everyone wants them out because they disagree too much with Durkin. However, I would add Hill to the list to make it a top 3 for re-election.
Chris D November 08, 2011 at 02:34 AM
@michelle walton LOL - thanks for reminding me about Bob Hill - I am actually in Ward 3 and he is definitely getting my vote. He's a refreshing and thoughtful member of the committee, and apparently doesn't have any signs (we asked!). Not a "Politician" just an educator who cares about the schools, the kids and the community. Yes Bob Hill for Ward 3!!
Rick DiGiacomo November 08, 2011 at 12:39 PM
It's election day & still not one piece of the "real evidence" claimed has been presented in the alleged phase 2 of the sign stealing campaign. I guess we're left to believe Ms. Furtado's claims simply because because she told us she was tipped off by someone anonymously? I guess they got phase 1 right... Good detective work! Must have been very difficult to confirm that an open letter was sent to the newspaper.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »