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Sign Wars

The Fix reports on his trip to the Shad Planking, an annual Southern VA political event (which I have attended numerous times, but not this year…).

Aside from the personal politicking, the Shad Planking (in recent years) always involves a battle to see which camp can put up the most yard signs.

I’m a proponent of trying to win every facet of a political campaign — from the air wars to the ground wars — I don’t like to concede anything. So I’m all for winning the "sign wars." But some people get lazy. Then, they try to "justify" the fact that they were outmaneuvered…

According to the Fix: "Asked why he had such a small presence at Shad Planking (he apparently chose not to compete in the sign war, outnumbered even by Republican Rep. Randy Forbes who is a shoe-in for reelection this fall), [Harris] Miller pointed to his background as a businessman, arguing that investing thousands of dollars on signs, a beer truck and other paraphernalia didn’t seem a sound investment to him. ‘If George Allen wants to waste tens of thousands of dollars on signs, good for him,’ Miller said. ‘I wonder if his donors in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina know that.’"

Let’s be frank, Harris. You got whooped. At least be honest about it.

Others take the sign wars more seriously. Allen advisor Chris LaCivita once swam across some chilly April waters in order to place a George Allen sign on a small island (which was on the way to Wakefield). He also was famous for using a truck-ladder to staple signs on phone polls. This was done so that they would be visible (and hard for anti-Allen folks to tear down). How’s that for commitment?

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Written By

Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at MattLewis.org.

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