Chicken Signs Go Beyond Politics

There is propaganda and there is art. Sometimes the two intersect, but for my money you don’t find much propagandart in politics. I have a “Keep on Truckin’ for Nixon” sign from 1972, but that’s more kitsch than culture.

So the regular act of thievery that occurs with regards to campaign signs is, I assume, usually about A. maldoings of the supporters of the candidate’s opponent, B. A property owner not happy that a sign was posted on his/her lawn or on public right of way near his/her lawn, or C. Vandalism.

In 1992 I was living in Salt Lake City and a friend of mine, I am kind of reluctant to share, was a prolific stealer of Enid Greene signs. His bedroom, for the Halloween party, was awash in “Send Enid Greene to Congress” signs. Other people had a different, more creative kind of fun with the signs, changing them to read things like “Send Enid Greene for Pizza,” or “for Beer.” My friend’s room on Halloween was art the same way Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup can painting was. You take a functional piece and place it in a new context and it can inspire admiration for seconds, sometimes minutes.

Greene lost a close election that year, won in the Republican sweep in 1994 as Enid Greene Waldholtz after marrying Joe Waldholtz, who, it turned out, was later convicted of bank fraud, which caused her to file for divorce and at the urging of the party to not run again in 1996.

While some regard sign stealing or vandalism good-natured prankery, it does cost someone money.

Most times you can find the discarded signs feet or yards away from where they once stood. I once had the notion to line my garage wall with discarded campaign signs, those found weeks after the election is over. For me it would have been somewhat artistic, way better than hanging on the wall the heads of things I have shot. I have a pro-foot ferry sign, one for Bev Woods and another from Will Peddy’s failed mayoral bid on Bainbridge Island in 2005. The first two were given to me. The Peddy sign was one I found about 40-feet from the highway down the ravine from that corner on Bainbridge Island where the guy ties balloons to the post.

If anyone wants those signs back, I’d be glad to return them. They sit in my garage, unhung. They can and are recycled and reused as backing for new candidates’ signs.

Every election we get lots of complaints about stolen or vandalized signs. James Olsen, Republican candidate for state Rep. in the 23rd District regularly keeps us updated on his lost signs. He might be interested in that Peddy sign I have.

Some signs do disappear and campaigns are prepared for that. It would seem to be rare, though, that all of them would be gone.

That, however, is what has happened with the signature chicken signs that have been placed around Bremerton. Eugene Brennan, self-described “chickenista” and creator of the signs, said many have disappeared. When they’re gone, though, they stay gone.

Brennan speculates that some people like the design, possibly enough to take one and put it on display somewhere else. If so, those placards could linger in garages and living rooms and offices and coops for years, long after the likes of Peddy, Woods and passenger-only ferry pushes have been forgotten. They may be around long enough for people to forget what they were for.

This could be a lesson for any burgeoning politico. I got no beef with the signs out there now, but I dare someone in the future to wow us the way Brennan and his chickenistas have. How about recreating that elephant with the glasses Goldwater had? There was nothing else to it, but you knew what that was saying. Since yard signs seem to be the most obvious evidence of a campaign, next time around I want a candidate who will thrill us with one.

7 thoughts on “Chicken Signs Go Beyond Politics

  1. A few years ago there was a young man around town who was posting his stenciled art on telephone poles all over town. I bought an old record album with a stencil of “The Fonz” from him at Manette Fest. He told me he stopped because people stole his art rather than buying it from him.

  2. I’m glad to see the chicken people have decided to take a more reasonable approach with licensing. An avenue has been opened for neighbors who don’t like noise of roosters or being overrun by rats when someone who knows little about raising poultry takes on the hobby. I think if folks have a sufficient amount of property (say at least 50 s.f. per chicken or rolling cages) and there is reasonable license requirements, have fun with your chickens

    As to political signs, Robin for sure is more aware of the laws seeing as he turned me into the Bremerton P.D. for a legally obtained Norm Dicks sign that I modified to read “No Dicks for Congress” I modified “he works for jobs” to the truth, “he works for Pork”. The BPD of course after wasting taxpayer time on the investigation, affirmed the RCW which gave me the right to modify a sign for political purposes. (Bremerton P.D. report # B10-009374) Robin is also aware that Hauge has also stated that once signs are in the public right of way, as opposed to someone’s front yard, that they are no longer private property.

    The chicken people may find their signs up at the Public Works complex on Oyster Bay, its illegal to post political (or any sign) on utility poles, check out Bremerton Municipal Code. When Bob Tulp still worked for the city he made it a good habit to clean up political or other signs illegally posted on utility poles.

  3. I’ll bet if someone posted a “Repudiate pork…NO DICKS in Congress” sign on a utility pole, “Robin of Manette” would call the police to have it taken down quicker than you can say “Seig Heil!” Scofflaws such as “Robin of Manette” don’t realize that by inviting the police to intervene on mundane matters, one helps to foment a police state. But bullies always want the police to do their heavy lifting.

  4. I recently saw a bumper sticker on a truck in E. Bremerton: \When chickens are outlawed, only outlaws will have chickens\.

  5. Second posting after first one disappeared

    September 26th, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Steve Gardner’s walk down memory lane in this blog and article in
    the Kitsap Sun paper with the WILL PEDDY for COBI Mayor campaign makes
    one realize how BI is just as intolerant and thuggish as they were in
    2005 — probably worse come to think of it. In the 2005 PEDDY CAMPAIN we
    have 271 signs in 21 separate police reports. Police Chief Haney,
    Mayor Kordonovy and Council person Rolfes said nary a word about the
    thefts and what it said about BI intolerance.
    Fast forward to 2010, and we again have JAMES OLSEN signs being
    stolen/defaced and tampered with at an alarming rate. Again we have
    BIPD Chief Fuhrman, Manager Bauer, Council members and Representative
    Rolfes again hiding from their responsibility. Character counts and
    these elected officials are AWOL — especially ROLFES because these are
    her hacks poisoning the body politic.
    This video was made 2 years ago and it is as timely as the minute the
    I made it. BI is in sad, sad shape and we have no leadership to stand
    up and call for civility. BITV CRIME (rebuttal) UNCENSORED
    –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYqzUL3awgk

    Hey, Steve Gardner, keep the PEDDY sign you “found” as a testament to DPRK Bainbridge. Will wouldn’t want it any other way.
    OLSEN SENDS
    www://VoteOlsen23.com

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