GOP decries vandalism of Patton Ave. billboard

GOP decries vandalism of Patton Ave. billboard-attachment0

At a press conference today, Buncombe County Republican officials and activists criticized the defacing of a “Vote Republican” billboard, which was spray-painted with “Drop bombs on families!!!?”

The billboard, at the intersection of Patton and Clingman avenues in downtown Asheville, originally read “Change the Culture of Corruption in N.C.” above a checked box stating “Vote Republican.” It was paid for by the Buncombe County Republican Action Club. Kathy Lack, the club’s chair, said the vandalism constituted an attack on free speech and was emblematic of the Democratic Party.

“This billboard was put up by the Buncombe County Republican Action Club to express a political opinion, and today our right to free speech was stolen,” Lack said. “It appears that the Democrat Party doesn’t believe the Republicans have the right to free speech.

“Really, what do we expect? The Democrat Party has been in power in North Carolina for over 100 years and they’ve done that through controlling the right to free speech. They use scare tactics to keep from saying things not in line with what they want. It’s common knowledge that people who want government jobs need to be a Democrat or at least pretend to be a Democrat,” Lack continued. “We put this billboard up with our own money, and they stole it for their use — they basically took away our right. Are those the kind of people we want to keep sending back to Raleigh and put in government positions?”

She took issue with the content of the spray-painted message, noting that the billboard was aimed at “state government, which has nothing to do whatsoever with the war.”

Buncombe GOP Chair Tim Johnson also criticized the conduct of law enforcement.

“If the Democratic Party wants to say it wasn’t their responsibility, then OK, but it was someone who had tendencies towards the Democratic Party or at least someone with a lack of respect for the Republican Party,” he said. “We can agree to disagree, but this is unlawful. The fact this is right around the corner from the Sheriff’s Department just makes it even more appalling. This is a major intersection. It almost makes you think that someone from the Sheriff’s Department or law enforcement sat here on the corner and protected them while they did it. You have no other way to assume things when you think about the proximity to the sheriff’s department. It speaks a lot about our community.”

Lack later told Xpress that the group has not filed a police report, stating that “the honest truth, the last time we had a billboard vandalized, we did and nothing came of it. No one cared. They’re not going to find this person. It was low priority to even call them. Nothing will ever come of it, so what’s the point?”

Buncombe County Board of Commissioners candidate Mike Fryar did call Sheriff Van Duncan, who arrived toward the end of the press conference.

Duncan said he doubted the vandals could be caught and that the matter would be under the Asheville Police Department’s jurisdiction. But he said they would take care to check up on the sign and four others the GOP has.

“We’ll definitely make sure our officers are aware and will take action if they catch anyone vandalizing it in the future,” Duncan said.

He added that he hadn’t seen an increase in political vandalism.

Chad Nesbitt, founder of the Carolina Stompers activist group, offered a $500 reward to anyone “who can tell us who did this and get an arrest and conviction.”

GOP Vice Chair Rick Jenkins said he had some idea of the type of people who’d done the spray-painting.

“I have a friend who was in charge of the gang-crime unit for L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. I sat under him, I’ve studied graffiti,” Jenkins said. “This is a white male that did this. It’s legible, it’s in one color and therefore you can tell. You would mark out a Hispanic that did this because the Hispanics that do graffiti, it’s very colorful [and] there’s a lot of symbols because of the broken English. You’d rule out a woman because a woman doesn’t do straight up stick-writing — it would have some kind of artistic flair. Chances are you’ve got a white man that’s done this.”

R.L. Clark, who’s running against state Sen. Martin Nesbitt, said the spray-painting showed that the “U.S. Constitution, the state Constitution, are absolutely being trampled in the mud. For several years I’ve gone all across North Carolina saying that. People’s personal, religious and private property rights are not being respected. We’ve become a nation not of laws, but of rule by the mob.”

This has not been the only political vandalism this year. This summer, motor oil was dumped on the front porch of the Buncombe Democratic Party headquarters. A group that called itself Citizens Hoping Against New Gas Emissions took responsibility for the act, claiming it was done to protest “oil drilling and war.”

