Bil Browning

On jackasses and less frequent posting

Filed By Bil Browning | October 25, 2007 12:20 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: City-County Council, election 2007, Indianapolis, rant

Some of you know by now that I'm a campaign manager for a City-County Council race here in Indianapolis this local election cycle. You've probably also noticed that I've not been blogging as much the closer we get to election day. Last week, for example, I spent 3 days putting up over 300 yard signs for the campaign. Alex, Michael and Rebecca kept things humming along here while I was out doing all that work.

Imagine my reaction this morning when I discovered someone with the opponent's campaign is running around and putting up yard signs in front of houses that already have my candidate's sign. They either remove ours and replace it with their own or just add their sign to the yard. We've had several calls from upset constituents and donors who've somehow gained a yard sign they didn't want; we've gently encouraged them to go ahead and pull it up and tell their neighbors about it too. *grins* But who puts out a yard sign where it isn't wanted? As one caller said, "It looks like they just ran around and stuck one of their signs everywhere you had one."

Putting out all those yard signs was a lot of work and it took me away from you guys for a few days. And now some jackass is running around and messing with them? How irritated am I? Now I have to go put up more signs or go remove my opponent's sign for the resident which will mean even more time away from the blog. *sigh* Three or four would be funny, but we've well surpassed that now. Anyone ever hear of musical yard signs winning an election? Nobody told me the music stopped.

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Hey Bil,

Welcome to the wonderful world of politics. You will run into all kinds of jackassery and dirty tricks. As I learned while running for city council in West Hollywood -- no matter how much you read in the media about other people "running for office," there's nothing like actually doing it yourself to find out the secret truths about this strange process that runs our country. Good luck!

Zach Adamson | October 25, 2007 8:58 AM

Did you do the post in the Star today.. i was just reading something about that there this morning.. Grrrr.. Bil, if you need help fixing this lemme know. That sounds odd that this would happen since everyone I talk to from the competitors camp talk of an easy win. About how many voters they have registered.. (unrealistically nearly doubling the voter count). Seems an odd tactic for such an "obvious" victor.
I remember a mailing that was put out by the competition not so long ago.. That in so many words basically bashed long time democrat and ally Karen Celestino Horseman for essentially loosing the election through neglect. (Rather than attack Scott on his positions.) When confronted with this, the spin plan was to deny that he personally had anything to do with it, and it must have been a decision of someone else working within his camp. At the end of the day, its his responsibility to read those letters before they go out and approve them. I wonder where the order to mix and match the yard signs came from? I wonder if this too will be revealed that he "had nothing to do with it".
With so much going on unaccounted for during the campaign, I wonder what that says about the way the office will be conducted should he take the seat. And if the musical signs swap and switch was an inside job, what does that say about his ethics in general. It really makes one wonder.. Its going to be an interesting race to be sure...

As the campaign has approached the final bit before Election Day, I've been keeping a close eye on some factors. The challenger has registered quite a few new voters in this Democratic-leaning district. My candidate has garnered endorsements from almost every neighborhood association for his work on their behalf during the past four years. And what this race will boil down to is simply old versus new - the neighborhood home owners and longtime residents versus renters who've just moved to the district or younger folks buying their first "fixer-upper." This isn't a race about political philosophy and ideas or even what's best for the district. Instead, this has simply become a numbers game - a gamble that this one section of inner city will fall back into Democrat hands.

Good luck with the campaign! Your state doesn't have laws against putting signs in people yards and property without asking? I know in our state and in others, the campaign behind those signs can get fined. Just a thought.

Keep up the good fight!

Here's another idea:

We have some pretty enthusiastic local elections here, and sign-switching, etc. is a common problem. Several years ago, during an election season, one of these overzealous campaign workers put a bumper sticker on my car. After I removed the sticker (it wasn't hard, I found it before the glue dried), I called the campaign's headquarters and complained. The candidate herself got on the phone, apologized, and promised me she would instantly put an end to it.

Wouldn't the best way to deal with this be in the same way? Or maybe tell the story to the local paper? The greatest enemy of underhanded political tactics is the full light of public exposure.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | October 25, 2007 7:24 PM

One form of musical yard signs can be helpful as the average person tends to drive the same patterned routes and, after a while, gets immune to seeing what they've already seen and seen and seen.

That's fine if the campaign has money to burn but, as most don't, periodically moving the yard signs' locations gets you way more bang for your yardsign bucks.

I usually arrange to move them in groups for best effect, saturating an area and leaving maybe a couple behind when we later use them to saturate a new area.