As we’ve noted before, it’s a rarity these days to come across a campaign sign with a candidate’s party affiliation printed on it. Here are two exceptions, spotted in Johnson County in west central Missouri:
Scott Rupp (left) is one of several republican party candidates for Secretary of State in the August primary.
Gary Grigsby is one of two Democratic Party candidates in the 51st Legislative District
(the sign is from a previous campaign – the numbering has changed due to redistricting).
No party affiliation indicated. Samantha Hill and Heather Myers-Reynolds are both republican candidates
for Johnson County Treasurer in the August primary.
No party affiliation indicated. Candidates for Johnson County Sheriff in the August primary.
Brian Hobbs? We have no idea. Chuck Heiss is the incumbent and a republican.
No party affiliation indicated. Bill Stouffer is a republican candidate for Secretary of State.
Bill Collins is a republican candidate in the 17th Circuit, Division 1 and does not have a primary opponent.
The campaign consultant industrial complex conventional wisdom tells candidates to not put their party affiliation on their signs. If the republican brand is supposedly so strong, why would that matter? Just asking.
On Tuesday, I wrote about the campaign sign brouhaha going on between Rodney Hubbard and Jim Roos. Roos (pictured at left) says he’s been–with the permission of property owners–taking down Hubbard signs that were put up without the permission of those owners. Hubbard says Roos has been stealing the signs.
In the comments, ashriver suggested I contact the property owners to determine the truth of the matter. That sounded like a decent idea to me, so I drove downtown and got a list of the properties in question from Jim Roos. Unfortunately, the main thing I learned is that property owners and managers do not want to be in the middle of a political argument. They run businesses, and they don’t want anybody mad at them.
I only got two owner/managers to talk to me, and in each case basically got confirmation of Roos’s account. But both were quick to request that I not use their name or the address of their business.
In one case, for example, Roos’s notes indicated that he saw a 4′ X 6′ Hubbard sign in front of a gas station, stopped to ask if it had been put there with permission and if not, whether he could come back that evening and take it down. The manager told him that it was the third such unauthorized sign and that he (the manager) wasn’t going to wait until evening, whereupon the manager went outside and took it down himself.
When I spoke to the manager, he told me that he drove up to the gas station, saw the sign, planned to take it down immediately, but went inside first, where he found Roos, who had just walked in and was talking to the clerk. When Roos asked if he could come back that evening and take down the sign, the manager told me that he didn’t want to wait, that he went outside and took the sign down and threw it in the dumpster. He said Roos came back that evening with his truck and took the sign away.
I asked the manager if he had taken down two previous signs, and he said he couldn’t remember. He manages more than one place and has taken down other signs.
What this man stressed to me is that he doesn’t even know whether Rodney Hubbard is a Democrat or a Republican. He has no opinion on Hubbard. The only opinion he does have is that he doesn’t want to offend any of his customers with political signs. He said: “I would have taken the sign down anyway. I don’t want to be on a side. I want to be neutral and live peaceably.”
And he asked me not to give his name or the address of the station.
That gentleman was the most forthcoming of those I called. One other man basically confirmed that signs had been put up without permission and that Roos removed one with his permission. But he was reluctant to tell me even that much. Of the other five or six calls I made, either the owner wasn’t on the premises and wouldn’t be available within the next few hours or the owner preferred not to discuss it. Several of them were obviously foreign born so that communication was not easy and they seemed suspicious of a stranger asking questions.
But no one mentioned Roos stealing a sign.
Still, I gotta say, some reporter I’d make. I don’t have the patience for it. And I don’t have any names or addresses to offer either, just my unsubstantiated word–for whatever that’s worth.
Rodney Hubbard says Jim Roos is a slumlord. That’s some loaded language. The Post-Dispatch describes Roos this way: “A seminary school graduate, Roos founded Sanctuary in the Ordinary, a “housing ministry” that owns rental units throughout the city.”
This attack on Roos was brought on by the fact that he has been taking down some of Hubbard’s campaign signs–and making no bones about it. Rodney is pretty ticked off. His press release reads:
Jim Roos, a known slumlord and discredited activist has stolen and defaced a number of the campaign’s signs and advertisements. This criminal conduct will not be tolerated and has been referred to the City’s Board of Elections.
If Roos has been stealing Hubbard’s signs, then indeed Roos should be ashamed of himself. Except, Roos wouldn’t call it “stealing”.
More on that idea shortly, but first the backstory: the two men are at odds over the eminent domain issue. Rodney is getting a lot of money from Paul McKee, a developer who wants to use eminent domain to complete the property packages he has accumulated in North St. Louis City. Roos opposes such taking of property.
But enough about the mural and back to the campaign signs. Here’s Roos’s explanation:
Besides eminent domain abuse, one could charge Hubbard with “sign abuse”. His campaign, routinely, without permission, put up monster 4’x8′ signs in front of medium size food shops and service stations. Many of these owners are foreign born. They were confused and intimidated by the signs. Some American Born owners just took them down or stopped the installers. Other owners gave me permission to remove the signs. I “recycled” three Hubbard signs to make a single large protest sign for stopping Hubbard and stopping E/D abuse and put it on our warehouse at 2750 Lafayette.
I guess the only way I could judge the truth of Roos’s claim for sure would be to take him up on his offer of talking to the owners and managers who had Hubbard signs put up on their property without permission. I have to admit I haven’t done that: it’s a trek from North St. Louis County to Bohemian Hill, and I’m busy.
I have an opinion about whether Roos is telling the truth or not, but I haven’t collected proof. Take that for what it’s worth.
Hearing protection when you’re driving the posts is a good idea, too.
This morning I accompanied a sign crew for Mike Wagner, the Democratic candidate for judge in the 17th Judicial Circuit (Cass and Johnson Counties), as they set up 4 x 6 signs in Johnson County. For some reason signs tend to have to go up on one of the hottest days of the summer. Today was no exception to that rule.
Essential tools for the task include a lot of volunteers (the more the merrier), post drivers, six foot steel posts, cable ties, screw drivers, cutting tools, weed whackers, and of course, the signs. You need a truck to transport the fixin’s and your volunteers. And since it’s going to be a long hot day, you need to bring a lot of water.
A weed whacker is essential for clearing the line of sight.
Signs cannot go in a highway right of way. Getting the permission of the owner to place a sign on their property is an essential part of the preparation. In some municipalities there are restrictions which dictate the time frame when signs can go up, how long the can stay up, and when they need to come down. This can vary from town to town within a county.
Cable ties (also referred to as “zip ties”) are a vast improvement over the old school technique of wire and pliers.
A screw driver is used to punch holes in the plastic sign. The cable ties are then run through the holes and around the steel posts.
Setting posts in an Alfalfa field (with the permission of the property owner) out of the right of way at a highway junction.
Steel posts (as extensions) can be connected using heavy wire or, in this case, exhaust pipe brackets.
A dozen signs and six hours later, a portion of the candidate’s signs are up.