— David Forbes, staff writer

 

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53 thoughts on “GOP decries vandalism of Patton Ave. billboard

  1. dave

    This merely emphasizes the absurd notion that anything that is critical of Republican policies is labeled as a “Democrat”. This is a false-dichotomy.
    I can almost guarantee that whoever painted this is certainly not a “Democrat”.

  2. dave

    and this quote: ““I have a friend who was in charge of the gang-crime unit for L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. I sat under him, I’ve studied graffiti,” Jenkins said. “This is a white male that did this. It’s legible, it’s in one color and therefore you can tell. You would mark out a Hispanic that did this because the Hispanics that do graffiti, it’s very colorful [and] there’s a lot of symbols because of the broken English. You’d rule out a woman because a woman doesn’t do straight up stick-writing — it would have some kind of artistic flair. Chances are you’ve got a white man that’s done this.” ”

    I mean, wow. What an expert. He can tell the difference between gang-related tags and activist, political graffiti? Wow, what an expert.Someone put him on the payroll!

  3. Jim Shura

    I’m glad the expert has ruled out the lesbian community for this appalling assault on the constitution.

  4. rob close

    heh, i love how the republican uses racism AND sexism to determine who did it. classy.

  5. vrede

    GOP investigators:

    Buncombe GOP Chair Tim Johnson: The Sheriff’s Department did it.

    Rick Jenkins – Graffiti Profiler. I see an action figure in his future.

    Buncombe County Republican Action Club chair, Kathy Lack – Lacking in understanding about what the 1st Amendment does and doesn’t do. At worst, it’s a creative property crime.

    One thing that sets the artists apart from the GOP – They didn’t smear.

  6. nuvue

    It’s probably even a white male that is mad at the current republican admin who has trampled the constitution into ground.
    Hey, maybe they are mad about Syria and Pakistan getting bombed as well as hanging Chads….Isn’t this racial profiling??
    Why, it coulda been an a-rab with good grammer.

  7. shadmarsh

    I’m confused as to why they(Republicans, and whatever Chad Nesbitt is) have taken offense, I thought this was part of the official party platform? I mean didn’t their candidate for POTUS even sing a little Beach Boys-esque diddy about bombing Iran?

    Remember, perception is reality, my friends. Perception is reality.

  8. Irony

    It is ironic that Republicans jump to accuse a Democratic Sheriff of corruption. Am I the only one who starts to think of Bobby Medford and his reign of error?

  9. zen

    Because Rick Jenkins ‘knows’ that it’s a white male who did the graffiti that it becomes the responsibility of the Democratic Party?

    Wake up to Asheville Graf, Rick. Almost all of the taggers ARE white male! And by your lame assumptions they are all minions of the party of their fathers? That’s pretty funny!

  10. tatuaje

    Are these people serious?

    If the Democratic Party wants to say it wasn’t their responsibility, then OK, but it was someone who had tendencies towards the Democratic Party or at least someone with a lack of respect for the Republican Party

    That pretty much includes most of the country these days, genius….

    “This is a white male that did this. It’s legible, it’s in one color and therefore you can tell. You would mark out a Hispanic that did this because the Hispanics that do graffiti, it’s very colorful [and] there’s a lot of symbols because of the broken English. You’d rule out a woman because a woman doesn’t do straight up stick-writing — it would have some kind of artistic flair. Chances are you’ve got a white man that’s done this.”

    Yo, RICK! Nice Matlock action there big guy! For the microwave and refrigerator, can you guess my ethnicity?

  11. shadmarsh

    tatuaje,

    you should know that, by Republican logic, pointing out racism makes you yourself a racist.

  12. Well the artistic addition to the billboard was spelled correctly so that rules out a large chunk of Republicans. Since it is in the same basic font style as the original message, the prankster must have some sense or knowledge of graphic design. It must mean too that the Republican party is predominantly white males since they chose that straight up stick font for their message.

    I’m not so sure font choices are so rigid in liberal Democratic circles, but I bet you have someone in a graphic design type profession who is responsible.

    Chad can I have that $500 now?

  13. Chad Nesbitt

    Christopher C NC,

    No. But that’s funny.

    And no, at one time the Republican party was predominantly (“predominantly” did I spell that right?)black until the Democrat party killed over 300 blacks in Wilmington in 1898.

