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Monday, March 18, 2013

Election 2013 | Two Area Candidates Dump the Annoying Political Yard Signs, Floppy Billboards and Old Campaign Habits

In the last few years, we've observed dramatic change and disruption in technology, media, information and how we all interact with it.

However, some stubbornly cling to the old way of doing things.

As we look around at local politics, most campaigns and elections continue to cling to old habits, old ideas and old methods.

One of the most glaring examples in politics, campaigns and elections is the old-fashioned political yard sign.

Like those mailers that flood old mailboxes, yard signs are incredibly annoying and even more ineffective.

How ineffective?  It's not just that they don't win elections for this or that candidate, they don't even get people out to vote despite being plastered everywhere on major streets and in neighborhoods.

In fact, they have become a chronic form of pollution in our communities, waste valuable resources in our so-called environmentally-aware world and lead to all kinds of games, battles and turf wars.

However, there's two area candidates that are not waiting for the old ways to die, but are changing to new, smarter ways of thinking.

Joel Frieders, a candidate for Yorkville City Council, has ONE sign.  And, he's making the most of it.  He's taking his sign where necessary and having his campaign team (his family) help spread the word.

In Aurora, the highest-profile race is for Alderman-at-Large.  While the incumbent who has been there for three decades is doing the old-fashioned yard signs that wobble during winter, Alderman Rick Lawrence has exactly ZERO campaign signs.

What?  No campaign signs?  Is it possible to win without them?

Turns out Rick Perry ran for Governor of Texas in 2010 without any and won.

Lawrence said the following:

As the recent primary in Aurora has come to an end, the insanity of the general election is getting into full swing, as illustrated by political yard signs popping up like weeds across the city. 
As someone who's been an alderman for 8 years or others who have been around for decades, by now the viewers should have some idea of our approach on issues that affect taxpayers and how involved (or not) we are on the challenges that face our city, neighborhoods and schools. 
While candidates who are new to running for elected office may have a different challenge, those of us who are already in elected office have a responsibility to make our case to taxpayers every day, not just remind you once every four years with a floppy billboard on your front lawn. 
Even more strange are those politicians who are running unopposed and raise campaign contributions to spend on these roadside lawn ornaments more flamboyant than pink flamingos. 
There's also problems of people being pressured into either having a sign or being asked why they have a sign of someone else. 
It's more effective to talk to your neighbors and spread the importance of electing people who will stand up for taxpayers, solve problems and find solutions that will respect the sacrifice each of you make by paying high taxes.

Given the number of signs and the actual voter turnout during the recent primary, it's clear yard signs don't vote, don't matter and don't win.

Instead, candidates must make their case based upon issues and stop relying on "floppy billboards."

Some candidates may feel they need signs because they are either not known (never run before) or are in races that people barely know anything about (i.e. school board), but even in those cases, the signs don't make a big difference.

Rick Lawrence and Joel Frieders are demonstrating they understand that being a candidate or elected official means being willing to do things better and not just keep doing things the same old way because, well, that's just how it's been done.

However, in defense of Mayor Tom Weisner, who is putting up signs of himself even though he has no opponent, we realize it must be hard to not get the usual attention and fame he craves, so he must resort to big signs almost as large as his head to see his name.

Don't worry, Tom, look near your luxury house in Florida and you'll see this sign we made just for you so you can see your name even at your home away from home.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree that yard signs are annoying and wish they would all go away.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree that Tom Weisner spending money on signs is ridiculous. As far as Frieders, this'll save him money AND get him free publicity from the media. As for Lawrence, he's right the voters should know him and his record by now. And come April 10 we'll know whether the no-sign approach works or not.

Anonymous said...

Rick just dosen't want to spend money.

Anonymous said...

Crains reports that SunTimes has laid-off Beacon editorial staff who had been recently moved to the SunTimes loop offices. Who got the ax at the Beacon?

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate his frugality. That is what makes him a great candidate.

Anonymous said...

I understand Rick has refused all donations.

Anonymous said...

These are residential and small commercial yard signs by which the community shows support. You act like these are casino signs or flashing billboard.

Anonymous said...

John Russell got booted from the beacon, I heard

Anonymous said...

Uh, anybody else find mom w/ the big smile and holding a knife a little scare?

Anonymous said...

correction: scary

Anonymous said...

Remeber that city of Aurora does not allow the posting of these signs on the public right of way(ie. sidewalk to street), also nothing to be posted on any light poles or reguatory sign poles... Ya those yard sale and lost pet signs really annoy me!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what the Sun-Times is trying to do here. What's their long-term strategy despite cutting costs? They own all these local papers like the Aurora Beacon-News and then they git rid of the local offices and then they get rid of some of the local people who have worked at the paper. These local newspaper offices have essentially all been closed and moved to Chicago. The Aurora Beacon-News is essentially the Chicago Beacon-News because it no longer has a local office or location in Aurora. The newspaper will essentially be the Chicago Sun-Times with a few "local" (?) stories to fill some sort of obligation to the name "Aurora" that appears on the front page header. The Beacon-News has lacked any hard-hitting journalism for many decades. Any local stories that it gets is usually what the local governments want to feed to the "reporters". You never see any piece that is even remotely critical of any local government office. With the advent of the Internet and of Job Site boards and sites like Craigslist what incentive is there for an Aurora resident to buy/read the local paper? Especially, when the reader knows the paper is longer based in Aurora, but in Chicago.The future of local journalism is going to be internet blog sites that aren't afraid to tackle legitimate local issues. They will be able to do this because they can't be controlled or heavily influenced by the local governments who curry favors with the local newspaper reporters. I just don't see a healthy endgame for these supposed "local" newspapers that the Sun-Times Group owns. It's like watching someone die by a thousand cuts.

Anonymous said...

5:03 - the Daily Herald is not any better.

Anonymous said...

"The future of local journalism is going to be internet blog sites that aren't afraid to tackle legitimate local issues. They will be able to do this because they can't be controlled or heavily influenced by the local governments who curry favors with the local newspaper reporters."

The scariest part of this though is the total lack of accountability. The internet sites can get away with publishing anything they want, true or not, and there's basically no way to hold them accountable. Sure, you can put a comment on their post pointing out how they're wrong, and giving the true story, and the blogger can just delete your post. Do you REALLY believe that the blogger will police himself? No way.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand the print media is firmly controlled. The Herald and Beacon are told what they can and cannot print, how much coverage to give or not give to candidates.

The have a abjugated their responsibility to report the news.

For instance have you heard about the Federal investigation into one or more Aldermen? Now an investigation is not conviction, but does the public not have the right to know their is at least enough appearance of impropriety to warrant the investigation.

When is the last time you had an update on the lawsuits developers field against the city?

Why did the paper not bat an eye when various level of Government conspired and routed the spirit and intention of the law in regard to the Library?

Why has the paper never followed up on a single item of corruption at the park district when they were given names, dates and people to contact. Follow-up means contact the people and see if there is fire under the smoke.

Anonymous said...

Okay, here is one a lot of people have wondered about and asked the paper to repeatedly look into: is Juany Garza here legally?

I mean think about it, many people have good reason to believe she is illegal. For one when she was elected she could barely speak a single word of English. Her current English skills are dramatically improved, but it begs the question how did she ever pass the English requirement of the Citizenship test? Also her repeated attempts to allow relatives living in Mexico to vote for her make you wonder if she ever took the basics civics test that is required fro citizenship.

Anonymous said...

Good question. How about Openline? You claim to be a journalist. Have YOU looked into 12:02's question?

Anonymous said...

Rick Lawrence does NOT need yard signs to announce the fact that he is running for Alderman At Large.

Everyone in this city knows him and his voting record....IF they read the Beacon News. But with newspaper readership down I wonder if the word reaches most voters.

This election will show how much the people of Aurora appreciate his NO vote on everything. I for one just love it! It is like pushing a self destruct button. With that being said....he has my vote.

Rick, I do have to warn you! The person who gave you the advice on sign elimination has an agenda similar to the person who invited you to enter your neighbor’s home. Watch out Rick, someone is NOT on your team, or of course they could just be plain stupid.

I have been involved with elections for over 35 years & I have NEVER, EVER, ONCE heard that it is smart to eliminate the sign campaign portion of the campaign.

Some of my neighbors are saying he is just too lazy & cheap to buy & install the signs all over the city, then pick them up after the election. But what the heck...Rick is always doing the opposite of the mainstream. I guess it works for him.

It will still be a small percentage of voters again this time around. I look forward to April 10th for many reasons.

Good Luck Rick, to be truly honest, you will need it!!

Anonymous said...

I can think of many adjectives to describe Rick, but not lazy and cheap.

Anonymous said...

No, Rick is not lazy or cheap. I think this is all part of his plan. He chose to not run for the 4th Ward because he knew he would lose. I think he knows he's going to lose, but by running for at-large against O'Connor he can always say it was the Weisner money machine that beat him. Then he goes off into private life, taking with him the health insurance that he made sure he got when he ran away from the mayoral race. That's money coming out of OUR pockets.

Anonymous said...

Well let's see. If Rick fails, what do we have left. Lofchie will win his race - so ther is another vote to waste millions downtown and he was th Mayor's boy in 2011.

In the 3rd, all 3 said they would have voted for the city tax increase. Two are life time municipal blood suckers, one from the planning commission, one has lived here a year, is a student and controlled by a developer who does not even live in aurora and wants to pout more money into the downtown.

So what is left?

Anonymous said...

You have the 3rd ward race. Juany Garza vs Irlanda Gardiakos. Irlanda came by our house on Friday - she can actually speak English, seems to know what is going on - so she has our vote. She has signs out all over the place and appears to have traction. If she keeps up her door to door approach she may win this.

Steve william said...

Yard signs are not at all annoying I think. Though it is right that it should be in a limit and there should be a proper place only where people should be allowed to put their signs.