Friday, September 30, 2011

At-Large Signs and Sighs

Having gotten called out before when donating to or volunteering for candidates, I try my best not to do either. I do endorse here and sometimes at Left Ahead, but I can't feign objectivity if I'm kicking in actively.

My middle ground is yard signs, which seem to me to fall in the endorsement camp. Those for Deval Patrick, Barack Obama, and my three reformers last time — Grossman, Henderson and Bump  — were pounded or pricked into our Fairmount Hill soil. I figured I could do the same for the at-large Council this time, as I've repeatedly declared it the exciting race in this off-year election with no big national or state contests.

No so fast, bucko.

Now it is possible some of the other candidates can sway me as the debate/forum season cranks up before November 8th. For example, I personally like Michael Flaherty, but he'll have to come up with new compelling programs and reasons to bump any of the four incumbents.

With that in mind, I responded when I saw a request from Felix Arroyo's campaign to put up a sign. My affirmative electrons were on their way. Within a few hours, I returned from a long bike ride to find the campaign elves had visited.

Now I wonder whether his team's efficiency is an indication of just their enthusiasm or perhaps also of how well he organizes. As I'd welcome the other three incumbents' signs, I quickly contacted all three campaigns via their websites.

I am waiting for responses from two and for the physical sign from one, a week later. John Connolly's campaign responded very quickly with, "Mike, Thanks.  We will definitely take you up on your offer.  I've copied our field directors (two names)." Steve Murphy and Ayanna Pressley's folk have not replied or shown  up with any sticks and posters.

Reasons might be that they are busy with more important tasks, that they are either confident in lower Hyde Park or that they are going into denser areas first, or even that they prefer signs on main drags. Who knows?

Honestly I wouldn't mind a mini-forest of these for the six weeks. I'll keep looking. I might have let my single request to each campaign be it, but next Wednesday I intend to slide down the hill to Pressley's neighborhood meet-and-greet, where Murphy will also attend. I'm sure I'll tease each of them.

Murphy is a neighbor, two blocks away. His campaign may feel no need to hurry or respond at all. Fairmount Hill is splotched with his red-and-white signs, a huge one at Beacon and Fairmount and small up and down the East/West streets.

My Arroyo sign is the only one I've seen for the other three on the hill. As someone who works the elections as a warden or clerk, I know the locals vote. It seems that candidates would like to ensure name recognition.

I'll update this when and if the other three campaigns respond.

Friday Late Morning Update: Half way there and in step with the neighborhood. The Murphy folk drove in a sign. Still no response from Pressley and a promise but no sign from Connolly.

Saturday Pre-Dawn Update: Two surprises displayed when I went out for the papers. Bad was a UPS package that came after dinner, without a door bell, and was sodden from being on the stoop all night. Good was that Connolly's gnomes had come in stealth mode in the dark. I'm three quarters there and have even less to whine about.

Monday PM Update: And now there are four. Now the incumbents' signs line up like Councilors' desks in the fifth-floor chamber. The Pressley guy showed up, popped his trunk, whipped out the sign and hammer. Now I shall have to find something else for complaint. Oh, I know, when are we going to have a series of at-large debates?

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