These signs were made for walking

After three of his four challengers for the Burlingame City Council election were involved in sign-stealing allegations last week, Russ Cohen has developed a new anti-sign theft strategy: mobile lawn signs.

Cohen’s friend and campaign supporter, Gary Doss, will begin walking around the city wearing four of Cohen’s lawn signs like a sandwich board today.

“People keep stealing signs, and you certainly can’t steal a sign if it’s on you,” said Cohen, an incumbent vying with four opponents for two spots on Nov. 6.

Doss, who stands 6 feet 6 inches tall and owns a Pez museum, has been walking three miles every day at 7 a.m. down major streets such as California Drive and Broadway for the last year.

When he heads out for his morning walk today, he will be wearing two “Cohen for Council” signs stacked vertically over his chest and another two over his back with straps over his shoulders.

“When I first had them on, people were giving me an awful lot of thumbs up,” said Doss, 53, who put the outfit together with duct tape and glue. “I’m looking forward to people honking and waving.”

The promotion comes on the heels of sign-stealing scandals involving opponents Gene Condon, Jerry Deal and Peter Comaroto. Police refer to the battle as “Sign Wars.”

Radio traffic reporter Joe McConnell was caught red-handed stealing one of Condon’s campaign signs last week. McConnell is married to Geraldine O’Connor, who is the co-chair of Deal’s election committee. Condon maintains 30 of his $5 signs were stolen from the area.

Comaroto also filed a report with Burlingame police last week, alleging that 40 of his 300 signs, at $7 apiece, were stolen.

Cohen said his signs have been swiped just like everyone else’s. Instead of filing police reports like some of his opponents, he is keeping his sense of humor through it.

“It kind of gets the word out and we’re having a little fun with it at the same time,” said Cohen, who, fittingly enough, is in the advertising business.

Cohen, who said he cannot spend “$30,000 to $40,000” on his campaign “like other candidates,” sees the promotion as an old-school grass-roots move.

“It doesn’t get any more grassroots than a guy walking around with your lawn sign around his neck,” Cohen said.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Public Bank Coalition advocates rallied on Feb. 5, 2019 as the Board of Supervisors considered supporting the creation of a public banking charter. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Debate reignites over San Francisco’s first public bank

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, momentum was building for San Francisco to… Continue reading

Apprenticeship instructor Mike Miller, center, demonstrates how to set up a theodolite, a hyper-sensitive angle measuring device, for apprentices Daniel Rivas, left, Ivan Aguilar, right, and Quetzalcoatl Orta, far right, at the Ironworkers Local Union 377 training center in Benicia on June 10, 2021. (Courtesy Anne Wernikoff/CalMatters)
California’s affordable housing crisis: Are labor union requirements in the way?

By Manuela Tobias CalMatters California lawmakers introduced several bills this year that… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed spoke at the reopening of the San Francisco Public Library main branch on April 20. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli/Special to The Examiner)
SF reopening more libraries through the summer

After a handful of San Francisco public libraries reopened last month for… Continue reading

A new production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” directed by Matthew Ozawa and designed by Alexander V. Nichols will be onstage at the War Memorial Opera House in October. (Courtesy Alexander V. Nichols)
SF Opera announces transitional 99th season

Company returns to Opera House with downsized schedule, no fall ball

Most Read