Sunday, October 17, 2010

Political Signs

If you have watched television over the past month, you are already sick of the political ads on TV for state and national races/issues.  I'm starting to think that political TV ads are welfare for local TV stations. The cacophony is so great, I don't know how you could logically decide anything from the positive and negative ads choking the air waves - and I hope people have a greater knowledge of the candidates and issues that are subjects of the ads, but somehow I doubt that is the case.

In local races, the main costs are signs and mailings.  Rarely, there are exceptions, can local races afford television time.  Signs are a major hassle and are a lot to manage in running a campaign.  On the positive side, they alert you that an election is coming and can show a degree of support for candidates.  In Lake Worth, it seems, we have a culture of sign stealing which seems to be especially bad this year.  Last year I actually took the time to number my signs and register them with people who had them in their yards.  I don't know if that was a deterrent or not.  But I do know that it was not as much as an issue last year compared with my first campaign.  Name recognition is important, especially for candidates that do not have the power of incumbency.  Signs can be a tool to "get your name out there."

Most of the signs are #5 plastic and contribute to the waste stream.  Number 5 plastic is also one of the more difficult to recycle since it is already so cheap, especially in relation to the a recycled product.  If we are a community that is built upon "sustainability", why do we allow signs at all?  Think of the amount of money that would free up for the campaigns to do actually public outreach and canvassing materials.  And, if you are stealing someones' signs, you are making it more expensive for them to run a campaign due to the cost to replace the stolen signs.  I am sure this is part of the reason behind this dirty strategy.  And it creates more plastic signs, adding to the waste stream.

Can we agree, for the sake of fair play and the environment, that we pledge not to steal signs?

No comments: