Edmonds City Councilmember Steve Bernheim, who is supporting Joan Bloom for City Council, sent us this photo of volunteers recycling Bernheim’s campaign signs (he’s not running for re-election) for Bloom’s campaign.
“We are painting out Steve’s name, and stenciling or hand-painting, whichever works best, my name in,” Bloom said. “That is being done next Tuesday.” A sign decorating/fundraising party will follow on Friday, Aug. 26 from 5-8 p.m. at ArtWorks. “We’ll decorate the signs with flowers, to match Bloom,” she said.
“A creative campaign committee is a necessity when one is running a grass-roots, low-cost campaign,” Bloom added. “And I love the idea that we are re-using other signs, to reduce waste.”
In his email to My Edmonds News announcing the recycling effort, Bernheim also stated the following about Bloom’s opponent: “DJ Wilson, who bought yard signs for his 2007 campaign, has also spent more than $3,800 for yard signs in 2011.”
So we asked Wilson, the incumbent running for his second term, about that. Did he actually buy all new yard signs, because maybe he re-used some of his old ones, too? We didn’t get an answer to that question. But Wilson did suggest that Bernheim’s donation of the signs “looks like an illegal in-kind campaign contribution, actually. Signs cost about $5 per placard. So, if Steve gives more than 100 of them, that in-kind gift will exceed our campaign finance limits.” (Edmonds does have a campaign donation limit of $500 for local races.)
Next, we asked Bernheim about Wilson’s suggestion that perhaps he was running afoul of campaign contribution laws. “DJ Wilson accusing Joan Bloom of illegal campaign finance violations?” Bernheim responded in an email. “Joan paid me 10 dollars for the 52 campaign signs I had left over from 2007. I was going to throw them away until Joan offered to recycle them for the benefit of the entire community.
“Enough is enough, I hope all will agree,” Bernheim added. “Everybody except DJ Wilson knows that the fair market value of Steve Bernheim for Council yard signs is zero. Let the voters decide. Let the Public Disclosure Commission decide. But for heaven’s sake, please, don’t let DJ Wilson decide … any more!”