I live on a fairly busy road. I have decided after last night I would be willing to put an Obama/Biden sign visible from the road. I know I can donate on-line, but I have no clue who to contact for something like this.
Thank you, that worked and I have two signs a few other items coming via UPS.
I just figured you needed to contact the local Democratic Organizer or something like that to get the signs. It never occurred to me that I could order them on line. I made a larger donation while I was at it.
We all see different ads. My ads do not indicate how to.
Whether you have to pay for lawn signs or not depends on the particular campaign. If you wanted a lawn sign for Linda Stender (7th congressional district), they’d gladly deliver it to your house and set it up for you. That’s not hyperbole. That’s actually what they do.
I can tell you, more or less, what’s going on in NJ with regard to Obama lawn signs and bumper stickers and buttons and the like.
Apparently, the Obama campaign is giving that stuff away in “battleground” states, but since NJ is not generally considered a battleground state, we don’t get the stuff. It’s not a funding issue. They say it’s a supply issue. Which is pretty stupid, 'cause there are zillions of outfits that can produce that kind of stuff.
Anyway, people in NJ are getting pretty pissed off about it. Especially the people who are actually volunteering to work for the campaign. I mean, if they devote 4 hours on a Saturday to canvassing and phone banking, it’s not unreasonable that they should get a bumper sticker out of the deal.
My group is a grassroots organization, and we have no funding. We also can’t do any fundraising because that opens quite a can of worms. Any stuff that we have to give away is purchased by the members.* We have received some stuff from Move On and the like, but it’s not much. We try to have stuff to give people, but we keep running out. It’s embarrassing.
So, Jim, you did the right thing by just ordering it from the website. I’d encourage people to do it that way because it’s a donation to the campaign. But–everyone should feel free to contact any local democratic HQ. They should be able to either put you in touch with a source, or tell you that there is no source.
AIUI, purchasing this kind of thing to give away counts toward your campaign contribution limit. If you purchase it from the website, then it’s accounted for automatically, but as far as I know, there is no discount if you are an established/official/recognized group buying in bulk for giveaways. If you have it produced privately, or if you spend any significant amount on something officially campaign-related, like providing refreshments for an event in your home, it still counts toward your limit. You have to fill out a “donation in kind” form and submit it. My group is quite serious about keeping this stuff above board.
Green Bean, thank you for that great explanation. I have not worked on a campaign since I was in High School and that was as a Young Republican. I don’t remember much about it and I just got rides, stuffed envelopes and helped out a bit.
What is the best way to find and contact a local democratic HQ?
In Dearborn Mi yard signs for Obama are 5 bucks at the Obama headquarters. It is a fund raising activity. Carl Levin dropped off a couple hundred for free. They are out of them now and they go fast when they come in.
You can get anything on the Obama website ,but even there yard signs seem to be scarce.
I find it very odd that anyone would expect those signs or stickers for free. Clearly someone is paying for them and if you can’t donate a few bucks to cover the cost, than I wouldn’t think you are as serious about your choice as you claim to be.
However, I would say that if you volunteer your time, that is akin to donating cash and you should be handed at least a bumper sticker and yard sign.
Well, while I fully expected to make a donation for them and did so. I think it is reasonable for people to be given them for free. In reality you are offering free ad space where it is not normally available and apparently in the swing states, they are giving them away for free.
Jim–Sometimes it can be devilishly hard to find local HQs. Here’s the contact info for the state HQ:
29 Emmons Drive
Princeton, NJ 08540
But if you’re interested in attending events or volunteering or whatever, go to “Find Events” on the website. Perhaps there’s info on local HQs there, too. I’ve never looked. But in any case, if you (or anyone) want to know more, feel free to email me or PM me.
Speaking from my own experience–
People are generally willing to pay for for these things. But there are a few of practical problems with that.
The first is the alleged supply problem!
The second is that people don’t necessarily want to be arsed to go on the website and place an order. They’re at an event. They want a button! That’s fair. Or maybe they want the bumper sticker and are happy to cover the cost, but don’t want to be on file as making a donation to any particular candidate. That’s also fair.*
The third problem is that many groups simply can’t accept cash donations. Like mine. As I said before, it opens up a can of worms, both in accounting, and also in what sort of group we’re classified as. (Hopefully, someone can explain the particulars better than I.) The few times that we have been involved with fundraising events, it’s been in connection with another group that is equipped to do fundraising.
I haven’t been to an official Obama training (aka Camp Obama), but I get the feeling that the need to be careful about this financial stuff is stressed pretty strongly.
So, you see, it’s not as simple as having people just kick in a few bucks. I really wish it were.
Of course, if someone wants to make an anonymous “donation” of any sort, it gets into a little gray ethical area because of the fact that any money towards the campaign is supposed to be recorded and applied toward your campaign contribution limit. But in practice…well, you can’t tell people that they can’t just throw in a couple of bucks for a bumper sticker without filling out paperwork. That’s just stupid. But you see the problem.
There are many companies that produce yard signs. But there are a limited number of companies that produce yard signs with a Union crew. One thing a Democratic campaign cannot afford to do is distribute yard signs without the Union bug on it.
Maybe not free, but I would rather they just charge cost or close to it. In particular, it’s kind of weird they have volume discounts. One sign is $8, while 500+ is $3 each. Considering that shipping is an extra $6.60, that’s a rip-off.
Given how few McCain signs I see around, they are probably more likely to give you one for free.
The cost of the sign is not about recovering the cost, it’s about raising money. The Obama campaign has pledged not to take money from PACs or lobbyists. They have to raise everything from individuals. Like you, I’m used to campaigns grateful to put a sign in my yard for free. But this is a different type of campaign, and a different type of politics.
I just checked my stuff. 4 out of my 5 buttons have union stickers on the back. My window sign and bumper sticker both have union bugs.
Okay, here’s something I don’t understand–my Obama bumper sticker says “Move On” on it. Is it just that they can’t give money directly to the campaign? I believe I read on Wikipedia that Move On is the type of PAC that can’t advocate for a particular candidate. This is all so confusing.
Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that everything in those states is free. The official campaign mouthpiece people just told us that the bulk of the giveaway stuff is going there.
Interestingly enough, around here, there aren’t McCain nor Obama signs around. They don’t need advertising, I guess. It’s not like anyone doesn’t know who they are. I guess I understand that for big, national campaigns, there’s no way at all that they qualify as “advertising” since it’s lost in the noise.
It’s not apathy, either. Instead of those signs, what is somewhat common are signs for the lesser elections, and the more local the election is, the more signs pop up. In this case, it really, truly is advertising, because these are all names that aren’t on celebrity television every minute of the day.
Kind of like Budweiser signs are nothing but pollution, but when you see a sign for “Michelob Dry Hopping” it stands out, makes you think, and maybe you’ll buy some to try.*
*I’m the most immune person to advertising there is in the world, but this one worked. Last weekend, I bought Michelob for the first time in probably 12 years. For a mass-market US beer, it wasn’t bad, but I’ll probably not buy it again.