    Your party still honors the white supremacist that led the killings. His name is Aycock.

    And yes, our party chair is black. Never in the history of Buncombe County has there been a black Dem chair.

    Tim Johnson is without a doubt the best chair the BCGOP has ever had.

  14. vrede

    “… artistic addition… some sense or knowledge of graphic design.”

    Aha! It’s a GAY, Muslim, Democrat, white male. the dragnet tightens.

    I’m splitting my $500 between the Democratic Party and the local billboard improvement task force.

  15. vrede

    Chad Nesbitt: “And yes, our party chair is black.”

    Was he or she one of the 36 blacks, out of 2K+ delegates, at the GOP Convention?

  16. Jim Shura

    So 110 years ago a group of racists launched a pogrom against former slaves in Wilmington. The relevance escapes me.

    This is a two-party system and both parties have changed quite a bit during that span.

  17. tatuaje

    you should know that, by Republican logic, pointing out racism makes you yourself a racist.

    So much funnier with the addition of Mr. Nesbitt’s response…

    And no, at one time the Republican party was predominantly (“predominantly” did I spell that right?)black until the Democrat party killed over 300 blacks in Wilmington in 1898.

    What does this have to do with ANYTHING?

    Seriously, does that have anything to do with the incident, the story, or any posts? Besides being a thinly veiled attempt to cast the Democrat party as racist and the Republican party as progressive? From a horrible incident perpetrated over a hundred years ago?

    Which is interesting considering the vice chair’s racist & sexist quote from above:

    “This is a white male that did this. It’s legible, it’s in one color and therefore you can tell. You would mark out a Hispanic that did this because the Hispanics that do graffiti, it’s very colorful [and] there’s a lot of symbols because of the broken English. You’d rule out a woman because a woman doesn’t do straight up stick-writing — it would have some kind of artistic flair. Chances are you’ve got a white man that’s done this.”

    So to counter those remarks you now want to prove how extremely progressive you are…

    And yes, our party chair is black. Never in the history of Buncombe County has there been a black Dem chair.

    I find your need to point this out very strange…especially since no one commented on Mr. Johnson’s race in the story or in any of the posts.

    But since you felt such a need….

    So, you’re saying that since the BC Democrat party has never had an African-American chair they are therefore racist? Or that because the BC Republican party has they are not? Is that really the logic you’re gonna use?

    Your party still honors the white supremacist that led the killings.

    From the party of Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, and Bob Corker…

    Oh how I hope the national media picks up on this…I think ya’ll have a serious chance of making ‘The Daily Show’…

  18. Laradactyl

    Oh, heavens. Honestly, I’m surprised that billboard lasted as long as it did. It was easy pickins.

    R.L. Clark, who’s running against state Sen. Martin Nesbitt, said [...] We’ve become a nation not of laws, but of rule by the mob.”

    Fun Fact! The word democracy comes from the Greek root demos, meaning “the many” or “the mob.” Democracy is mob rule.

  19. LOKEL

    Leave it to the GOP and its “leader” Rick Jenkins to put a racist spin on the whole thing ….

  20. Austin

    The truth hurts doesn’t it! The repubs have turned our republic into a sham and deserve this and so much more, you bunch of rhetoric spewing, fact hating, division creating, war mongering SISSIES! Thanks for Elizabeth Dole and her taking the freedom of speech to it’s most distasteful extreme just about ever. You all deserve nothing but what you get. And you all still won’t learn after getting trounced in this election because life is some great battle to you all instead of a life to live in understanding and compassion for all your fellow creatures. The tide has changed because our country isn’t as white as it was and it never will be again so quit crying and trying to turn back the clock.

  21. Ashevegasjoe

    Fun fact: The Republican party rose out of the segregationist platform and spread throughout the south by the KKK. Then it was picked up by evangelical white men who feared the rise in biodiversity of this nation. Both parties have a racist past, because this country was segregated for almost 75% of it’s existence. The past is just that. The GOP may have nominated the first black chair, but as one nation we are about to elect the first black president (dem). I’m sure that it fills you with pride Chad!

  22. yokle

    “The fact this is right around the corner from the Sheriff’s Department just makes it even more appalling.”

