You can tell a lot about a neighborhood by its…


It’s another travel day for me — there have been too many of these lately, and no respite in sight — and I just now got off the road, the usual I94 to the Minneapolis/St Paul airport, and I noticed a remarkable change in the character of the billboards as I passed Albertville and entered the outer ring of middle class suburbs that surround the city. Suddenly, in addition to the usual billboards advertising gas, food, hotels, and the evils of abortion (seriously, people, don’t get too excited about those sporadic atheist signs, because Pro-Life Across America has saturated the rural Midwest, at least, with Smilin’ Baby ads), I saw jewelry stores, Colorado ski vacations, and cosmetic surgery ads everywhere. I had entered Michele Bachmann’s district.

The place was also full of billboards touting the perfidy of Amy Klobuchar (Democrat, don’t you know), urging me to vote for the anti-gay marriage amendment, and even more irritating, ads claiming that Minnesota is number one in voter fraud, and we must do something about it. The ad didn’t give specifics, but I wondered how many handfuls of cases it takes to reach #1.

What bugs me about those ads is their frothing rabid indignation at the thought that a few people, not enough to make any significant difference, might place a vote they are not entitled to…in the complete absence of any concern about the tens of thousands sanctioned Republican voter fraud might disenfranchise. But at least you can see where the priorities of Bachmann’s base lie.


  1. Randomfactor says

    Minnesota is number one in voter fraud

    OK, NOW I know how Michele Bachmann keeps getting elected.

  2. otrame says

    Strange. According to the occasional ad in the sidebars, she is desperately strapped for money because of the evil conspiracy to end her time in Congress, even though she has worked so HARD for all of America, not to mention Minnesota, and even though she loves baby Jesus more than ANYTHING.

    Very strange.

  3. Nerdette says

    In Fredericksburg, VA, our Coalition of Reason has a group called Conservative Atheists of Virginia. While I have never participated in their meetings, their topics of conversation drift into other groups in the Coalition, and one topic just happened to be voter fraud. One member constantly reiterated the strawman question of “Why do you want to make it so easy for non-citizens to vote?” I could not shake him from this understanding, no matter how many similes and metaphors I tried. I felt spot on with the abortion comparison (they are not out-right outlawing it, just making it so much more time intensive to make it infeasible for many), but it failed to resonate at all. Once they get some angle of understanding, nothing shakes them.

  4. robro says

    The biggest current voter fraud case is Republican Nathan Sproul’s work for the RNC and the Romney machine in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado. It’s been a couple of weeks since there was any follow up on this and the spin doctors were hard at work.

    Also, I read one speculation that Mitt may have withheld release of his tax returns because he may have voted in a Massachusetts election while he was a resident of another state.

  5. JoeBuddha says

    You don’t understand: Voter fraud isn’t about ineligible people voting. It’s about people voting for the wrong person.

  6. says

    What bugs me about those ads is their frothing rabid indignation at the thought that a few people, not enough to make any significant difference, might place a vote they are not entitled to…

    What disgusts me is that both parties are pretending that the votes of the wealthy are not becoming more and more important, because of their ability to influence the campaign system with money. The problem is not “voter fraud” since the popular vote doesn’t mean anything the problem is “campaign finance gives disproportionate power to the rich.” And everyone knows it but the media dance around it like it’s a great big steaming heap of elephant poop in the middle of the room.

  7. JohnnieCanuck says

    And then, as little as I understand the US system, once they are elected, lobbyists allow the rich to have even more influence on the government.

  8. yubal says

    urging me to vote for the anti-gay marriage amendment

    Gay marriage is the top one political non-issue of the last decade. It’s a no-brainer. The state has nothing to say or regulate on who wants to get married. Period. All they have to do is to file the paperwork. The rest is the problem of the people who want to get married.


    Whoever runs political campaign about “gay marriage” is actually wasting time/money. Gay marriage makes no sense and does not deserve ANY attention whatsoever. It is just marriage. Like cake and cheap wine with family and people you like/know hanging around who all wish you the best.

    Later on it is the same shit at a different day. Mortgage bills, credit card defaults and the never ending question of which is a good brunch place and which one is not…etc. pp.

    people going on with their own tiny idea of life. incredibly boring when you are not personally involved. isn’t it?

  9. sylwyn says

    The moment I saw the title for this post I thought “glass houses…” I seem to recall “5 proofs that God exists”, “Find God’s match for you” and a host of similar ads on this website. I always wondered how the computer screen remained intact with the contradictory ads and articles.

    Naturally, I don’t see this now when the irony would be rich. As I write this the worst I see is “Woman is 57 but looks 27” and “1 tip of a flat belly.” Not exactly up to the standards of the posts, but not the antithesis either (might even be good practice for critical thinking).

  10. epawtows says

    Relative gave me absolute, positive *proof* that voter fraud is rampant in the US. The proof? Obama was elected, but there are more white voters than black voters.


  11. JCfromNC says

    There’s a billboard not too far from my home that shows a group of soldiers and says something to the effect of “They’ve done their part to save our country. Now you can save it at the ballot box.”

  12. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says


    That sounds incredible, but it’s actually characteristics of bigots of all kinds that they believe everyone not in the hated/despised group shares their bigotry.

  13. ckitching says

    I wonder what the Zombie walk billboard ads in my neighborhood say… Nothing good, I’m sure.

    As for voter fraud, isn’t is interesting that those who talk most about stopping voter fraud belong to the political ideology most often found committing voter fraud? Of course everyone knows the real reason isn’t voter fraud, but to exclude voters who are likely to vote for the “wrong” party (why else would “gun club” cards be acceptable, but other government issued ID be rejected).

  14. NitricAcid says

    Bah- I keep getting a banner ad on FTB that shows older women saying, “We don’t want younger men- we want you!”

    Great- now I’m being advertised to AND insulted at the same time.