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Election Day is less than 24 hours away, which means it’s the perfect time for political operatives to post uncredited posters before the Office of Campaign Finance has time to stop them.
First up, this poster about Muriel Bowser. LL spied this one on North Capitol Street near the McMillan Reservoir, although at least one more has been spotted elsewhere.
The message isn’t exactly clear. Comparing Bowser to a watered-down version of mentor Adrian Fenty sounds like an attack—-but if you liked Fenty except for the jerkishness, couldn’t “Fenty Lite” be exactly what you want? David Catania campaign manager Ben Young says he doesn’t know who’s behind the posters, while Bowser campaign spokesman Joaquin McPeek describes them as a “sign of desperation.”
Catania has some mystery sign attacks of his own. LL spotted this poster on Kennedy Street NW. It says “Why Catania? HIV rates are soaring in DC’s POOREST Neighborhoods Among Straight Black Women,” an apparent reference to Catania’s former position running the D.C. Council’s health committee. There’s some backing for the poster’s claims, although a 2012 report on the HIV/AIDS rates couldn’t discern whether the rising infection numbers were a result of wider testing.
There’s a little more information about who funded this sign. The usual Office of Campaign Finance credit line was covered up with a sticker proclaiming that it came from “Mike Jones-D.C. Citizen.” The number listed on the sticker goes to a voicemail for the Foster-Jones Group, a marketing company.
Under the sticker, the credit line shows the name “Yango”—-potentially Yango Sawyer, one of several ex-offender activists reportedly behind earlier unsourced attacks on Catania. Sawyer and Jones didn’t respond to LL’s requests for comment.
“I know Yango has an interesting way of doing business, but truth seems to be a commodity that’s lost on him,” Young says.
Speaking of Sawyer, he registered an independent expenditure with OCF that reported $1,507.60 in spending ahead of tomorrow’s election, including $490 in “painting” against Catania. Sawyer’s filing doesn’t list where his funding came from.
While Bowser and Catania can expect, as candidates, to be the targets of last-minute signs, prominent Catania supporter Marie Drissel didn’t think she’d merit a poster of her own. Drissel, who filed an OCF complaint against Sawyer and other activists for their earlier alleged sign work, tells LL that she came home yesterday to find signs like the one at left near her house.
The signs, which have a picture of Drissel over what looks like Pinocchio‘s body, allude to Catania campaign videos that ask voters not to be “puppets” by voting for Bowser. The signs don’t have a credit line.
Drissel, who says she’s “slightly intimidated” by the signs’ appearance, told LL to mention that she has a big dog at her house.
Photos by Will Sommer and courtesy Marie Drissel