A Secretive Frank Detractor

Continuing our series on local politics and elections, I saw another sign today that sparked my interest.  While traveling down Port Republic Road in Harrisonburg, I came across an encampment of yard signs fluttering in the breeze.  Several were in support of Coffman for Council, others were for Baxter for school board, but a few were different.  Rather than encouraging citizens to vote for a candidate, it tells folks to vote against Carolyn Frank.

Strangely, as you can see, they do not bear the paid for and authorized tag line that other political signs display.  When I saw more of the signs on Neff Avenue as well, I stopped a local business to learn a bit more.  Although on their shopping center property, the business knew nothing of the signs.  They did not authorize them and did not know who placed them there.  Obviously some person or persons have a very strong dislike of Frank in order to go to such lengths as spending their own money for the signs.

Two questions linger, who and why.  Who made the signs?  Why does their creator find Carolyn Frank so objectionable?  I found this same question and a rather lengthy discussion on a recent article on hburgnews.com.  Apparently, a local developer by the name of Bruce Forbes created them.  Their discussion informs us that Mr. Forbes is someone who tries to buy and control politicians.  He assisted in Frank’s election efforts several years ago and turned against her when she wasn’t loyal to his designs.  Getting back to the signs themselves, although admittedly my knowledge of regarding laws for local elections are a bit shaky, I would expect that, like other political signs, they must bear the “paid for” tag line.  If that is indeed an unmet requirement, then the city should remove them as quickly as possible.

If Carolyn Frank, Bruce Forbes, any of their supporters or detractors, or anyone else who has some knowledge of this subject cares to comment further, I’m sure we would be interested in learning more.

5 Replies to “A Secretive Frank Detractor”

  1. Strangely, since this is a local election, under Virginia’s version of the “Stand By Your Ad” law, yard signs do NOT have to have a disclaimer. Generally the thinking goes that you don’t have to put them on things were it would be hard to place, i.e. buttons and pencils, etc. Somehow, though, yard signs are grouped in the exempted category.

    1. Thanks for the info. Seems sort of dumb that you don’t need that line though. Nameless attacks seem sort of cowardly in my book.

  2. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good (or at least logical, if not well intentioned) reason why yard signs are exempted, but yeah…..it is pretty dumb. Number one, they’re pretty darn easy to put on there, at least from my rudimentary understanding of the process. Number two, you have plenty of space to work with–why bumper stickers but not yard signs? Seriously, I’ve been known to maybe get a little too close to make out a bumpersticker, but even I have my limits–I’m definitely not going to be looking for a disclaimer line. And three, it would seem to something that everyone expects.

    And agreed on the method of attack. I suppose one could argue that if the area is well-known to be the individual’s property then by virtue he is claiming it, but…..eh, pretty weak, assuming everybody knows everything…..and judging by the number of people I’ve run into who are rooting for Todd Gilbert and Mark Obenshain to be re-elected this year, that’s never a safe bet to make.

  3. “assuming everybody knows everything…..and judging by the number of people I’ve run into who are rooting for Todd Gilbert and Mark Obenshain to be re-elected this year, that’s never a safe bet to make.”

    i’m assuming that you mention two guys who aren’t running this year in order to underscore the deficiency of assuming that ‘everybody knows everything,’ but you know what they say about assumptions….

    back on subject, those signs are shady. mr. forbes should be embarassed (not least of all because he’s been called a coward in more places than one).

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