October 19, 2005 - Sign of the Times
It’s election season again in Santa Barbara. Colorful signs with candidate’s names are sprouting from lawns and bushes like tulips in spring. On November 8th, voters in the City of Santa Barbara will be selecting a mayor and three City Council members. Mayor Marty Blum and Council Members Iya Falcone and Roger Horton are seeking reelection.
In the world of political sound bites, expensive television commercials, front-men, and backroom-deals, it is refreshing to see election signs in front of houses.
They are survivors whose day has passed its term limits. Buttons and bumper stickers have not been so lucky. When Edhat was handing out buttons at last year’s Santa Barbara Film Festival they were perceived as ‘retro’.
Yesterday, the dedicated staff of edhat.com filled up the old green car with gas and went for a Tuesday drive around town. We were looking for a sign. Anything. And, when we saw a sign (and a signpost) up ahead, we recorded it in our notebook. We didn’t need to consult Edhat’s in-house statistician to know that this was not a good random sample of voters. In other words, based upon our results, we are not going to predict the outcome of the election.
Of course, everyone in town see the signs everyday. So, we don’t need to describe each one in detail. We all know that Redd’s signs are red. Blum’s signs are blue. Most signs have one name, but Pueblo’s have two.
On our travels, we also found that Grant House has a permanent sign up at 1227 De La Vina. And, we found a hillside on the Meigs where a battle signs was taking place.
And, is it just Ed, or does Diane Channing’s name only sound familiar because it is a combination of Diahann Carol and Carol Channing?
Overall, the name we saw most was Grant House, both on his own light blue sign and on the Pueblo sign just above Dianne Channing. The Pueblo sign, by the way is translated into Spanish (‘vote ONLY for’ = ‘Solamente vote por’). You can see them at many intersections on the Lower East Side. Channing was the City Council candidate with the second most number of signs. Redd was third. The two incumbents were not in the top three.
Maybe they don’t need signs to get the voters to notice them.
In the Mayor’s race, Marty Blum had twice the number of signs as her only signed-opposition Lanny Ebenstein.
In yesterday’s contest, there were no subscribers who guessed the top three City Council candidates in order. Nancy and The Seeker had the first two and Blum as the top mayoral candidate. The Seeker chose Quintero for the show spot (third). Nancy chose Horton. Since we saw more Quintero’s than Horton’s, The Seeker catches the snitch. He/she wins coupons for free bowling at Zodo’s.
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