Some unknown person (or more likely a group, from the number distributed) went around in the middle of the night and stuck a very odd sheet of paper under the windshield wipers of cars. It was a political screed criticizing Mayor Ray DeGraw, done in a style that made you visualize a tea-bagger type, convinced that there is a grand conspiracy to hide the truth about the president – and the mayor, for some reason. It started with complaints about the plowing of snow and the closing of the Grandview Theater. What was he supposed to do about that, offer them money? Which would have inspired even more hate from this group. The warning about NRI has some basis in reality, but explaining something as complex as TIFs is not going to fit on a single sheet of paper.
Nobody ever came forward to claim responsibility for papering the city. Unless you count the time the Mayor was asked who he thought printed and distributed the sheet, he replied “I think my wife might have done it” 🙂 Ray was elected to the office of Mayor for the third time in 2011 with no mention of this pamphlet.
(From November 2008)
I’m still checking to figure out what parts of Grandview were hit, but this morning on my street we all found a single sheet of paper under our windshield wipers. The title was “Citizens voting out Ray DeGraw for Mayor”. The first major WTF is – what does this have to do with voting today, there are no local Grandview races, certainly not for Mayor. Is this someone who is against Issue 50? The charter amendment that is mostly technical cleanup of the language in the city charter?
I’ll post a scan of the sheet later, but on first read it appears to be a scattergun blast at issues this person or group is trying to link to DeGraw. Parking during the snow emergency, something about the Grandview theater closing, a Grandview Yard money complaint (the only issue on the page that might be a legitimate complaint), and an incoherent rant about the bike race.
Some odd crazy in this. Who still thinks that an anonymous pamphlet under the windshield is a way to influence the public’s opinion? Unless it had the scoop on a provable scandal, this is just static that does nothing but waste paper.
(later) This is just speculation, but the person or persons who put out the anti-DeGraw pamphlet may be in violation of Ohio election law. During an election cycle (and with the election for Mayor approaching, it is inside the cycle), all political posters and pamphlets must say at the bottom the name of the group who paid for the message, and a valid address. This was not done.
Info on the person who did this is needed, please use the feedback link to the left. Anonymity will be given to all who request it.
It’s not the violation of the Ohio election law that upsets me as much as the trash on the ground this caused. The area covered was big, at least First Ave to Third, top of the hill to past Grandview Ave. That would require hundreds, if not a thousand sheets of paper, some of which are now blowing in the wind. What a waste.
Later – the area where the pamphleteer struck was bigger than I thought, I got a report of them on Mulford at the top section near Glendale. Scary thought – this was done by a group. A group who thought that the nonsense on that paper was worth spending a night passing out? Weird.
Word is that when the Mayor was asked who he thought printed and distributed the sheet, he replied “I think my wife might have done it” 🙂
I’ve been putting off commenting more on the anonymous pamphlet because I wonder if this is important. Did anyone pull that paper off their windshield, read it, and say “gee, the mayor has been screwing up bad”? It’s hard to understand what that paper was supposed to accomplish. It’s even harder to imagine that it had any effect.
Wouldn’t it be a great gag if some group of artists popped up and claimed ownership? They might say that it was “political performance art”, and come up with some convoluted explanation about why they did it. Maybe the relationship of art to free expression and political mud slinging. If that were true, the pamphlet would have all sorts of hidden meanings that could only be understood by careful reading.
I can’t discern any deep meanings in the rants on that sheet. But then, what do I know about Art?
Looking for clues
Like I said, the importance of the pamphlet was probably less than a backdoor breeze, but I do feel some responsibility to guess at the identity of the author. The sheet has some clues that require less than a careful measuring of the kerning.
The pamphlet has an unusual use of font. It jumps from a large sans-serif at the top to a standard serif font. It uses italics for some quotes, but carelessly – it sometimes uses the same italics for non-quoted material. The title of the sheet uses underline text, and another header inside the text used underline.
Remember the smear campaign that Connie Anderson waged against Adam Miller during the school board election in the fall of 2007? Ms. Anderson sent me a 18 page word document with her long exchange of emails between her and Miller. I stripped out all text formatting for the post here on this website, but I see some similarities in the text on that original word doc.
Ms. Anderson’s doc starts with the same underlined text as the pamphlet. Ms. Anderson used mixed fonts in her doc.
The mystery sheet used the word “bungling” to describe the mayor. That’s sort of an old, unique word. From Anderson’s anti-Miller doc, page four:
“The thought that he may have badly bungled this story just didn’t fit with what I know of Greg”
I have hundreds of posts on this website, with letters from many different people. The only person ever to use the word “bungled” or “bungling” was Ms Anderson. Check it out yourself, the use the search function on the left.
I do note that Ms Anderson used indenting in her text, which is missing from the pamphlet. Maybe the sheet was created by some other person, who tried to make it look like Anderson’s work. There may be other clues hidden in the mystery sheet. I can’t work up the enthusiasm to care who did it.
An open message to Connie Anderson and her political group
Hello from the Internets! You may have read about the magic tubes that allow people to post their political rants on websites. It is simple to make a blog, just google “Wordpress” or “Blogger”.
People these days use the Internet, rather than old fashioned sheets of paper. If there is some message of importance your group needs to put out, we have plenty of space here in the blogosphere. You are welcome to join us! I’ll even put a link to your website right on my front page!