Anti-Obama & friends billboards link old media to new, says WhoSaidYouSaid's Kelly Maher
Seen those "They Spend, You Pay!" billboards? The ones in which Barack Obama looks kinda drunk, John Hickenlooper appears homicidal, and Betsy Markey, Ed Perlmutter, John Salazar and Michael Bennet seem amused by your pain? According to Kelly Maher of WhoSaidYouSaid, the website behind the campaign, a hundred boards are now up in Denver, Fort Collins and Grand Junction, creating "a fascinating blend of old and new media."
Maher, a proud conservative with a keen interest in "economic government regulatory issues" like spending, notes that "billboards are seen as an older medium. But when people see our website on the billboards, they can go there and send their elected officials a 'stop payment' notice. And we're also doing a 'They Spend, You Pay!' scavenger hunt, where people driving around can whip out their Blackberries, take a picture of a billboard, tag themselves on it and put it in our scavenger hunt -- and whoever sees the most billboards wins, and gets to go on the radio with me."
Paying for a hundred billboards ain't cheap; Maher says the campaign as a whole "will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars." So who's forking over all that cheddar?
Michael Sandoval/NRO, courtesy Eagle County GOP
"We're a 501(c)(4), so we're not required to disclose our donors," Maher says. "We're not an express advocacy group, but an education and awareness group. But I can tell you that they're Colorado dollars -- a group of conservative donors who are interested in what we've been able to accomplish thus far."
WhoSaidYouSaid launched in December 2009, with Maher and partner Mary Smith creating what the former calls "a video-based blog format." Why? "There's a generation of young voters coming forward who grew up, as I did, watching Sesame Street. They're really used to processing information by video, and generally in under a minute."
From the outset, humor was a key element of the presentation. Take this clip of Diana DeGette morphing into John Hickenlooper in a way that strangely recalls Ellen DeGeneres: