The Sounds of Silence: Dougherty’s Digital Billboards Light Up the Phoenix Sky

With the primary election only a couple of days away, U.S. Senate candidate John Dougherty has figured out a clever way to reduce the noise and boisterous clamor in Arizona’s fiercely contested Democratic primary while maintaining his own visibility.

Turning up his message while reducing the volume, the Dougherty campaign recently unveiled digital billboards, displaying the candidate’s message in bright but low-wattage light, at the heavily-traveled junction of I-10 and I-17 in Phoenix.

The double billboards quietly announce Dougherty’s latest news headlines, including his call to end corporate welfare and his opposition to the nation’s failed war on drugs. Dougherty’s campaign news is broadcast daily to thousands of Arizona motorists in absolute silence — a novel and refreshing concept.

In accordance with Phoenix’s Dark Sky Ordinance, the digital billboards are turned off between 11 p.m. and sunrise.

Dougherty campaign spokeswoman Kate Nolan believes the digital billboards are a solid investment given the campaign’s limited resources. “That’s really getting bang for our buck,” she told Uncovered Politics.

According to his pre-primary campaign finance filing with the Federal Election Commission, covering the period ending August 4, Dougherty had raised $87,672 — a fraction of the nearly $1.2 million raised by former Tucson councilman Rodney Glassman, regarded by many as the party’s frontrunner.

The Dougherty campaign also announced Friday that it had produced its first television commercial, a 30-second spot that will be aired today (Sunday) on KVOA-TV Channel 4 in Tucson.

It’s unclear how many television ads the campaign plans to air between now and Tuesday’s primary.

An award-winning investigative journalist, Dougherty is locked in a tight four-way race against Glassman, ex-state Rep. Cathy Eden and Harvard-educated labor organizer Randy Parraz, a civil rights attorney, for the right to take on longtime Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, in November.

Regarded as one of the country’s most seasoned investigative journalists, Dougherty, who was recently endorsed by the Phoenix New Times — a newspaper he once wrote for — was named Arizona Journalist of the Year on three occasions and was twice the recipient of the highly-coveted Don Bolles Award for Investigative Reporting. In 1996, he was named to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism Hall of Fame. He currently writes for the Huffington Post.

3 Responses

  1. Austin Cassidy
    Austin Cassidy August 22, 2010 at 3:07 am | | Reply

    Wow, that’s really quite impressive. This AZ race reminds me a bit of the Florida race for Attorney General… could honestly go to any of the candidates.

  2. Nova Green
    Nova Green August 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm | | Reply

    John is our best candidate for the Democratic Nomination, and John McCain’s worst nightmare. RISE UP!

  3. J.T. Waldron
    J.T. Waldron August 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm | | Reply

    Brilliant!

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