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Hollywood sign changed to 'Perotwood'

By
VALERIE KUKLENSKI

LOS ANGELES -- Someone put a political spin on the famed Hollywood sign, changing it to read 'Perotwood.'

But unlike most times the sign has been altered in the past, this was a professional job.

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Some time late Wednesday or early Thursday, someone covered the first five 45-foot-high letters in front with preprinted plastic sheeting, black where it masked parts of the existing letters with white areas to spell out Texas billionaire Ross Perot's name.

The sight brought morning traffic to a standstill on the Hollywood Freeway and may have been to blame for at least two minor accidents.

Los Angeles police officers went to the sign, spanning 450 feet on Mount Lee in Griffith Park, but the culprits already were gone. Park employees began to take down the altered letters shortly after 7 a.m.

Just who was responsible for the prank had not been determined.

Adrienne Meltzer, spokeswoman for the independent presidential candidate's state headquarters in Los Angeles, said no one connected with the campaign had taken credit for the job.

'We have no idea who did it,' she said. 'I would love to know -- I want to pat them on the back.'

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Perot national headquarters in Dallas was unaware the sign doctoring had even taken place, let alone who might have done it.

'It must mean all of Hollywood, all of California is for Perot,' said Prem Deodhar, an optimistic volunteer with United We Stand America in Los Angeles.

In addition to the official state campaign office, Perot has fragmented volunteer groups operating out of small storefronts or their homes.

In the past, the famed landmark has been draped in bedsheets and other makeshift maskings to read 'Hollyweed,' referring to the state's new marijuana law in 1976; 'Caltech' in 1987, courtesy of some proud students; and even 'Raffeysod,' a 1985 promotion by a little-known New Orleans band.

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