January 4, 2008

Pet peeve

Granted, this is pretty small potatoes, but I just noticed a bit of campaign business that not only appears to be deliberately misleading, but is.

This example appears on the latest mailing from candidate for 71st District State Rep, Jerry Lack, but it's been done before by at least one other candidate in the recent past.

First we have to agree that candidates are, indeed, candidates. They're running to be elected to office, but have not yet been elected, correct?

OK, then why does Lack and his wife appear on the mailing wearing tee-shirts emblazoned with "State Representative Jerry Lack"? "State Representative" appears above, while his name is printed much larger below, but there's only one way to read it, and that's as "State Representative Jerry Lack."

This really bugs me. Other's in the past have had shirts which read the same way, despite the fact that, like Lack, they'd never held office before and had certainly never been elected to the office proclaimed on their shirts.

What's my problem with this? Well, if you couldn't already figure it out, it's misleading at best. Is there a reason these items don't read, for example, "Jerry Lack for State Representative"?

Instead it's a declarative statement, "State Representative Jerry Lack", which to anyone reading it implies that he already holds the office.

It would even be a bit less misleading if they merely switched the positions, with "Jerry Lack" above and "State Representative" underneath in smaller type. But why is the simple word "for" conspicuously omitted? Saving ink?

When candidates engage in this, they give no indication that they're actually a challenger seeking the office, but rather the appearance they're the incumbent and have already been elected. Isn't this a bit, I don't know... presumptuous, not to mention disingenuous?

This is no doubt deliberate, either consciously or unconsciously, perhaps as a subtle psychological ploy either to give the impression of incumbency or to subtly implant the appearance of inevitability.

Perhaps this little tactic is something that is spreading among candidates like a dishonest virus, with candidates seeing others do it and feeling it's a good ploy, subtle as it is.

I stress that this isn't meant as any reflection on Lack as a candidate, other than to question why he went with this admittedly minor bit of chicanery, but rather to point out something which I find annoying at best, and a blatant attempt to mislead at worst.

Does this now entitle any of us to wear a shirt stating, say, "U.S. Senator Bob Blathermouth", or "Mayor Susie Creamcheese"?

Do you think you'll see Barack sporting a tee-shirt emblazoned with "President Obama" anytime soon? And wouldn't he rightly be pounced on and denounced for it if he was foolish enough to do so? (before he actually IS president, which won't be too long it appears.)

Am I the only one that finds this practice bothersome?


At 1/04/2008 7:50 PM, Anonymous Virginia said...

I don't think I've noticed the word FOR on those big red (should be outlawed) Rumler billboards cluttering lawns. Seems to be the way to go now days. Try to make the people think you are their representative or senator when you're not. I'm disappointed in Lack over this one.

At 1/05/2008 5:15 PM, Anonymous MattHanson said...

Not only are Rumler's signs too big, but they are also made out of non-degradable plastic. Any politican that purchases plastic rather than paper yard signs really doesn't care about the environment.

No wonder the Illinois League of Conservation Voters endorsed Sen. Jacobs over Rumler.

At 1/05/2008 8:29 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

That is IT... NO more crap about signs.

What does it say about the ridiculously irrelevant and non-serious local elections that EVERY single time one comes around, it seems the only thing that people get riled up about are damn campaign signs! It's really sad.

They're too big, they're plastic, they're non-union.... well, SOME are non-union, and on and on.

If that's all one camp has to bitch about, then it proves the utter pettiness of local politics.

At 1/06/2008 2:06 AM, Blogger freshwater said...

I find it bothersome and disingenuous.

It's not just slogans either, it's graphics. On the Chicago lakefront in a race for State Senate, one candidate is publishing pix of herself cutting ribbons etc. as if she is already the elected official.

I am however supporting Susie Creamcheese for mayor or whatever she chooses to run for.

At 1/07/2008 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you said no more yard sign talk, Dope, but for the record, Rumler's signs CLEARLY say "For State Senate." Selective amnesia on behalf of a Jacobs supporter, perhaps?

OK, no more yard sign talk...promise.

At 1/08/2008 1:31 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Correcting a lie is always acceptable.

And thanks for at least being cognizant of the rules.


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