Steve Rubin: Signs Don’t Vote

Steve  Rubin is running for state representative.

You probably already know that from his ubiquitous lawn signs.

His — and every other candidate’s — placards are seen by some as the political version of Canada geese.   (Or, perhaps, Canada geese droppings.)

Steve knows it.  Here’s an email he just sent “06880”:

Each year (twice a year for primaries) we are lucky to hold free elections.  We value our free speech, as granted under our Constitution.

For over 25 years in Westport I have observed something very special before Election Day:  lawn signs.  Yes, those ugly signs that clutter islands on our public roads, recreation areas and any open space where candidates think some name recognition will magically appear.  Name recognition is earned over years of service, and not from signs.  Signs do not vote.

Being a Westport candidate since 1993 and running for re-election every 2 years, I know these signs are troublesome, expensive and not appreciated by many.  Now, as a candidate for state representative, I am experiencing first hand and all over town a Westport phenomenon:  inevitably the signs are down.  They get stolen, get torn up, thrown on the ground and somehow disappear.  All the money spent and work done goes down the drain.  Rights are abused.

Now, many feel that campaign phone calls and knocking on doors may be annoying and an intrusion of privacy.  Some feel that letters to the editor are just a sham orchestrated by the candidate; others believe this is an American tradition used to get out the vote.  Mail advertising is lucky to be looked at before resting in the garbage.  What’s so bad?  If you don’t like it you may hang up, say no or simply ignore it all.  It only lasts for a few weeks.  In the scheme of things it is all not so terrible.  I believe the endless TV commercials for big elections are much worse.

Another bad situation occurs between candidates.  “They took my sign down,” one says against the other.  It’s not worth the fight or accusation.  I prefer taking the high road.  If any opponent in any race agrees not to use signs I would agree that I wouldn’t either.  But if one does, the other is forced to do the same.

Thank you, and please vote on August 10.

26 responses to “Steve Rubin: Signs Don’t Vote

  1. Is this another case of marketing? or is it merely addressing a problem?

  2. Is there any evidence that these signs are effective?

  3. Freedom of speech is one thing. Abusing free speech is another.

  4. Richard Lawrence Stein

    I am not endorsing Steve… But I am saying he is a genuine good guy as a person…. I have always had pleasant and fun talks with him at many places I see him… Best of luck to you

  5. especially because of the traffic and low mph in Westport, the signs are effective.

    • Let’s not forget schoolbuses stopping every 15 feet.

      • This could be construed as a criticism of the Westport school system. Be careful.

        • Why be careful?

          • Because criticism of the Westport schools is seldom tolerated or offered. We all know the schools are as close to perfect as they can be, and the only thing that would make them more perfect is if we threw more money at them.

  6. Larry Perlstein

    I could live with the political signs if they arepicked up once the election ends. But why do we have to endure signs for everything from road paving to laser surgery. These are billboards and a blight on the town. I’ll vote for Steve (or anyone else for that matter) who could rid the town of those miscellaneous signs!

  7. Steve is a true Westport jewel, he has a heart of gold volunteering year round and knows Westport and our issues like no other candidate. Steve is known not only for his volunteering and caring, but also his keen knowledge of the proper rules of procedure (Roberts) during his tenure on RTM allowing things to get done.
    Steve knows what he can do in Hartford and what he has less power over, such as national issues.
    Westport and Fairfield County contribute the lions share to the state budget and needs a representative that can take care of us at home while having great compassion for all corners of the great state of CT. Good luck Steve.

  8. Aren’t you, Rubin and Woog, being a little too calculating? How about showing a picture of Nitzi Cohen’s lawn sign, too. She is a bonafide candidate.

    • Steve Rubin emailed “06880,” as noted in the story. He passed along his thoughts. I thought they were blog-worthy. I got in my car, went searching for the closest Steve Rubin signs I could find, took a photo, went home, uploaded it, wrote the piece, stuck the photo in, and posted it.

      This is a blog — not a newspaper, with staff writers and photographers. I spend a couple of hours a day doing this, gratis. (Several people have contributed checks– thanks!)

      I am open to submissions from everyone — emails, photos, whatever. I do what I can, with a finite amount of time and resources. If you’re looking for perfection, you won’t find it here.

  9. Politics requires some of the most competitive marketing of any business. To have to “sell” one’s name to the public, you need to advertise that name. Most Americans pay little attention to local elections, there are plenty of studies done to back that claim up. Many go into the voting booth knowing little if any information about the canidates and their stances.
    Signs are a great way to do that, and in my opinion far less obnoxious than slanderous media ads. I welcome them and support them and hope that their presence sparks at least some interest in getting people to make informed decisions in the voting booth.

    • I should have been a little more clear….
      Signs are a good way of introducing the canidates name, so that hopefully people would further research said canidate.

      Then again I could be living in a dream world… and people simply hate them and the very idea of politics.

  10. You could have taken some Nitzy-sign pictures at the same time. Does that mean you will accept a submitted “Nitzy” photo?

    • As I explained, I went looking for a Steve Rubin sign — not a Steve-and-Nitzy-in-the-same-frame photo. The story was about Steve, not Nitzy. I don’t have unlimited time, and I’m not a professional photographer.

      Would I accept a submitted “Nitzy” photo? It depends — what’s the story?

    • Its clear this story wasn’t about what canidates are out there, but one canidates commentary about an issue surrounding elections.

  11. You or Nitzy could write up something interesting, attach a photo, submit it… and answer your rhetorical question yourself… stay tuned 🙂

  12. I would cast a vote against Nitzy because her signs are every where! it one thing to post at intersections but at the foot od Lincoln Avenue onlong the Saugatuck river on Riverside Avenue- come on! this is litter. there should be restrictions on where the signs can be placed.

  13. Take a look at the nice garden at the intersection of North Avenue and Cross Highway. It has more signs growing in there than flowers! Just last weekend, I wondered if those signs really bring in the voters.

    That said, it does fall under the right of free speech. If politicans want to pay good money for signs that provide questionable results, so be it.

  14. Foodie, political signs are the face of westport. What would this town be without these signs? people come from towns all over just to see the signs. ITS THE SIGNS! it would be like new york city without its tourist asians “you take my picta?”

  15. LOL @ Drew P. Sax