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Hateful, homophobic Polis bumper stickers deface Democratic yards signs in Eagle

October 29, 2018, 8:57 am

As the world mourns Saturday’s deadly assault on a synagogue in Pittsburgh and the nation still grapples with a wave of politically targeted pipe bomb attacks, there was a reminder last week that hate is alive and well in a seemingly serene and accepting place like Eagle.

While prominent Democrats prepared to pass through town for a bus-tour and campaign stop on Friday, local Democratic officials were scrambling to remove homophobic bumper stickers aimed at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis, a gay Jewish man who is married with two young children. Polis, who was on the recent bus tour, is also a U.S. congressman.

Plastered to his campaign yard signs around Eagle, and those of other Democratic candidates, the bumper stickers read, “Don’t vote for Jerod [sic] Polis or he’ll love your ass”. A Polis campaign spokeswoman declined to comment.

Eagle County Democratic Party Chairwoman Joy Harrison first noticed the stickers in mid-October. She reported them to the Eagle Police Department.

“It’s disturbing to know there are people in our community who feel empowered to spread hate speech like this,” Harrison said, adding that one of the bumper stickers was also recently spotted in Vail.

Dylan Roberts, a Democrat who represents Eagle County in the state legislature, had one of his yard signs defaced by the Polis bumper sticker in Eagle. Roberts, an assistant district attorney who lives in Eagle, was appointed to his current seat and is running for election on Nov. 6.

“I find it sad that someone feels this is how to voice disapproval with certain candidates. My cell phone and e-mail are published in many places and I am always available to talk to residents of Eagle County — whether they support me or not,” Roberts said. “However, the message on the bumper stickers is vile and offensive to all LGBTQ Coloradans and their allies.”

Roberts called for unity and healing in the current state of divisiveness.

“I am proud to be endorsed by groups like One Colorado because I have and will always support equality for all Coloradans,” Roberts said. “If that support is what this individual is upset about, I suppose I cannot help him. This kind of divisiveness is exactly what is wrong with our politics right now. We have to be better than this.”

Roberts said he received an email with the same message as the bumper sticker in mid-September. That information has been passed on to Eagle police.

“We have an open investigation. We are following up on a couple of leads right now but in terms of any specifics, because it’s an open investigation, I can’t give any specific comments about what we’re looking at,” Eagle Police Officer Joshua Sanders said.We’re taking it seriously.”

Sanders added that the crime of defacing political yard signs is misdemeanor criminal mischief but that in this case it would also be filed with an enhancer that makes it a more serious matter.

“We do consider it a bias-motivated crime and that can fall into a lot of different categories,” Sanders said. “This case we have a particular bias. We understand that Mr. Polis is openly gay, and based on the content of the bumper stickers right now, we believe it’s a bias-motivated crime.”

Sanders said he understands the stickers may be showing up in other places in the Vail Valley, although he had not yet heard from other police departments as of Tuesday morning.

“It sounds like it is kind of creeping around the valley in a couple different places,” Sanders said.

Polis, a Boulder resident, has represented the eastern third of Eagle County, all of Summit County and a large swath of the northern Front Range in Congress for the past 10 years. He’s now running against Republican Walker Stapleton in a bid to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.




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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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