Quick Hits – April 3, 2016

This doesn’t work!

I typically pass the McClean Boulevard Elgin Township offices on my three weekly Elgin sojourns and I laugh out loud every single time because you’ll see something like this:

Too Many Signs

It baffles me that any reasonable candidate thinks the lemming school of campaign management could possibly work.

That great political philosopher and Kane County Treasurer Dave Rickert calls these eyesores ‘sign graveyards’ because that’s where yard signs go to die. Not only are these graveyards a terrible messaging medium, but they’re detrimental to the campaign process as a whole.

Too many placards in one place turns it into the political equivalent of white noise and  trains voters to ignore all yard signs. Worse yet, the voters who actually do notice the mess get totally turned off by all the “litter.”

I don’t want to give away all my campaign secrets, but I insist that my candidates focus primarily on front lawns and set their signs separately from their opponent(s) whenever possible. If a generic sign location gets too crowded, those signs get moved.

That goes for cramming thousands of yard signs just millimeters outside the 100 foot mark at every bleepin’ polling place too. It might be a Christo-esque modern art statement, but it won’t get you any votes.

Just don’t do it.

This doesn’t work either

If there truly is a yin to my complicated yang, it would have to be my good friend and Streamwood resident Bill Wright. For the uninitiated, Bill helps moderate the U-46 Uncensored Facebook page, he’s politically active and he aggravates the bleep out of me by often condensing my 800 column words into just two paragraphs.

That kind of temerity is even worse than being a Cardinal fan.

Bill rarely speaks ill of any candidate and, unlike me, it takes a lot to get him going. But mediocre campaign manager Drew Veeneman and the Citizens to Elect Cody Holt committee managed to do just that. Please note to whom this mailer is addressed:


“Billy H. McRino.” Funny right?

Alt-right candidates like Cody Holt and Enoch Essendrop already have to spend a great deal of campaign time defending their stilted candidacies and something this blitheringly stupid undermines all that effort in a nanosecond.

Nice going Cody and Drew! What are you guys gonna do for an encore, call random voters and ask if their water heater’s running?

This doesn’t work part three

Jeff Meyer and I will cover some of this silliness on Ward & Jones at 3 p.m. today (4/3 on AM1410), but the folks on both sides of the Elgin Township electoral effort really need to calm down a bit.

It’s not necessarily the candidates either. As is typical of late-in-the-game attack mailers, they come from “concerned” anonymous folks who think they’re helping a candidate, though they rarely do.

To wit, two mailers recently hit Elgin voters.

The first was a Pinocchio themed piece in which the “Noland State Central Committee” went after the Republican township slate for failing to consolidate services like Hanover Township is currently attempting to do.

Of course, the Republican township highway commissioner immediately started defending his position until some smart soul reminded him that state law forbids this kind of consolidation outside of Cook County.

And by the way, the Noland State Central Committee is not registered with the state and is not necessarily attached to former 22nd District State Senator Mike Noland. Though if anyone could get it wrong, he could!

Meanwhile, “The Elgin Progressives for the Truth,” another unlisted campaign committee, put out a hit on Democratic Township Supervisor candidate Franklin Ramirez. That mailer asked voters if they’d trust their township to a “Republican operative.”

Yes! Ramirez once was a member of the Republican House Committee staff, but that kind of gig typically requires putting some of your political beliefs aside. Even if that’s not the case, Kane County politicians switch sides all the time.

Perennial Coroner candidate Stan Hickrod made an art out of it. My favorite county board member, Deb Allen, turned Democratic when her district did. With the exception of Recorder Sandy, the entire Wegman family has switched sides so many times they write “D” or “R” on the palm of their left hand.

So it’s nothing new. And we all know that mailer didn’t come from any “progressive” group, it came from some snickering Republicans who have nothing better to do that try to scare Democratic voters.

The thing is, especially with early voting, not only do these spurious last-minute attacks fail, but they often backfire. And the net effect is that fewer folks trust politicians and  fewer want to engage in the political process.

Just don’t do it.

4 thoughts on “Quick Hits – April 3, 2016

  1. If you get a chance someday, ask former Elgin GOP Township Chairman Rickert why all the GOP precinct committeemen he bragged he appointed to “fill all seats” suddenly disappeared after the last election.

    Then, ask Meyer where all the money went that that the Kane County GOP donated to his campaign for the state legislature. Which “political consultant” got it?

  2. I voted in Aurora this morning and was pleasantly surprised to find NO political signs outside at all. Not going to say where, don’t want to jinx it.

    • Jeff,

      I instruct all of my candidates not to bother with polling places because it doesn’t work.

      • LOL. Sometimes it works for the opponent. On at least one occasion I went to the poll really undecided on a race, it could have gone to a coin toss for me. Then at the poll one candidate had several signs out which annoyed me. O thought maybe they were closer than they should be. Didn’t measure, just went into the poll and voted for the other guy.

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