Shortly after qualifying for the 2020 ballot for the Paradise Valley Town Council, I was surprised to receive numerous solicitations from firms that specialize in helping candidates who are running for political office.
Some examples of the services these firms offered to provide included the use of robocalls, billboards, and “bandit signs,” as they are apparently referred to in the industry.
Bandit signs should not be confused with a small yard sign a voter may want to place on his or her own property, typically in the front yard of their home.
Bandit signs are the small-to-midsize signs or billboards that clutter vacant lots, public right-of-ways, and construction fences during an election season.
My response to each salesperson for these services has been the same: “Why would I want to annoy voters with robocalls, or put up unsightly billboards and signs throughout our beautiful town?”
The response I generally received from these salespeople has been that I should do it because it is effective, legal, and will help me win the election.
Nevertheless, I am unwilling to flood our beautiful town with political advertisements, and will not agree to bombard my fellow town residents with unsolicited, robotic phone calls just to win an election.
A homeowner placing a small sign in their front yard, or a candidate making a personal phone call to a neighbor, are certainly acceptable methods of campaigning. However, I believe the methods of political advertising that have been solicited to me by these firms do not belong in our town elections.
During this election, I will commit to refrain from utilizing robocalls, billboards, or bandit signs on vacant lots, public right-of-ways, or construction sites within, or even near, our town limits.
I would hope my fellow candidates would concur. Therefore, I am calling on each of them to commit to the same, thereby removing robocalls and bandit signs from our election, regardless of how effective or legal they may be.
Editor’s Note: Jonathan Wainwright is a candidate for Paradise Valley Town Council in the upcoming Aug. 4 primary election.