I was driving in Tempe this week and came across this vandalized political sign:

I get a really big kick out of people vandalizing political signs.  I have never actually vandalized a sign myself.  But something about people being so passionate that they ADD to a sign, instead of just destroy or remove it, is powerful.  I’m not advocating anyone to go out and destroy a political sign.  Those things cost money.  I get that.

But let me tell you a fun tale from a few years ago when I was in Orange County writing for a political blog.

It all started when this guy named Tan Nguyen won the Republican primary for the 47th Congressional District.  His campaign focused solely on the issue of illegal immigration…which was odd since the 47th is pretty heavy Democratic and pretty heavy Latino.  But whatever…

One of Nguyen’s strategies was to cover the district with his bright green signs.  It was impossible to drive through the district without seeing one of these things.  And I started noticing that people were vandalizing them.  And since I worked for a political blog called The Liberal OC, and he was a Republican candidate, I stopped and documented the vandalized signs when I saw them.

People started enjoying the pictures I kept finding.

And eventually people started emailing me locations of tagged up signs.

As the posts got more and more popular, the Tan Nguyen supporters started attacking me.  For example, this is one comment I received:

What is wrong with you man. Posting complete lies about someone who wants to do good by a community is just wrong. Vandalizing posters and signs for someone who is putting their hard earned dollars into making a difference is just criminal. Your a fellon and you want you political voice to be heard?

How hypicritical of you to compare a candidate to Hitler when you’re the one who is trying to silence free speach.

You pathetic Mike.

Pathetic, perhaps.  But a felon that vandalizes signs, no way.  But I couldn’t help it…the vandalized signs just kept showing up.

And here’s another hateful comment I got:

BTW, I thinks gays should have the same rights as all citizens, but a pillow biting fag like you deserves a curling iron in your corn hole.

Are you still mad because Daddy didn’t hug you enough, (or maybe to much?)

I love how you throw out in you article about your mystery repbulican friend. I have a mystery gay friend to. He says that you suck and are an embarresment to the gay community. They already have an uphill battle trying to get equal rights and now they have a used tampon like you making a negative image of the upstanding gays.

It’s Pretty sad when gay me even call you a fag.

Ouch.  That shit is serious, right?

But I just kept photographing what I saw.

And the hateful comments just kept coming (this is one of my favorites):

I see you are up to your old games…defacing Tan’s signs.  I remember before the primary you were drawing dicks on Tan’s face (on his big signs with his picture).  Mike, aren’t you the one who likes dicks on your face?

Classy, right?

But the best part of this story come when Tan Nguyen called me.  On the telephone.  I’m serious.  I wrote an article for the Orange County Weekly about it.  You should read it here.

Dina Nguyn (pictured above with an eye patch, horns and a dick on her lips) ran for County Supervisor in 2008…a good year AFTER I moved to Arizona.  And her signs were tagged up just like Tan’s.  So I hope this is proof to the finger pointers that Mike Lawson had nothing to do with any of that.  He just happened to have a camera.

[With the exception of the first, all of these photos were taken from The Liberal OC website]


  1. Alexis June 28, 2010 at 10:30 am ·

    Tan Nguyen is running again. Fail.

  2. Pingback: New Indictment For Tan Nguyen

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