CATHEDRAL CITY — A detective will be assigned today, Monday, Sept. 14, to look into the allegations that some of Alan Carvalho’s campaign signs have been vandalized — and ascertain if any video evidence exists to help police possibly identify the person or persons responsible for damaging the signs, Police Chief George Crum told Uken Report.

Carvalho, who is challenging Rita Lamb in the Nov. 3 election to represent District 1, told Uken report that five of his 4-by-4 signs have been “shredded” and three banners have been vandalized. The total damage to date is $1,250, which he claims is a felony. He described the damage as “slashed box-cutter damage” at two locations.

Carvalho told Uken Report that he has filed three police reports. Chief Crum, the city manager and some members of the City Council have also been notified, Carvalho said.

Detective to Investigate Vandalized Election Signs

Text message Alan Carvalho sent to Uken Report.

In a text message to Uken Report, Carvalho said, “Chief Crum is investigating the hate crime possibilities.”

Chief Crum had a different take.

“I have not spoken to Alan or told him we were investigating campaign sign damage as a hate crime,” Crum told Uken Report. “Shelley Kaplan contacted me (Saturday) asking if we could look into the incident(s). I explained to him that I will have a detective look  I also did not tell Shelley it would be investigated as a hate crime. I am not at all sure where or why the hate crime component came into play. I plan to look into it as you mentioned as a regular campaign sign vandalism that occurs almost every election. I hope this clarifies the PD’s plans.”

It appears Carvalho’s campaign signs aren’t the only ones being vandalized. So are those of his opponent’s, who was elected last year to fill the seat left vacant when Mayor Gregory S.  Pettis died.

Detective to Investigate Vandalized Election Signs

Damaged Rita Lamb sign

A volunteer on Lamb’s campaign reported that someone had run over or kicked down one of her signs.

Carvalho, an openly gay man, alleges he is “being attacked as a proud member of our LGBTQ community.”

Following is a brief Q&A with Carvalho about the damaged signs.

Uken Report (UR): Why do you think this is happening?

Alan Carvalho: The type of hatred promoted by this administration in Washington has allowed the haters to come out of the closet and defy our civil rights to campaign without fear of harassment and prejudice.  I’m not certain it reaches the depth of hate crime against our LGBTQ community, but I have always been proud to be public and proud about my gay lifestyle.

UR: Do you have any idea who might be going this?

Alan Carvalho: Having healthy debate with others is part of what’s expected during a campaign.  But this level of hostility is clearly from someone with a personal vendetta against ME and my family.  I think it could be someone we know who has stored up irrational hostility and he would be my first guess for anyone capable of such unbearable anger and hatred.  The traffic cameras that are located at both busy intersections will reveal exactly who is guilty of this criminal act.

UR: Why you think you are being targeted?

Alan Carvalho: When you are an effective leader, there will always be detractors who are threatened by someone who has provided effective leadership in our community.  As a member of the LGBTQ community, sadly this type of hatred is not new.  It’s just upsetting and sad that we have this in our neighborhoods, where so many gay people have lived in harmony with others, embracing diversity in lifestyle and culture.

UR: Other than vandalized signs, has anything happened this election cycle?

Alan Carvalho: Friends of mine who support my candidacy have been harassed by neighbors when my sign is in their front yard.  They tell me that members of the community supporting my opponent are calling with threatens that “this neighborhood is RITA territory, so don’t upset your neighbors or else”.  I’ve had to remove my campaign signs twice on Cathedral Canyon as a result of fear and bullying by supporters of my opponent.  Frankly, I’m shocked that our district city council member has not reached out to me and our community expressing outrage over anyone being treated as badly as this IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD that she also lives in.  You can’t just SAY you support our LGBTQ community, you have to actually SHOW that you do.

October 19, 2020, is the last day to register to vote or transfer registration for this election.  Voter registration cards are available at City Hall.  Voter registration is also available on the Registrar of Voters website by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Sources

  • Text message: Owned by the author
  • Vandalized sign: Alan Carvalho