If the number of “vote for me” signs erected translated directly to votes, Todd McLendon should throw the towel in now. Vice Mayor Jim Rockett’s poster pests are going up faster than Challenger.
That didn’t end well either. In fact, the plague of signs with suspicious imagery of Jim “City Boy Trying to be Country” with his Photoshopped baseball cap and faraway Richard Nixon look, will, according to the received wisdom of generations of political analysts, have the reverse effect.
Why? Well, for openers, there are awkward questions about where the money comes from for such disproportionate overkill. Who would gain from having Rockett around another three damaging years? The “incredibly unpopular in the town” Palm Beach State College? You might think so, I couldn’t possibly comment. His land-owning council colleagues who stood solid with Rockett in his denial of the freedom of speech for the townsfolk in respect of the college referendum and who outrageously endorse him? Again, I couldn’t say. His fellow nurserymen, currently sitting on significant tracts of near-worthless land, which would be hugely increased in value were the Groves to become a sister town to Wellyworld?
Then it will be asked, why is Jim so obviously desperate? Why the incredibly unsubtle attempt to overwhelm his opponent with the plethora of tacky placards and pics? Surely more than simply his fear that his feeble grasp of his 15 minutes of fame are finally slipping away completely? More sinisterly, what does he really stand to lose?
Then there’s the underdog syndrome. The signs are at infestation levels. If they were pythons, the town would be paying for them to be culled. The tipping point at which the floating voters not only ask, “Who’s the other guy?” but also, “What does he have to say and how come he doesn’t get the exposure Rockett does?” will quickly follow.
Add to that the fact that the overwhelming majority of Rockett’s signs are on land owned by his family and confederates, and it’s all sadly transparent.
Finally, for the pedants, there’s the hilarious gaff that the message on the sign is grammatically incorrect. It’s not possible to “re-elect” Rockett, as in fact, he has never been elected in the first place! That’s right, folks of the town: not one resident of Loxahatchee Groves has ever voted for Jim Rockett.
Check the history of how our town fathers got to be where they are on the town web site. It’s a disgrace. Fortunately, it seems certain the only people in Rockett’s orbit he can count on are his fellow nurserymen and his conspiratorial council cronies, who also have a great deal to lose should their clique be broken up.
Witness their dark and covert visits to McLendon supporters to tell them absolute untruths. Peddling propaganda about how homes will be foreclosed if Rockett doesn’t win. Not only nonsense but also shameful deceit.
By contrast, his opponent shows significantly more credibility. Compare the low-key honest “man of the town” McLendon with the brash and insincere politico and you can see this is an interesting election.
Straightforward McLendon? Or disingenuous Rockett? (Does Jim really think that photo of him on the horse is real? Anyone who rides can see it’s fake. A pathetic attempt to curry equestrian favor after years of blocking equestrian interests? Come on, Jim — seriously?)
So, a man for the people versus a man for himself. A working man with a young family and a job versus a man with land interests in the town. A man who wants to “love it and leave it alone” versus a man who wants it concreted over. A man for the equestrians or a man vehemently opposed to everything equine.
The signs on the roads point to the future of Loxahatchee Groves. It’s pretty straightforward whichever way you slice it. If you like the town the way it is, vote McLendon; if you want it developed like Wellington, re-launch Rockett. This time around, unlike with the college, the council will have no choice but to allow your vote. Don’t waste it.