Thanks to all of the many volunteers in Champaign County who have canvassed, called, donated, and in any other way helped to make this a great day for America and Champaign County. I’m now off to make more phone calls for Obama to battleground states.
I’ve seen a lot of questions come through this site about Obama yard signs. I haven’t been involved in answering or fulfilling those requests, but I’m guessing that most people aren’t finding it easy to get one. I do believe some Dems had some printed themselves recently (e.g. as fundraiser giveaways), but getting official campaign signs is difficult. Certainly this is partially due to the fact that we live in a state that will go Obama’s way, so the campaign is putting little effort here (other than mining the deep support here and using it to canvass in neighboring states, call voters, etc.). But it also brings up the question of whether yard signs are worth the fairly large effort required to print, distribute, and maintain them.
There’s a post up at fivethirtyeight.com, titled BREAKING: Obama Campaign Organizers Trying To Win Election Instead of Get You Yard Signs, that gets right at the heart of this question. Are campaign signs worth it? A lot of people have heard the conventional wisdom that yard signs don’t vote, so don’t work too hard on them. Yet when an opponent’s signs start blanketing the neighborhood panic can set in with the other campaign: will the average person presume that there’s no support for the opposing side in town? Or will it lead people to question their intended support?
I don’t think it makes much difference in a presidential race. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived in Illinois forever, and the fact that in my voting life I don’t think Illinois was ever a swing state, so there’s never much in the way of presidential campaign items around here. But people tend to know who they’re voting for, and if they don’t, they’re unlikely to choose their presidential vote based on yard signs.
However, I do think they possibly make more difference on local issues. I’ve personally been responsible for yard signs on more than one campaign. Especially when it’s a race or an issue that is not well known, then signs can help people figure out who they should vote for because they’ll see a particular side of the issue supported in the yards of their friends.
But on a national campaign? I can see where the Obama campaign is coming from. Sure, they’re loaded and why can’t they just crank them out? But the distribution and management of yard signs is a big job and takes a lot of person hours. And they clearly want those hours devoted to something more productive.
What do you think?
By the way, if you want a sign, you can always buy one from the Obama Store, although no guarantees on when it will arrive.
Eric Thorsland is running for one of two seats on the Champaign County Board representing District one. He is funding his campaign with donated scrap metals from many of his supporters, making Eric a recycled candidate who is not the incumbent. Eric is having a big fund drive kick off Monday June 2nd at 7:30am at his farm located at 480 County Road 2500 N. Mahomet Il. You are welcome to come meet Eric and some of his supporters then, as we pile the scrap as high as we can to start of Eric’s fund drive.
I’m afraid the website backend software was hacked through a known exploit, causing great havoc and lots of spam links to be inserted into the site in random places. I have cleaned up the majority of the problems on the primary pages, and will address the rest soon. It will take some time, so please be patient.
In the meantime, if you notice anything wierd—in particular any spam links—please let us know.
[Update] I believe everything is back to normal now. If you see anything amiss, let us know. Thanks.
There will be a candidate’s forum for the office of Champaign County State’s Attorney this Wednesday, January 30, 2008. The forum will be held at 6:00pm in the University of Illinois Law School Auditorum, which is located at 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave. in Champaign.
All three candidates currently running in the February 5th primary are scheduled to attend. These include:
Ivy & Rietz are running against each other in the Democratic primary. The winner will face Republican Miller-Jones in the November 4th general election. Julia Rietz currently holds the office of State’s Attorney for Champaign County.
This candidate’s forum is sponsored by the University of Illinois Law School Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The party maintains an announcement-only mailing list for distributing occasional information about party activities, calls to action, etc. Postings to this list can only be made by the party Chair or his/her designee.
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Obama Community Kickoff Event
Hosted by Sen. Mike Frerichs & Rep. Naomi Jakobsson
The Obama campaign is promoting this event to kickoff its efforts to build a network of grassroots supporters one community at a time. Thousands of these community kickoff events will be held simultaneously all across the country.
After brief remarks from Sen. Frerichs & Rep. Jakobsson, we will watch a live broadcast from a home in Iowa were Barack Obama will be conducting a discussion on the campaign’s grassroots community organizing efforts.
Following the broadcast, we will discuss what you can do right now to help the Obama campaign in Champaign County!
Drinks and refreshments will be served!
Time: Saturday, March 31 at 2:30 PM
Duration: 2 hours
Host: Justin Cajindos
Contact Phone: 708.296.8138
Location: Democratic HQ, 14 E. Washington, Champaign, IL 61820
Directions: Located near corner of Washington & Neil in downtown Champaign, close to The Orpheum Children’s Science Museum
Hope. Action. Change.: On March 31, people across America open their homes to friends, family, and neighbors to kick off a week of support for a movement Barack Obama and the movement to change America.
I have posted a new candidates page with summaries about those who are running in this spring’s general municipal election on April 17, 2007. This includes candidates for Champaign City Council, Champaign School Board, and Urbana School Board. While all three of these races are non-partisan, several of the candidates running self-identify as Democrats, so I thought it made sense to post a page on our website so that Democrats in Champaign County know who’s running. From the dismal primary turnout of 6%, it’s clear that the most important task for the general is to turn out more voters. Please read the summaries, follow the links to their websites, and help out on those campaigns you care about. Most importantly, get out and vote on April 17th!
There are also some new websites amongst this group that have gone up in the last week. These include websites for Tracy Heilman (Urbana School Board), and Annette Williams (Champaign City Council). I have met and talked with both of these candidates, and came away very impressed and enthusiastic about their campaigns. These new websites join those that were already up for Giraldo Rosales, Patricia Avery (both Champaign City Council), and Melodye Benson Rosales (Champaign School Board).
Democrats looking to elect like-minded individuals for these races have excellent candidates to choose from this year!