    I walk home past the Sheriff’s Department every day, and 90% of the time there is one or more methed out dude dealing drugs across the street in the middle of the day. If they can’t monitor what is going on across the street you shouldn’t expect them to monitor around the corner!

  23. Jimbo

    Is this more of the carefully contemplated republican outrage like that expressed by…

    03 Nov 2008 by Chad Nesbitt

    “Obama’s Grandmother just happens to die on the eve of the election?
    Yeah right.
    Yes, what I am getting ready to say may sound a bit morbid but for those of you that don’t play this game get ready for a crash course
    of marketing in politics.

    Now his grandmother dies in the state of Hawaii. As tragic as that is, I think she died when Obama went to see her last month in September and they have had her on ice ever since. Elections are about persuading people to vote for you. Be it good looks, charm, business skills, leadership, or SYMPATHY, when the election is tight the Obama camp will do anything.

    Acorn, throwing press that don’t endorse you off the plane, suppressing the press, media bias. I could go on but you get the jist.
    There are just to many coincidences here to get this man elected.
    Sympathy seems to be the last.

    Obama is a mean yet smooth guy. He talks about his grandparents like they were the best. But yet his aunt lives in the slums and the rest of his family lives on a dirt floor in Kenya.

    Personally, I want to see a certified death certificate.
    Or how about some investigating non biased press on the matter.
    I just don’t buy it!”

    Just another example of the best southern Republican values at work for all to see.

  24. tatuaje

    Did he really say that? Holy sh$t!

    I just don’t even have the words….

  25. Dallas

    This is one of the most racist things I’ve ever heard and I’m related to Old Klansmen. Even if it was a white male why are they making such a big deal about it? It’s like kids on the playground. And how exactly is this an assault on free speech? It seems like the person that wrote that was the one who was in threat of being silenced. And to blame he Sheriff’s Dept? Wow, that’s all way too much BS for me to consume…Why don’t you just file an insurance claim on it and replace it? It is true though…a vote for the republican party is a vote for more bombs and opression. Like you guys say…”If you don’t like it then move!”

  26. Jimbo:
    What is the source for that Chad quote, you surely have to be pulling our leg, He can’t be that much of a moron.

    About the sign, what is wrong with these guys. It is a prank with probably nothing to do with any official democratic party member. Every single quote was completely idiotic. $500 reward? It is such a bland sign you could go and buy a $5 can of paint and fix it in 15 minutes. As a southerner I am embarrassed that these people speak so ridiculously; I feel certain that the Republican party shares my shame.

  27. Austin

    Jimbo, girl, you have shamed yourself, your family,YOUR COUNTRY, and the human race.

    IT’S NOT A PRESS BIAS, IT’S A MAJORITY BIAS! Sissy!
    BLAME THE PRESS BECAUSE YOUR PARTY IS INTELLECTUALLY BANKRUPT!! I DARE YOU TO COME UP WITH A GOOD IDEA!!

  28. dave

    The need to blame the Democrats merely highlights the Old Guard’s limited focus on the issues. Everything is Democrat or Republican, black or white with these old folks. The “If you are critical of the Republican party, then you must be a Democrat” perspective is outdated and comical. Thank God the younger generations are beginning to dilute this outdated mentality.

    Also, anyone else notice the similarities between the Rich Jenkins guy and a certain Nam Vet we all know? Were they both in LA studying under the same graffiti expert?

  29. Patrick

    This is just the kind of narrow minded 2 party, black and white, good or evil thinking that is the reason I’m not voting this year. I lot faith in the 2 party system years ago and this is a good example of why. It’s more than likely that the person who did this is an Anarchist and disrespect for public sign-age is an example of that mindset. On the side of the devil’s advocate, Free speech is free speech… just because the party has the money to put up this sign, and the person with the spray can didn’t… should the opinions of the graffiti “bomber” be any less important than the opinions of the people with the sign? I mean, what’s more rude, putting up a big huge red sign to yell your opinions at the world, or spray painting a message on a big red sign to yell your opinions at the world?

  30. dave

    well, if its a “white man who did it”, then wouldnt that rule out the Democrats? They’ve already ruled out the Mexicans. Everyone knows only blacks and gays vote for Democrats, and they both have “artistic flair”. Maybe it was a white Republican who did it?

