Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sign of the times

Every election season there's at least one candidate –and usually many more –who bitches to the media about unsavory tactics being used by the “other side” to sabotage their plight to cover every willing landowner's lawn with their unsightly and oft-tacky signs. And every election season, there's a candidate on “other side” who says the accusations are a spurious attempt to sling mud on their campaign.

This year, the heralded “Broken Sign Award” goes to incumbent Republican Congressman. John Sweeney, who has his campaign minions crying to the news about how someone from Democrat challenger Kirstin Gillibrand's camp keeps playing swap-the-signs with their candidate's yard art.

Clifton Park Republican Chairman Mike Lisuzzo made enough of a stink that one would think Gillibrand herself is tooling around the suburban sprawl with a pint of whiskey and a baseball bat taking her vengeance on the signs. In a Capital News 9 report aired Wednesday, he even shows a glossy picture complete with arrows and footnotes depicting where the signs once stood, as if anyone really cares.

Of course, Gillibrand Campaign Spokeswoman Allison Price didn't hesitate to fire back at the accusation, launching her own at the town's GOP leaders for a batch of signs have disappeared around the region –especially in Clifton Park.

But the truth is, campaign signs by their impermanent nature are veritable magnets for both vandals and drunks. After all, there's nothing better than tying a buzz on during a crisp autumn evening, then going on a curbside rampage amid the colorful gardens of campaign rhetoric. Not to mention, college students –many who are often prone to both drunkenness and vandalism –usually take a shine to collecting signs of all kinds for their dorm rooms, a habit they certainly don't abandon during campaign season.

Certainly, there are partisan operatives or just plain partisan people who take great joy in kicking down the opposition's signs. Still, this is hardly something new in politics. In fact, as long as there have been candidates to post yard signs, there have been people to tear them down. Suffice to say, the Sweeney-Gillibrand contest is nothing new.

Perhaps both of these campaign could learn something new from these furtive sign wars. Rather than spending all this effort for name recognition on some yokel's lawn, perhaps they could spend a bit more time focusing on telling the people what they've done to merit a place in public office.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Signs, signs...everywhere there's signs. Blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind.

3:35 AM  
Blogger devtob said...

Lisuzzo and his gang are well-known serial sign thieves, and were caught red-handed with stolen Gillibrand signs by the TU back in July.

The police did not seem to be interested in sign stealing back then, and are probably not now, either.

But if they are, they should arrest and interrogate Lisuzzo protege Adam Kramer.

8:13 PM  

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