Anonymous letter, tomatoes create political tension in Vancouver

Anonymous letter, tomatoes create political tension in Vancouver »Play Video
Many residents in the East Minnehaha neighborhood found letters attached to their mailboxes Sunday. In the letter, a group of people claimed to bomb a house with tomatoes that displayed an Obama campaign sign out front. The letter also blamed Democrats for high gas prices.

VANCOUVER, Wash. - An anonymous letter and a load of rotten tomatoes has created a political minefield in the East Minnehaha neighborhood.

The letter was left on mailboxes Sunday morning in a three or four block area. In it a group of people claimed to have bombed one house – a house with an Obama sign out front – with tomatoes.

There's not much to go on in the letter to show who's responsible for the threat. It simply says "Welcome Wagon" at the top and is addressed to friends, motorists and the good citizens of East Minnehaha. It also says some of "us" threw tomatoes on a house with an Obama sign in the yard. 

In front of one home several Obama campaign signs with several tomatoes lining the front yard could be seen Monday.

The letter goes on and on about the high price of gas and blames the Democrats. But at the bottom it asks for help with what is called a "project."

It tells people they can sign up by leaving a porch light on during the hour before sunrise, and they will be contacted. A couple of people did just that to see what might happen, but they said Monday they hadn't heard from anyone yet.

"I think it's a little of an extremist view," said independent voter Ted Marx who received a letter but no tomatoes. "Obviously, the political system isn't perfect. But it seems to me that's why we have a vote. If I disagree with a guy, I certainly shouldn't have to worry about getting my house tomatoed."

Some of the people who got the letter laughed it off and didn't take it very seriously. Others, however, contacted the sheriff's department fearing the situation could escalate into something more serious. Deputies are looking into it.

In the meantime, several people said this is exactly why they don't put political signs in their yards or on their cars. Others, however, said nothing will make them take down their signs. One voter, a Democrat, who didn't have an Obama sign in her yard, said she plans on putting one up now.

We first learned about this case through a news tip. If you see news happening where you live let us know by sending an email to newstips@katu.com. Your tip goes straight to our newsroom.