October 15, 2005

Who paid for this billboard?

I know, I know. The bit at the end of an ad that says "I'm George Bush, and I authorized this message" isn't the most exciting bit of political advertising. But these days, especially when nominally "non-partisan" groups are out there pouring money on races in the hopes of turning them their way, it seems more necessary than ever to say who paid for what.

I was surprised, driving home from a very quiet two hours as a docent at the Dryden Town Historical Society, to find this at Route 13 and Etna Lane:

Unclaimed billboard
Unclaimed billboard.

Clearly someone thought about the design, and they figured that change is such a good thing that no one would ask what kind of change. They didn't, however, spend any of the vast space they have there explaining just who paid for this. Eventually campaign finance records should out this, but it would be nice to know when the sign goes up.

Was it the Town of Dryden Republican Committee?

Was it the candidates?

Was it the shadowy Coalition for Change?

My bet's on the latter, as Park (who owns that billboard) donated them early cash, and because Tom Hatfield, the only person I've heard speaking on behalf of the Coalition for Change, also happens to be the Chairman of the Town of Dryden Republican Committee.

We Democrats aren't perfect either - we have an ad in this week's Shopper, which will be fixed in the next issue, in which we left off the paid for item. Similarly, Republican George Dentes is running ads for his District Attorney campaign in the Dryden Courier which lack information about who's paying.

But wouldn't you think, just maybe, if you're putting up a huge billboard that screams "we're spending a lot of money to buy this space," that you might actually mention who paid for it?

Update: Tom Hatfield reports that the Coalition for Change didn't pay for that billboard. Rather than tell me who did, he tells me it will come out eventually in the financial reports. I have to say - and publicly, since there's this huge billboard out on Route 13 - that I think that's completely the wrong attitude to take.

Posted by simon at October 15, 2005 3:08 PM in
Note on photos