Johnson supporter vandalizes bike trail to get out the message

Johnson supporter vandalizes bike trail to get out the message
The infamous Cedar Lake Trail graffiti

The ride from St. Louis Park to Minneapoils along the Cedar Lake Regional bike trail is normally uneventful -- a few twists and tunnels are all the excitement you'll get. But lately, you'll find something different among the gravel and debris a few hundred feet from Target Field. A message has sprouted up on the pavement, spelled out in big, white, spray-painted letters, from a graffiti artist with a point to make.

"DUMP DAYTON," the message reads, sprawled out in all caps. Underneath it sits a big white checkmark, and another hastily spray-painted name: "JEFF JOHNSON."

See also: Mills Ruins Park defaced by graffiti

The message itself is obvious: It's politically motivated vandalism, an act performed by a supporter who most likely felt that yard signs just weren't enough. It's a stunt on the same level as something like the chicken-suited activist at the State Fair insulting Al Franken.

But think a little bit harder about the whole situation, and it becomes pretty obvious that vandalizing city property in the name of political activism isn't just a harmless stunt. It's irresponsible and doesn't make much sense.

Ignoring the fact that getting rid of the spray paint will cost the city money, the idea is confusing from a political perspective, too. We know that the person who vandalized the trail wanted to reach the biker community and get them to vote for Jeff Johnson. But while Twin Cities bikers have all kinds of backgrounds and beliefs, the one thing we can say for certain is that they respect the bike trails and don't want to see them damaged.

So why, political bike trail vandal, did you decide that the best approach to reach these people was to damage the very trail that these cyclists ride every day? Why not just put up a sign? By associating Jeff Johnson's name with graffiti that's damaging this trail, you're probably degrading the GOP gubernatorial candidate in the eyes of bikers. You're certainly not making him look better.

Maybe you're a Johnson supporter who just didn't think things through. Maybe you're secretly a DFL political operative who knew the stunt might make Johnson look bad. Whoever you are, maybe you should rethink your strategy for the next gubernatorial race in 2018.

Let us know if you've seen any other politically motivated graffiti along bike trails, or if you know the person behind this particular instance. We're interested.

Send your story tips to the author, Robbie Feinberg. Follow him on Twitter @robbiefeinberg.

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