We’re at that point in the campaigns where pretty much all the signs are up. Signs are the most visible aspect of the campaigns, though any seasoned campaign worker will tell you that it’s at the lowest priority in terms of effectiveness. You have to have them up, or your campaign looks disorganized. But rarely is a mind changed by signs, no matter who appears to be endorsing the candidate. Whether a candidate sign on your neighbor’s lawn positively influences you is contingent upon what you think of the neighbor. I’ve seen campaigns which seemed to plaster the entire district with signs still lose, and in fact often on the main drags of travel the signs are imposed by landlords on renters who may or may not even intend to vote.
And of course there are the sign wars. Each campaign will report missing and vandalized signs. At one point Elan Firpo’s campaign reported on Facebook that nearly one fourth of her signs had to be replaced, and more recently they reported that a particular large sign had been stolen and replaced. The replacement had been torn and the second replacement had been obscured by a competing campaign’s sign placed on the private property owned by a Firpo supporter. The other campaigns have reported similar happenings. It’s a silly thing, and it’s hard to know whether the thefts/vandalism are committed by supporters of opposing candidates, people who are just sick of the campaigns in general, people who are just angry in general, or kids who do to it just because they can.
Sometimes signs convey unintended messages. I took the top photo while attending the Unitarian Easter celebration this last Sunday. The sign is in Bayside, well outside of Virginia Bass’s district, but sometimes campaigns put signs in strategic extra-district locations. It faces, not the drivers on the main road, but people driving out of the Unitarian compound, although signs with are parallel rather than perpendicular to travel ways aren’t all that uncommon. One of the attendees joked that she wondered if it’s Virginia’s outreach to Unitarians. More likely, the property owner is a friend of Virginia’s, and completely oblivious to the discussion across the street. It is however interesting that the placement of such a sign could generate such discussion.
And then there are the items of curiosity. I took this photo on H Street in Eureka. Marital or other household differences of opinion, or did the two campaigns merely contact someone who has not yet paid enough attention to recognize the competition on his/her lawn?
A block or so away in I Street, you can find this curiosity, although I wonder if the Fleming sign is at a property line despite the lawn formation. However, if you move closer to the sign, you will note that it really looks like the Fleming sign is on the Firpo supporter’s property.
It is also interesting to see the various combinations of signs across campaigns. There are lots of lawns with both Supervisor and D.A. signs. Lots of Fleming/Bass lawns as well as Fleming/Kerrigan lawns. Also Firpo/Bass, Firpo/Kerrigan, Dollison/Bass, Dollision/Kerrigan, and Klein/Bass lawns. I have yet to see a Klein/Kerrigan lawn.
Firpo was the first to get her signs up in Sohum – the first sign I saw was just east of Briceland on Briceland Road a few weeks ago. But now there are Fleming signs up in and around town. Haven’t yet seen any Dollison or Klein signs in Sohum, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
I haven’t been up in the 5th district in the past few weeks, but Ryan Sundberg does have a sign at a business in Eureka.
Meanwhile, the debates continue, and I interview Maggie Fleming this Thursday evening at 7:00 on KHSU. You can listen to the interviews of all competitive campaigners at the KHSU archives page until the election.