Letter: Not election season without a sign ‘story’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 27, 2015


I read with interest, the article in yesterday’s edition of the Valley Times-News, about Woody Moon, a first grader, who, upon hearing about the political signs debacle, suggested coming to the rescue of Mayor (Drew) Ferguson by making homemade signs.

What a great story, and I’m glad his thoughtfulness was recognized and published. It is refreshing to see something positive associated with the sign “story.”

It is somewhat of a foregone conclusion that in any political race, there will be at least one good sign “story.”

1) When I ran for County Commissioner in 2012, you may recall the alleged theft of my signs and the candidate who alleged the sighting of the theft and then recorded and published his “good deeds” on Facebook. The “story” designed to gain favor for that candidate.

2) When Theresa Tomlinson ran for Mayor of Columbus, Georgia, there was a sign tampering incident which resulted in disciplinary action of a campaign worker who, I believe, was also a city employee. The “story” intended to be negative press for Mayor Tomlinson.

3) When the Troup County Sheriff’s race took a turn for the worst in 2012, it all began with an incident involving the placement of campaign signs. Although there was much more to the “story,” it definitely shed negative light on the incumbent sheriff.

4) About three weeks ago, shortly after I began placing my campaign signs, I noticed that some of them had been moved or taken. My first thought was to contact the city’s Code Enforcement department and inquire about the missing signs. Having been diligent about the placement of the signs, I just wanted to confirm that there were no issues with noncompliance of the sign ordinance. Sammy Osborne informed me that they had not moved any of my signs.

Next, I contacted Daniel Realty because two signs had been moved from a property which is listed for sale by the realtor. It was confirmed that they did not move my signs, so I replaced all of the missing ones and got back to the business at hand — knocking on doors and sharing my message — campaigning.

It would not be “politics as usual” without a good sign “story,” and here is another one that I would like to share. This one is on ME!

In the midst of trying to recall everyone who asked for a sign last weekend, I mistakenly placed one in the yard of Mrs. John Keith on Avenue C. On Saturday, there were only two people whom I asked that stated, clearly and emphatically, that they did not want a sign in their yard, and when she reminded me of our conversation, I did recall that she declined a yard sign. Again, Mrs. Keith, I sincerely apologize for my mistake.

Since the article was published yesterday, several of my signs have been placed face down on the grass. If you have one that you have decided you no longer want in your yard, please call me at 706-645-2441 and leave a message for the sign to be picked up. No hard feelings.

As for me and my campaign team, we will:

• Focus on what is important and that is “running a clean, honest and fair race” designed to inform citizens about the issues.

• We will not twist statements to fabricate a message that is different from what was stated.

• We will not participate in “smear” tactics now, nor in the final hours prior to Election Day, when it is too late for a rebuttal.

• We will not fact-check opinions. That, in and of itself, is clearly an oxymoron.

It is a travesty that the minutia is getting more attention than the issues in this mayoral race.

Deedee Williams

Candidate for West Point mayor