Saturday, September 15, 2007

One Lawn Sign That Will Vote -- Many Times

"Lawn signs don't vote; people do." That is a standard mantra of local politics, an indication not to judge a political campaign by counting signs.

Over in Ward 22/Precinct 8, however, I recently saw a lawn sign that I think will vote -- and may bring a lot of votes along with it. It's a red sign for Greg Glennon for the Allston-Brighton District 9 City Council race, and it's on the front lawn of Patrick Galvin, brother and long-time campaign manager for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin.

The Galvins, their inner political circle, and their broad base of supporters (Bill Galvin represented the neighborhood for many years in the State House prior to his election as Secretary) provide a base as big as anything over on Wallingford Road or Portina Road. And the Galvin team carries connections to those constituencies, too. Then Representative Galvin worked with the Brighton Orthodox community to build its eruv (completed in 1993), a point which they clearly remember. And sandwiched between the two Galvin's houses is none other than Mark Alford's house, who participated in a May 8 meeting with the Orthodox community over Boston College expansion -- and was a candidate in the A-B City Council election until he pulled out suddenly on July 3 (the last official day to get off of the ballot). For the record, neither Alford's nor Secretary Galvin's houses have sprouted campaign lawn signs; nobody yet knows publicly how they lean.

The Galvin-Alford-Galvin trifecta have long ties to the Brighton neighborhood, lists of campaign supporters from Secretary Galvin's decades of running for elected office, and a behind-the-scenes influence that is hard to match. While Secretary Galvin's list of six Allston-Brighton campaign contributors (search on CFPID 10176, City of Boston, and year 2006; then count 02134 and 02135 addresses) might have been thin during his most recent re-election campaign, those guys no doubt have an extensive database of supporters ready to be mobilized.

If one move has the potential to mix up this race, Patrick Galvin's lawn sign might be it. Two candidates are probably the least pleased with this development: Mark Ciommo and Rosie Hanlon. Why? Those two are long-term residents who have been splitting the "old boy" neighborhood vote of long-term A-B residents. I don't have enough digits -- even after removing my shoes -- to count the number of men who have told me they were going to vote for Ciommo solely based on knowing him since they were kids. Hanlon's connection to the neighborhood is not quite as deep, but no doubt growing -- her five kids (with the web of school and friend connections that brings), and her work with the Brighton business community, reaches all across the established residents of the neighborhood.

Glennon has comparatively far less of that traditional support in the neighborhood -- except for some of the inherited supporters of former state Representative Brian Golden. Patrick Galvin's lawn sign may indicate that some of Ciommo and Hanlon's long-term resident support may now be split with a third candidate, Glennon. A three-way split for the "old boy" vote may actually work to the benefit of Tim Schofield -- or probably more so for Alex Selvig, who could eke out a second-place finish if he can mobilize large portions of the anti-institutional expansion and under-40 crowd.

Finally, I wonder if my "phone survey" last night from the Glennon campaign had anything to do with this lawn sign over in 22/8? Best left as speculation.

Of Whales and Elephants

I previously commented on how there were too many lawn signs up during this campaign season, and that I was praying for rain to disintegrate some of them. The recent rain did just that to at least a few signs. I'm gonna continue my backyard dance to summon a nor'easter and clear these signs away.

1 comment:

Ella Franka said...

While I tend to share your annoyance with CLUTTERED signs (i.e homes that appear not to be decisive and display multiple), I think it's important to recognize that maintaining these signs is labor intensive. Saying that you pray for rain is a slap in the face of the hard working men and women that build and mount the signs!