I have seen some political sign wars in my time, but the best place to live in America has become quite uncivil lately. Picture a person, getting in your face, blustering, accosting, menacing, demanding. Add arrogant false claims of oppression. Add false accusations, fact-checked lies at debates, and destruction of signs. You may think I am speaking of a national race right? NOPE. I am describing the Howard County Board of Election race here people.
Thursday was not a fun day. I thought it would be a great day, the first day off of a cane, healing from a ruptured Achilles, but this happened, which I posted on Facebook:
"So, I was just now accosted by Nayab Siddiqui. Wow. I was driving near my home and noticed the mowers had come, and many signs were down. I pulled over on Frederick Road and put a sign for Mavis Ellis that was down in the grass, back up. It was obvious that it had been taken down by mowers and not put back up, as there was cut grass all around there. As I put the sign back, Nayab appeared and was filming me. He demanded to know if I had permission to place the sign. I explained that I was putting a sign back up that was obviously taken down by a mower. He still demanded to know what other signs I have placed and whether or not I had permission, and stated that all Janet's signs are placed with permission, and asked me to stop putting signs in front of Janet's sign, even though, when I put the Mavis sign back from the mowers having placed it down, I put it at least 10 feet from Janet's sign. Having someone pop in front of me and film me and make demands and ask questions was very rude and odd. I then took out my camera/phone because he told someone with him to remove the Mavis sign! So, they left it. Wow, just wow. So watch out, Nayab says you can't put signs back that mowers take down and don't put a sign anywhere near Janet's since, you know, only she has permission to put them on State and County easements? Really? He says they are all placed with permission but sorry, no one can give permission for those areas."
I just feel lucky, he didn’t make me trip!
An hour later, I received messages about all the challenger signs being taken down in the area where this incident occurred, and a cut up sign on 108 as well. The painful day ended with attendance at a BOE candidates forum in Oakland Mills, were I listened to Dr. Siddiqui utter several comments which I have been told are false. When asked by Barb Krupiarz about her lack of responsiveness to Special Education groups, instead of responding, Siddiqui argued with her constituent and said she set up a meeting and Barb didn’t show up. Ms. Krupiarz says that meeting request was a year later, and thus not responsive or related. Later, Siddiqui said there was no communication problem with the mold issue and the Health Dept. was notified early on. Vicky Cutroneo went into detail about the lack of Health Dept. involvement whatsoever.
The worst part of what seems like the Siddiqui campaign strategy is that several people have told me that Nayab has labeled certain people who don’t support his wife as Islamophobic. This is a terrible and sad thing. This baseless claim does a disservice to those who are harmed by real Islamophobia. It is a new height of hubris to equate opposition to the Siddiqui re-election for any number of 100 reasons, to inappropriate motives.
Make your vote count this November, all the way down the ballot. Check out www.hocosos.com for reasons to not reelect the last incumbent in this race, Dr. Siddiqui, and see www.EthicsBallot.com for The People’s Voice endorsed candidates. Also, if you can work a poll on election day, or during early voting, please sign up at