Santa Cruz man sought for damaging campaign signs in 5th
by Peter Burke
Oct 18, 2012 | 3424 views | 17 17 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Santa Cruz man is suspected of defacing more than 50 campaign signs in the 5thDistrict, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.

The signs, vandalized by a large sticker adhered to the sign, were placed by Bruce McPherson’s campaign, a former California Secretary of State and one of two candidates for 5th District Supervisor.

The damage is estimated at about $1,500.

The Sheriff’s Office has identified Bruce Alexander Gaguine as the person who was seen vandalizing the signs. He was seen in broad daylight defacing the signs on three separate days by McPherson supporters. A supporter used a cell phone camera to take a picture of him and his license plate on the third occasion.

Gaguine, according to public records, is the president of the Appleton Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization based in the county.

The Foundation has more than $11.2 million in assets, according to 2010 tax documents, and granted more than $1.2 million to more than 40 organizations in North America in 2010. More recent documentation was not immediately available.

In Santa Cruz in 2010, Appleton Foundation gave $15,000 to the Santa Cruz Women’s Health Center, $15,000 to the Resource Center for Nonviolence, $15,000 to the Homeless Services Center, $9,000 to the Diversity Center, along with $35,000 to the Community Action Board in Watsonville.

The Sheriff’s Office has been unable to contact Gaguine and has turned the case over to the Santa Cruz District Attorney’s Office requesting prosecution.

Gaguine appears to be a supporter of McPherson’s opponent in the 5th District Race, Eric Hammer. Gaguine contributed $150 to the Hammer for Supervisor Campaign on May 5 according to campaign disclosure forms.

However, Hammer said today that he had never heard of Gaguine.

“I have been fortunate enough to have hundreds of people donate to my campaign,” Hammer said over the phone. “I don’t know him – I definitely don’t personally know him.”

Hammer discouraged the damaging of signs.

“It’s unfortunate that people have gone to that level,” he said. “I have been running a clean campaign and focusing on the issues. If they caught the person who did that, that’s great. I’m definitely not supportive of vandalizing anything.”

 

 

Comments
(17)
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norcal
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October 22, 2012
hey doesn't don lane work for this foundation as well?
Felton Resident
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October 22, 2012
Unfortunately, much attention on this campaign has been on everything BUT the issues.

I've met both candidates in this nonpartisan race. McPherson asked me what issues were important to me and listened carefully to my response. Alternatively, Hammer told me that he was the Democrat, and then told me why I shouldn't vote for McPherson - he's a Republican who lives in Scotts Valley. The advertisements I have seen thus far is McPherson running a positive campaign and the Hammer campaign running a negative one.

While I plan to vote for McPherson, I find it distasteful to call Hammer names or imply that he is so illiterate that he can't even read. C'mon, people, this is a man who has been active in our community and is raising his children here. You can support your chosen candidate without tearing down the other.
FC Voter
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October 22, 2012
I will be voting for McPherson as well, in part because of his positive campaign and focus on the issues while the Hammer campaign is negative and destructive.

However, the main reason I will not be voting for Hammer is that he does not have a sufficient grasp of basic issues necessary to effectively hold the office of Supervisor. I'm sure he can read. But I have no confidence he can translate his reading into leadership.
BC downtown
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October 23, 2012
Well said.
Vera Emery
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October 19, 2012
The real story, now that one of the vandals has been ID'd, is the cloak of handlers around Eric Hammer. You'd be hard pressed to find even one of his supporters admit that he is intelligent enough for the job of supervisor. But, you are assured, his "handlers" are.

We are not voting for handlers. And even worse, his handlers appear to be the politically narrow-minded like Gaguine, Patton, Leopold, Valley Women's Club.

No thanks. That passel of politicos will not move us forward.
Today is spirit day
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October 19, 2012
A day to wear purple to take a stand against bullying, specifically against LGBT youth.

These blogs are a perfect example of cyber bullying. You'll be disappointed to know that Mr. Hammer doesn't read them.

Again, all your hateful comments only serve to tarnish the integrity of your candidate.

Stay out of the gutter, focus on the issues (what are those? Oh yeah, those pesky things you have to address after you get the job), and let law enforcement do their thing. I am confident there is no connection to Mr. Hammer's campaign, and just as confident that won't be determined until November 7th.
anonymous
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October 19, 2012
Spare us your false reprimand. You have no problem avoiding the "issues" and wallowing in the gutter of dirty campaigning. That is exactly what this news article is about - a Hammer supporter defacing McPherson signs because the Hammer supporter has no faith in his candidate's capacity.

And yes, we know Hammer does not read. That is abundantly apparent.

anonymous
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October 19, 2012
Further, it's only cyber bullying if it's against Hammer, right? What's it called if it's against Mr. McPherson?

How about lay off the evasiveness and let the dialogue flourish.
Jeff C
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October 19, 2012
What a bunch of bullies! Pot calling the kettle black! "today" has it right. Insults apparently seem to be the latest tactic of the McPherson campaign, all the way up to his campaign manager.

For a bunch who imply "they're above all that" I find it interesting that they have now stooped to the level of name calling, leading assumptions and promotion of lies. I know Mcpherson and Hammer are both above all this and that these few rabble rousers should be ignored.
Felicity P
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October 19, 2012
Deflect all you want. Too late.
resign
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October 19, 2012
i have seen many signs being removed and or deface3d by Hammer supporters. Finally someone gets caught and funny how Hammers construction website and Facebook has been taken down. This guy was on Hammers supporter list.

Hammer has been dishonest to the public when it comes to his education saying he had a degree when he did not.

Hammer haas been dishonest when it comes to what he has done in the valley.

Hammer has skirted the law when it comes to building permits.

Hammer and the Valley Womens Club have bullied this Valley for too long.

I know this boy in a mans body and i beg voters to not vote for this guy.

Eric this is just the tip of a very big iceberg wait till this guys rolls over on you and the campaign.

lies
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October 19, 2012
There is no basis in fact in any of the above statements made by resign. This is exactly the kind of behavior that both candidates have denounced in this campaign. STOP the lies.
BL Voters
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October 19, 2012
Actually, every comment looks to be supportable by evidence.
BABC
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October 19, 2012
Eric Hammer's business website is "currently down for maintenance." I suspect he is is busily removing the false claim of a college degree he dis not earn. He is a liar.
Jeff C
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October 19, 2012
Certainly couldn't be a DOS attack by some hacker...could it?
proof needed
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October 20, 2012
Awaiting the proof BL voter has mentioned...Please feel free to post it here for all to see!
Samamtha Spade
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October 18, 2012
Sorry Eric. Doesn't pass the sniff test.


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