One Corner, Five Elections 2004-12
ENFIELD — I actually took this picture the weekend before Hurricane Sandy slammed into the east coast on October 29, because I figured the winds might not be friendly to the signs. In fact, the campaigns took them all in, and they aren’t there right now. The corner is distressingly bare for early November.
The one thing that I found interesting is that there are actually Linda McMahon signs at the corner, whereas in 2010 there weren’t. No presidential signs have made their way here, which is normal. There is a big sign for a referendum in town about consolidating the high schools, but it’s only barely visible in the picture as the sign is facing directly towards Hazard Avenue. Two signs I’m sorry the corner doesn’t have are the ones the town GOP is putting up, promoting their state representative candidates. These signs have huge pictures of each man on them, and they’re really memorable—especially the one of bearded, smiling Joe Bosco. The only person whose signs appeared every year, again, is state Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield. His signs never change, either. They’re always the same blue and yellow. All of the other candidates are different now. Once again, there are more Republican signs around town, but this sign season has seemed muted to me. There’s less color, fewer signs overall, which I think is in keeping with the joyless atmosphere surrounding this election in general.
This intersection is always changing. The yellow “lane ends” sign was replaced by a standing traffic light in 2006, and by 2010 was in turn replaced by a walk light. Soon there will be a bus stop here, a first. There’s a big medical office building rising behind the package store now, and the other sorts of signs that grace the corner when political season isn’t happening stubbornly remain, reminding us that there’s life outside of politics after all.
This is a continuation of a piece I started back in 2004, you can see the 2010 version of this post here.
The “Sullivan for Congress” here isn’t 2008’s Sean Sullivan, but Jim Sullivan, a Democrat who went on to lose to Rob Simmons. Bill Kiner’s orange signs are evident here—this was the year he came closest to defeating State Sen. John Kissel. Note also a single, solitary black-on-yellow “Chris Dodd” sign. That U.S. Senate race was surprisingly low-key in light of the two to follow it. There are no signs indicating a presidential election, though those were evident elsewhere in town.
Rob Simmons has center stage here, in what I’m coming to think of as a cursed location. He narrowly lost to Joe Courtney, who replaced the white-on-blue signs of his 2002 run with black-on-yellow ones reminiscent of Dodd’s and of Sam Gejdensen’s. There are a few scattered Lamont signs, and no Lieberman signs. Bill Kiner’s signs are back, but he would come no closer to John Kissel. There are no signs for either Jodi Rell or John DeStefano.
Apologies for the poor quality, I took this picture with a cell-phone camera. George Colli is in the cursed spot, and his green-on-white sign is the only really readable one. There are some bluish-white blurs that I think are Sean Sullivan signs, and some recognizable Kissel signs. As in 2004, no Obama or McCain signs are on this corner.
GOP candidate for attorney general Martha Dean’s sign is prominent, and her memorable “Freedom, Faith, Fortune” slogan is visible. Rep. Courtney’s signs, which haven’t changed their high-visibility design since 2006, are visible, but there are none for his opponent, Janet Peckinpaugh. Richard Blumenthal, perhaps wisely, decided to keep his signs pretty much the same as they’ve always been, reminding us that we have a long history with him. There are no Linda McMahon signs, a contrast to their constant presence in 2012. The Kiner running for state representative is not Bill Kiner, but town council member David Kiner, his son (for Enfield Democrats, politics runs in families). Tom Foley’s signs here are kind of dull, but they’re nowhere near as uninteresting as Dan Malloy’s, which are not in evidence here. State Sen. John Kissel’s signs re-appear; his are the only ones to show up every year.