  31. Mr. Yuck

    I had to check it myself and it is on there, what a wacko. I bet his parents are proud.

  32. chops

    dropping bombs on families (whatever that means) is a bipartisan activity.

    we shouldn’t read too much into the fact that this is a republican billboard, unless of course they’re protesting the mav, because he did pilot a bomber, and i assume, dropped some bombs personally.

  33. nuvue

    Chops, What I think they are referring to is the wanton bombing of Iraq restaurants, houses and other areas, and our incursion into Syria recently, which it seems has drawn the ire of Syrian people, and other countries. We have also killed many Pakistani’s in our quest for “terrorists”. As I’ve noted before “remember, 10% of the 9/11 bombers were NOT Saudi”
    Yes, it is bipartisan, but the Pres. (our commander in chief) is most surely Republican. He really foisted the Iraq war on the American people, and many demo Senate and house members went along with a failed policy in the heat of the aftermath of 9/11….much like the sheep Dr. Anti used to rail about.

  34. doughnut gangster

    this forum is a like a bag of weiners, lips and assholes bumping around against each other. I think yall should take it to the streets and start a civil war, instead of wearing your pudgy little fingers to the bone on the keyboard.

  35. Cake

    ashevegasjoe
    Huge correction if you care to have correct facts:

    When the Republican Party was created, the two major parties in the United States were the Democratic Party and the Whig Party. The Republican Party was created in 1854
    *** in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act that would have allowed the expansion of slavery ****
    into Kansas. The Republican activists *denounced the act* that they felt was proof that the powerful class of southern slaveholders were conspiring to control the federal government and to spread slavery nationwide. The name “Republican” gained such favor in 1854 because “republicanism” was the paramount political value the new party meant to uphold.

    “Historian Eric Foner observed:

    In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political, but political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.

    To that end they worked to curb the education, economic advancement, voting rights, and right to keep and bear arms of blacks. The Ku Klux Klan soon spread into nearly every southern state, launching a “reign of terror” against Republican leaders both black and white.”

    The Democrat Red Shirts and KKK history is well documented if you are brave enough to read the truth.

    http://www.history.ncdcr.gov/1898-wrrc/report/report.htm

    http://www.newsobserver.com/news/1898_riots/

  36. Jim Shura

    Cake,

    That is all true. Both parties have continually redefined themselves each time they lose power and things that happened in 1898 or 1932 or 1980 have very little relevance when we are stuck with an institutionalized two party system.

    Each will absorb what the other casts off. We need more parties.

  37. Cake

    Mr Yuck, I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say? I do not see intimidation by murder as redefining a party, I see it as showing the true colors. After the Democrats got exactly what they wanted way back then they have been in rule ever since in this state. Rewriting the history books (you did read that part right? It is also documented) Everything that has happened to all the folks, black folks and white folks in this state is directly related to one party…the party that has held the power for well over 100 years. 10 parties would not make a hill of beans of difference when one party will lie, cheat, kill and intimidate to hold onto that power. I have been intimidated this very year and it was not by the greens, the indies, the Repubs, or the libertarians.

