Becky Fenger Fenger PointingJUNE 30, 2010

Signs of the times

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It's that time of year again. Time for the monsoon season to blow through and play havoc with all the signs so carefully erected by political candidates. It brings back memories. When I ran for Arizona state representative in 1994, my skeleton team came to dread the monsoons. Each morning following the storms, my sign maintenance crew (comprised of my aging husband and a one-legged friend of his) would head far and wide to undo the damage and right the billboards.

sahwna bolick campaign signNow I have the luxury of enjoying the storms again. And passing judgment on billboard messages. There is one for Shawnna Bolick that particularly puzzles me. She is a bright woman running for a House seat in Legislative District 11. The first time I saw her sign, I thought vandals had gotten to it. I was wrong. The proud mother of two used a drawing done by her child to adorn the top of the sign. No one is about to knock Motherhood, but I found the message impossible to read until I parked my car and stood directly in front of it. I'm just saying ...

kraft logoWhen I received a mailer from Bev Kraft wrapped in what can only be described as a barf bag, it struck a nerve. On the outside was a return stamp that utilized a reproduction of her signage, with her name printed in the same font as the Kraft foods logo. There was another stamp that said: "Arizona's New Recipe For Success." Inside was a recipe for Mexican-style macaroni whose main ingredient was a package of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

bev kraft campaign signBev Kraft is also running for a House seat in Legislative District 11. She is a charming woman who is nevertheless repeating the same tactic as her husband James Kraft did when he won a seat in the House. During his campaign, he used small packages of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese as door knockers hung on constituents' door knobs to promote his name. He would later get into hot soup over his use of the Kraft name when the food giant's family denied any relation to him. Why would she risk another scandal?

In the John McCain/J.D. Hayworth race for Arizona U.S. Senator, it may be all over except for the shouting. The journalists on last Friday's Roundtable on Channel Eight's "Horizon" show all said Hayworth could probably not recover from his 2007 television infomercial for National Grants Conferences. The organization lost a consumer fraud lawsuit. And rightly so. It used to gripe me to no end every time I would see another commercial for "Free Government Money!" Haven't we learned by now that there is no free lunch? (Oh wait, we're racing towards socialism where everybody gets lunch.)

Senator John McCain plastered a close-up photo of J.D. Hayworth on the outside and inside of a "Lobbyist for Hire" mailer that can only be described as terrorizing. And the photo could be a dermatologist's ad for treatment of enlarged pores and rosacea. His bugged eyes make him look like he is being goosed, and I guess he is at this point.

The only thing missing from the frame was saliva running down Hayworth's chin as he envisioned the money he was making. The laughable part is that the mailer says Hayworth was paid "thousands" by a Florida corporation. If he got paid only "thousands," it was a pittance. D.C. lobbyists get paid hundreds of thousands, if not millions once they leave Congress.

As bad as the visage of Hayworth chosen by the McCain campaign, it still pales compared to the images of Governor Jan Brewer that gubernatorial candidate Buz Mills employs.
Actually, Jan is very photogenic, but the ones Mills uses could serve as Halloween masks.

Oh, it's a cruel world, politics is.