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Loose Lips: There's no avoiding the recall

Readers, have you noticed that the airwaves are humming with political activity this week? Nothing less than a multimedia tsunami of candidates and campaigns is crashing over us. Ow.

First up, it's come to our attention that Friends of Jeff Denham Against the Recall now has pages on both MySpace and Facebook. (By the way, are there friends of Jeff Denham for the recall? Maybe they want Denham, R-Merced, to come home from Sacramento so they can have fun the way they did in the old days?) Lips visited both pages so you don't have to. Both are rather spartan. Each has exactly one photo. On MySpace, it's a smiling head shot. On Facebook, it's a picture of Denham kneeling in an almond orchard. (Proof that he's literally a down-to-earth guy!)

We're glad to see Denham has maintained his dignity, even online. Millions of people across America have let the warm waters of Internet pseudo-anonymity lull them into posting scandalous material online, but Denham avoided that temptation. Sadly, that means we won't see any shots of him pounding Jager with his boyz in Pismo.

Luckily, we have Denham's opponents around to put vaguely inappropriate material online. The pro-recall folks posted a video on YouTube showing a shirtless Denham stand-in receiving a candlelit massage. It's kind of gross.

On Thursday, the Recallinators debuted another cinematic effort. It's a video spot alleging that Denham robbed teachers when he took a pay raise. Luckily, the kindly looking "teacher" in the video is fully clothed.

But the Dump Denham folks are also relying on some old media tactics, such as actual yard signs. An alert reader told us a "We Deserve Better" sign appeared mysteriously in his yard the other day. The trouble is, he's not a recall supporter. The complimentary yard decoration had a polite note attached to it: "Our records indicate a voter at this address requested this sign to show support for removing Senator Jeff Denham from office. If you have received this sign in error, please feel free to dispose of it however you wish." We're wondering how many other people have had pro-recall signs appear in their yards without warning. Maybe the recall folks are following that old chestnut about how it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Does that mean they plan to apologize later for putting voters through an election that the Madera Tribune called a "sham"?

Meanwhile, on the wireless

City Councilman Jim Sanders has unveiled no fewer than four radio ads in his campaign for District 2 county supervisor.

Local listeners will start hearing them on Monday. Lips was treated to a sneak preview. One calls for more open government, in the form of a live TV broadcast of the Board of Supervisors meetings. Lips isn't too sure if seeing Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Kathleen Crookham pound a gavel in real time will mean the end of back-room politics in Merced County, but who knows.

Another of one of the ads is about Sanders' idea to form a regional airport authority. The narrator intones that Sanders know Castle's history "because he was raised on a dairy farm on the northern end of Castle's runway."

Hmm. If living in an airport flight path makes you an expert on aviation history, then Lips figures everyone in Merced can call themselves an expert on railroads, what with two tracks within earshot.

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