Are Republicans Bad Sports In RSM?

A man's car is desecrated in conservative Rancho Santa Margarita, most likely for showing his political pride on the bumper.

The way Bill Ellis figures it, Republicans were the culprits.

A senior citizen, Ellis spent about 16 hours at City Hall in Rancho Santa Margarita on Tuesday serving as a volunteer as its poll inspector.

At one point, he said, there were probably a hundred people in line. Once, there were as few as two—conveniently allowing pollworkers to have lunch. The noontime rush hit early, at 11 a.m.

And when all the paperwork was done, when the Council Chambers at City Hall was back in order, Ellis went to his car only to find it desecrated with an expletive that begins with the letter F, followed by the letter "U" to form a two-word sentence that is commonly accompanied by a crude hand gesture.

"After spending 16 hours helping my fellow residents vote," Ellis said, "I was greeted by this 'greeting' on my window."

Ellis hadn't made any notable enemies during the day, where he's supposed to remain politically neutral. He oversaw the voting of nearly 700 Rancho Santa Margarita residents.

But he figured that someone didn't like the bumper stickers on his car, which was parked all day in the Kohl's lot.

Ellis' political colors are blue, and he had seven bumper stickers proclaiming his pride in the Democratic party.

He called the incident "somewhat disturbing."

He did catch a break. Even though it appeared that a message on the back driver's side window had been interrupted—perhaps someone came across the culprit in mid-message—it wasn't done in ink or anything permanent.

"It seemed to be a substance like frosting," Ellis said.

Probably icing that went unused on a particular victory cake. Across the street from City Hall—and Kohl's—was a Mitt Romney/Republican office.

Morgan November 08, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I feel like this was probably the work of a kid. I'm a democrat myself, but I have a hard time believing that an adult - even the most die-hard republican - would stoop so low as to vandalize a stranger's car. It might have been a teen who was just messing around inapropriately, or a teen who's level of what is okay and what is not in terms of expressing themselves is blurred. I feel sorry that this man was disrespected in such a way after he selflessly gave his time to volunteer, but I feel that by labeling an entire group if people after one person's stupid action is wrong.
Gary November 08, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Within our pledge of allegiance, we recite: "one nation under God, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Now that we have all managed to endure another election season which tends to emphasize differences through extreme negativity which is intended to create even greater division (both from our politicians and the press,) let’s pray all persons within this nation begin to respect and adhere to this pledge, working together to bring this country back to a society of indifference.
Shawna November 08, 2012 at 04:32 PM
What happened was very unfortunate and just completely rude and disrespectful, I would hope that the person who did this was a teenager or younger and not a grown adult... I would hope! His car was vandalized, plain and simple, but to say "Republicans"... I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt here and believe that he was not referring to all Republicans being capable of such destructive acts as a whole in this community.
Pam Ragland November 08, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Hmmm .., I took this as a question not a statement. The answer could just as easily have been 'no I don't think so.' I'd love to think it was a kid. BUT having witnessed for myself how badly adults can act in an election, and even having been their target when I spoke up about it, who knows. I've seen adults do some pretty rediculous things in not only the name of politics, but also in the name of judging others. I had my own truck vandalized by as it turned out adults... Because the shade of my new shell didn't exactly match the truck. It took years for this to come out, but it finally did only because a well meaning neighbor finally told me who did it. Those adults caused thousands in damage. And one could argue how 'adult' their really are. Same here. Regardless of who did it, it's inappropriate. Further what an insult after this man freely gave his time so we all could exercise our right to vote and choose who we want -- whether or not we agree. Whether it was kids or adults the behavior was immature at best. Worse it was predjudiced (and we don't know that fo sure.). Most certainly it was not actually personal. Sadly we will probably never know. The best we can do is simply be sure we aren't adding to the negative mix.
Pam Ragland November 08, 2012 at 05:23 PM
'they' ... Crazy iPhone!!
LeAna Bui November 08, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Regardless of who did this, it is sad that Mr. Ellis had to face this message after a day of volunteering for his country. The messages of hate on all sides need to stop.
Martin Henderson (Editor) November 08, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I suspect it was an unfortunate coincidence that the car belonged to THE polling inspector -- just dumb luck on the part of those who did it. Given that this was a frosting-like substance, what's the likelihood that it was a woman? I know I'm a bit old school but I don't think guys run around with frosting in their fannypacks.
Mike Proctor November 08, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Tesoro Varsity Water Polo advances in the CIF rounds for the first time in THS history, and Patch runs with this story. Nice.
John November 08, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Just when I think that people can't get any dumber...
all-c-ing-eye November 08, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Just think what could have happened to his car if it had a Denver Bronco sticker on it, I think he got away light.
Bill Ellis November 08, 2012 at 10:01 PM
To be fair, I don't recall saying it was definitely Republicans who did the deed, but it was pretty suggestive that someone who disagreed with my politics made the crude statement. Interestingly, today at Target I came out after shopping to find a note stuck under my windshield wiper. It expressed exactly the opposite sentiment, with somewhat less crude language (and less cleanup to do!). Does that me my fellow Libs are more considerate? You decide.. Bill Ellis
Bill Ellis November 08, 2012 at 10:03 PM
As I said in my comment below, I don't think I actually said "Republicans did this"
Bill Ellis November 08, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Again, I don't remember actually saying "Republicans did this"
Martin Henderson (Editor) November 08, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Nobody is referring to all republicans, but the unusual "randomness" of the incident, it's timing (election day) and its proximity to a republican office is pretty suspicious. There's no way of telling if this was a single person or a few, whether adults or kids, but one thing is certain: it fits the definition of a bizarre coincidence worthy of the weird news file. I'm the one who included "republicans" in the headline because, frankly, Libertarians were a far less likely source.
Gary November 08, 2012 at 11:16 PM
The fact is, in an effort to bring light to what occurred, either Bill or patch in-appropriately placed blame upon all republicans through the use of plural text. This sort of practice provides absolutely zero benefit to the readers or citizens. What ever happened to stating/reporting the facts and not sensationalizing to contrinute to and/or create even greater controversy.
Bill Ellis November 08, 2012 at 11:19 PM
To pick a nit - how do you know it was "one man's poor actions"? It could just as well have been one woman's, or some of each ;-)
Martin Henderson (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 01:48 AM
With all due respect, Gary (and others), you're taking it way too literally. There are bad sports and good sports in every walk of life, and it's generally understood to be the case. But on Tuesday, a person or persons desecrated a man's car in super safe Rancho Santa Margarita and it appeared to be in reaction to the news of the day -- Election day. If the headline read "Are Democrats Good Sports in RSM" the answer would be yes and no -- same as this question (there are good Republicans and bad Republicans). I would respectfully ask Republicans to not be so defensive and just consider the circumstances and how unusual it is because let's face it, the circumstances are pretty doggone coincidental (or, if the person who did this actually voted in Mr. Ellis' precinct, it might be pretty doggone ironic). Feel free to share with me examples of Republicans being good sports this week in RSM (besides not rioting after Mitt lost). Or, if you want, you can use other party affiliations as well.
Father of 3 November 09, 2012 at 03:10 AM
If your going to put the creator of destruction on your bumper, you might want to accept the consequences. Most republican are too busy working to pay for the democrats, when would republicans have time to vandalize ?
Janet Whitcomb November 09, 2012 at 04:22 AM
