PORTLAND, Ore. – It appears some people on both sides of the Portland fluoride debate are willing to vandalize their opponent’s signs to get their point across.
On Wednesday, we showed you how an anti-fluoride supporter kicked over one pro-fluoride sign, and in another case a pro-fluoride sign was set on fire.
Now we’re also seeing how anti-fluoride signs are being stolen.
Anti-fluoride campaign worker KC Hanson said she caught a thief red-handed stealing three signs outside the headquarters of Clean Water Portland, an advocacy group fighting water fluoridation.
Hanson said she asked the man what he was doing. The thief didn’t offer an explanation and gave the signs back to Hanson before fleeing.
Hanson – who is a former police officer – grabbed the man’s license plate and turned it over to police.
Police then traced the plates to a doctor who works for the Oregon Health Authority, the state agency that strongly supports fluoridating Portland’s drinking water.
When showed a picture of the doctor, Hanson said it was the same man.
We called, emailed and went to the doctor’s house, but couldn’t reach him. His wife said he wasn’t home when we stopped by.
There were pro-fluoridation signs in his yard.
The Oregon Health Authority also declined to comment. We’re not identifying the doctor since he has not been charged with a crime.
“When an individual such as the doctor comes by and takes away our free speech on our own property, that’s truly amazing,” Hanson said.
Instead of sign shenanigans, Hanson hopes voters can focus the question at hand: should Portland fluoridate its drinking water?
Voters will have a chance to answer that question this month. Ballots are due May 21.