  38. Ashevegasjoe

    Cake,
    The idea that the Democrats have been in control of the government for the last 100 years is simply false. The progressive era lasted 20 years from T. Roosevelt to the end of WW1. The New Deal Era lasted 36 years from FDR to Nixon. And the Conservative rule has lasted for FIFTY years, from Robert Taft to the fall of G.W.
    Now, I may, mistakenly use “conservative” and “Republican” interchangeably. You are right in your statements on the origins of the G.O.P. But, in order to win southern states, modern Republicans have campaigned on “conservative” principles. Trent Lott met several times with the leadership of the Council of Conservative Citizens (or CCC) when he was majority leader. The CCC, not suprisingly, is a direct descendant of, you guessed it, the KKK. I specifically wrote that both parties have a racist past. But, it is the GOP that continues to be racist, divisive, and non-inclusive. Note the 90+ % of minorities that voted for Obama. Are they just not as adept as you at seeing the “racism” of Dems? Or, are they your intellectual equal, and thus able to decide which party is, in fact, more inclusive to their race. You cite historical events, I give you examples of your leadership in the last decade. There is little doubt that the KKK, which turned into the CCC, has much cross-over membership in the Moral Majority, evangelical christians, and inherently the GOP.
    They are the ones who, in your words “lie,cheat, kill, and intimidate to hold onto.. power”. Please note: from Nixon to Reagan to Bush to Bush II, the list of imprisoned and indicted cronies is about 30 to 2. The very charge you make against Dems, has been a staple in the careers of Nixon, Delay, Gingrich, Ken Lay, Cheney, Frist, Hastert, Cunningham, Renzi, and most recently Ted Stevens (with many more to follow I’m sure). If you have been intimidated this year, it may be at the realization that you are in fact, a minority. People in this country have overwhelmingly voted for candidates who are not divisive, hateful, or for lack of a better word, conservative.
    I do “care to have the correct facts”. And, the facts are: both parties have a racist past, but it is the GOP who continues to use racism as a political tool. In fact, many of the Dems from the time period you cited switched parties to the Segregationist Party, and then to the Republican Party (See Strom Thurmond). But, as early as 2006, the leadership of the GOP has met on several occasions with racists, and, in the Ford campaign in Tenn., used racial stereotypes to scare white voters into voting for a candidate who is more “like them”. It’s O.K. though, when Pres. Obama brings home the troops he’ll bring home your relatives too, and when he gets healthcare for everyone, you guys get to enjoy it too! Don’t fear change.

  39. Cake

    Ashevegasjoe,
    You were so excited and in a hurry to be correct that you replied to not what I said but what you perceived. A typical problem I see alot of… not really paying attention to what someone says and citing things you obviously have not studied.

    Read what I said again…I was not talking nationwide, I was talking local… “they have been in rule ever since in this state”

    How can we have a conversation when you don’t really hear what I am trying to communicate? That is the problem in Asheville, Buncombe County, WNC, NC and the USA.

  40. shadmarsh

    Another problem I’ve noticed is people thinking “alot” is a word. It is not.

  41. Ashevegasjoe

    You were totally taken out of context, I won’t do it again.

  42. Cake

    AshevegasJoe,
    Thanks, and I must say I agree with ‘alot’ of what you said. Crooks, creeps and evil abound in both parties and also good decent people who love humankind and want what is best for people who are at a disadvantage and have been disenfranchised. I know I certainly do. We just have different ideologies on how to go about making it better for others. I want to be able to be generous and kind and help first hand instead of being forced to give double taxes so the government can then dole the money out in it’s ever wasteful ways. I think regular folks like us are the best hope people have for change, not the government.
    I am very, very happy for all the children I have seen that are black and are thrilled and do have hope, that is worth my candidate losing the election even if I disagree with how Obama will govern, I do love to see the little childrens faces with a glimmer of “I can actually get out of this hell hole government run welfare system and be president” .
    When it is all said and done we will all be ok and we will continue to have a conversation about politics and more or less government and that is what we need to have more of.

    (However, in the whole scheme of things, with all the people who need to be fed and need healthcare, do ya’ll think it wise to do a WhiteHouse makeover and turn a bowling ally into an indoor Gymnasium so our President can play hoops?)
    Peace Out!

  43. Ashevegasjoe

    I was being sarcastic, and I don’t think it’s the government’s job to “dole out money”. However, unlike conservatives, I do think that our government is capable of doing some jobs. Regulating the financial markets and making healthcare affordable would be a great start. I’m sure the eventhough Rush and Hannity are still trying to scare people with “double taxation”, the next 8 years will ne no closer to that, than the last. I’ll bet that the top five percent will have to pay what they did in the nineties, and the rest of us will see a decrease, or at least no increase in taxes. I’m making a list of all the absurd claim that Republicans are making, “he’ll take our guns” “he’ll take away Christmas” “this is the end of capitalism” and now your “double taxes”. In eight years, I’m sure we’ll all be the same well-armed capitalistic christmas-celebrating gluttons that we’ve always been.
    Turning a bowling alley into an indoor gym seems like a great idea, turning the Middle East into a gigantic dibacle… priceless.

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