Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sign Wars

(Thursday, 7:27 am...mature bald eagle flying in the wrong direction, upstream, carrying something. I wonder where the nest is? It will be very hard to find without a helicopter, because of the lush forest in the gorge. I guess that's why they put the nest up here.)

Sign wars have started! Our county has a several hotly contested races this cycle, and there's a longstanding Southern tradition that the person with the most political signs in the most places is the best candidate. This situation won't be helped by the republican Senate primary, which will pour millions into roadside trash.

Signs will go up in a Darwinian battle for the optimum spots. In the night, some will be uprooted and take a pickup truck ride to oblivion. Most of the time, they show up after election day in a back road ditch. Every so often someone will get busted with a load of stolen signs, criminals to the opposition candidates, fallen heroes to their own.

It was classic entertainment to watch certain prime areas cover up with signs, re-cover and cover again. With the sleaze factor pervasive in local politics, the workers for some of the candidates are always willing to throw out sportsmanship and fairplay, nailing their man's signs up over that "other" guy's. That "Other" guy comes along and one-ups the foul and starts the play over...And so it goes until the limits of the ground's ability to support metal fence posts is reached, or election day...whichever comes first.

It is different for me this time, since I am now a campaign worker in one of the candidates in the County Mayor Race. I have a pickup truck. There's a temptation that brews itself up, when I drive by the park entrance, a prime sign breeding ground, and see one of the other candidate's signs placed strategically blocking mu guy's. "No fair!" I think, but then I laugh.

These things are so divisive in local communities. I won't be sucked into that. Both of these candidates are my friends and I know them well. I am treating this like I'm hiring someone for a job after years spent interviewing prospective employees. It's not a tough choice for someone like me who knows all three candidates and has the ability to separate myself from personal loyalties and look at what would be best in the long run. I suspect this is not a talent you are born with but one that you have to develop by making mistakes. I made several mistakes of that type as I helped build a tiny company into a big one. People decisions are the hardest and most crucial and I have some spectacularly bad choices on the books.

Look at the resume and not at the friendship... easier to type than to do.

Well, there's not much time until August 2, 2006. I need to go pound in some signs.

Peace,

Steve

www.elect-tyler.com

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