Friday, September 17, 2010

And They'll Know We Are Conservatives By Our Billboards?

I've been traveling around Minnesota this week. And from I-94 to I-35 one thing has become very clear about Minnesota Conservatives: They LOVE billboards. Throughout my travels I've been greeted by images of the US piggy bank drowning, warnings about socialism, Lady Liberty weeping over us straying from our Christian roots, and even one doozy that was hard to take in at 70mph but seemed to be an array of buzz words designed to boil the blood of the staunchest tea party members (Voter Fraud, ACORN, AFL-CIO, Pelosi, etc.).

I had no idea there were so many. In an age of social media, I didn't realize how many of these billboard campaigns there were. It first came to my attention with the now infamous "Miss Me Yet?" billboard anonymously put up near Wyoming, MN. At the time I just thought, "Yeah, no. Not at all." I had no idea that one was just the beginning. That was soon followed by Ronald Reagan (complete in cowboy attire) asking me if I remembered real hope and change up near Rogers, MN.

Recently these been a lot of discussion about this anonymous billboard that's currently up in South Minneapolis:

courtesy The Rachel Maddow Show blog submitted by Stephen Schweckendieck of Minneapolis
It was even the subject of a question during the State Fair gubernatorial debate! Although I would argue that if you still have billboard money your taxes can't be that bad.

Upon driving to and from the western part of the state this week, I saw no less than seven more conservative billboards! Many were cited to be from Freedom Boards Across America or Action4Liberty. (Be sure to check out some of their other designs that portray unions as leeches or thugs.)  Both of these are small groups of conservatives or "local patriots" in the state of Minnesota.These are no longer just the random anonymous donors like the Bush billboard. They have organized. There are multiple groups based in the state of Minnesota whose primary mission is to keep putting ads like these up. Who would have thought this would be the big trend in Conservative politics in Minnesota in 2010? Does this occur with such frequency in other states?

On a related note, I'm going for a long weekend vacation. I'm sure I'll see even more of these along my way. I won't be posting while I'm gone, but will be back at it either Monday or Tuesday. There should be a lot going on this weekend. Both Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty will be making appearances at the Values Voters Summit and there are two more gubernatorial debates coming up in the next 5 days. Tom Emmer's interview with the Humphrey Institute will air on MPR at noon today. More ads are being released daily. I'm sure there will be no shortage of things to discuss. Just remember to clear your head by getting out and enjoying the fresh Minnesota autumn air. Have a great weekend!

*Update: On vacation I saw another 4 of these billboards, including one that showed an anonymous black man (his face was cropped out of the image) putting the U.S. Constitution into a paper shredder. I also stumbled upon what may be my new favorite campaign TV ad. I don't know why, but it just cracked me up.

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