Abby West
April 11, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

He’s not Rick James, bitch! Okay, maybe he is. Hattiesburg, Miss., city council candidate Rick James says his campaign yard signs keep getting stolen or defaced to read like the Chappelle’s Show catchphrase about the late funk singer. ”We had one little old lady [call] us almost crying because somebody had written the B-word on her sign. She thought they meant her,” says James, 53. Luckily, he gets the joke (”Super Freak” is on the campaign answering machine), but he can’t afford it: ”Every time they steal a sign, they’re stealing a piece of my campaign.”

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