As a poll worker who was onsite in that same general area, from 5:45 a.m. to beyond 10 p.m., and—due to Tuesday’s terrific voter turnout—took only two very limited breaks, I can understand why Mr. Ellis would feel dismayed. It was a long day, and although we poll workers were all honored to be there and took a great deal of satisfaction in the assistance we provided, after the polls closed at 8 p.m. we still had to spend additional time breaking down the booths, filling out paperwork, and attending to a number of other tasks before we could return to our cars and go home. But while many of us left our cars close to the sites where we would work, Mr. Ellis thoughtfully parked much further away so that additional voters—whether or not they were of his political party—would have easier access to their polling places. I also empathize with Mr. Ellis re: his use of his own property to make political statements. Years ago I adorned my first car with four highly-charged political bumper stickers. I drove that car for a decade—while living in Huntington Beach, working in Santa Ana, and shopping, running errands, etc., to numerous points in between—and never once during that time was it vandalized. However, in more recent times I’ve noticed—as have many of us—increased contention between those of differing opinions. That and a plummeting decline in civility have made free speech increasingly perilous, if not downright dangerous.
Janet Whitcomb November 09, 2012 at 04:23 AM
So as to whether the act noted in this article was the act of “bad sports,” I’d like to offer my own story of vandalism. I moved to Rancho more than 15 years ago. For awhile, all seemed fine. Five years ago, however, my low-profile, unadorned car was severely vandalized at a rate of four times in 11 months. By the way, this period of vandalism occurred during a time when I already was extremely stressed due to my mother’s continuing decline. The fourth vandalism, in fact, occurred just days before her death, the only “bright spot” being that, on the day she died, my car was once again operable and I was able to be at her bedside. But it wasn’t just MY car that was being hit on. Many of my neighbors also were experiencing similar types of vandalism. A police investigator was assigned to the case, and as we began to compare information, it became fairly certain that all of these acts were being committed by a particular individual who lived nearby and—while seemingly “normal” at first glance—had been known, from the get-go, to make questionable statements and exhibit odd behaviors that sent up a multitude of red flags.
Janet Whitcomb November 09, 2012 at 04:24 AM
As for the vandalism itself, I think we can safely assume that each of these acts—those suffered by my neighbors and me five years ago, as well as the election night vandalism shown and described in this story—are the work of a limited mentality. But does it follow that since my neighborhood’s suspected vandal was a middle-aged white man, ALL middle-aged white men are equally culpable of the same crime? Of course not! Whatever your political affiliation and/or beliefs, then, it should be self-evident that the vermin who vandalized that car is not only twisted, but also has demonstrated a level of acted-out hostility that the vast majority of us—Republican, Democrat, whatever—rightly recognize as indefensible.
Bill Ellis November 09, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Thank you
April Josephson November 09, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Well said, LeAna.
April Josephson November 09, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Janet, great observations. Thank you, as always, for your volunteerism!
Father of 3 November 09, 2012 at 05:06 PM
All the more reason to not attract negative attention with items like gang colors or Obama stickers. A lot of people are hurting from his first four years and losing hope now, due to his re election. It's not wise to push someone who is already on edge. Vote for who you wish, but don't gloat when the victor is viewed by so many as America's last straw. I hope we survive another four years, we're trying to sell whats left of our 30 year old business. Good luck to the rest of you.
Martin Henderson (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 05:28 PM
@Father of 3: As points of clarification, there was no gloating involved. Mr. Ellis had pro-Democrat/Obama bumper stickers which should not be construed or even compared to gang colors. To be fair, there were a lot of people hurting before Obama was elected. Had everything been so great at that time, Obama would not have been elected; in fact, Romney was not even the preferred Republican candidate even though he was in the 2008 race. Having said all that, I avoid putting bumper stickers or any personal messages or logos on my car in order to not attract attention of any kind.
Gary November 09, 2012 at 08:45 PM
@ Bill: As I mentioned in my first post, I commend you for your efforts and as a volunteer polling inspector. I too have spent the day volunteering at the polls (2004) and it can prove to be a very long and arduous day, even with the great job Neal does as registrar of Voters. "Thank you for your service." And, its nice of you to have parked your vehicle out and away from the polling location because had you not, your bumper sticker may have been in violation of the 100ft regulations/law. Is it possible the perpetrator may have felt your political signage was too close to the polls which in turn brought about this unwarranted desecration? Just a thought............
Janet Whitcomb November 09, 2012 at 08:49 PM
"Gang colors" in the same line with "Obama stickers"? Please. In the four or five months leading up to the election, I saw many bumper stickers around town advocating the Romney/Ryan ticket, as well as those advocating the Obama/Biden ticket. None of them, however, said—or implied—“Hit me." And I doubt any of the drivers were trying to attract "negative attention." Each was simply stating his or her support of a candidate. If that is provocation, then I suppose every act of public opinion, including those stated at rallies and city council meetings, could be seen as provocation to acts of verbal and/or physical violence. Although news headlines report otherwise, one should be able to politely state one's views without fear of retribution. As for gloating, I know of no one among my friends who voted for Obama who is gloating. And if Romney had won, the same would be true of my friends who voted the Republican ticket. Perhaps you're confusing expressions of relief that the election is over for gloating? Yes, you are absolutely correct that a lot of people are hurting from the last four years. Many of us continue to work hard staying afloat in our not-always-watertight lifeboats; tactful people on ALL sides of the political spectrum understand this. Finally, I hope your statement that "it's not wise to push someone who is already on edge" does not portend something personally drastic. Everyone here, myself included, wishes you the best.
Janet Whitcomb November 09, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Gary, surely you jest. Someone writing obsenities on someone else's property does so with the 100 foot regulation in mind? Wow. Not hard to identify THAT Concerned Citizen . . . it's the one running around with a can of frosting and the OC Registrar of Voters rule book.
Bill Ellis November 09, 2012 at 09:17 PM
That would be a stretch - it was clearly in another block, and well past the "100 foot" limit sign I had personally installed that morning.


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