Dueling planes, signs appear on last campaign day

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Monday afternoon two planes flew over Albert Lea toting political banners behind them.

People stood on the corners of busy intersections with signs showing their support for the school referendum. It was the last day before the general election and there was an urgency in the air to canvas as much of the city as people could to get their message out.

&uot;It shows that people are really passionate about their politics,&uot; said Todd Brist, a teacher at Albert Lea High School, who stood on the corner of Broadway Avenue and Main Street with signs that read &uot;Vote Yes! Yes!&uot;

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Brist’s companion in street-corner political persuasion, Mark Blong, a member of TEAM (Together Education Achieves More), said he is glad to see the political activity, no matter what side of the fence the activists are on. &uot;You have to respect the people who are willing to say what they believe,&uot; he said.

One of the hottest items of disagreement has been the referendum. It has grown in tenacity as the days counted down to the election.

Three letters have been sent out by different groups and people regarding their views on the referendum, signs are posted in a great many yards throughout the city pushing one issue or candidate, or another, and with two planes overhead with banners, the city looks a bit like a war-zone.

One plane has towed banners opposing the referendum, and Monday, a second plane appeared with a banner encouraging &uot;yes&uot; votes. The second was financed and arranged with private donations by TEAM, said Rep. Dan Dorman, R-Albert Lea, a member of the goup.

Today’s election will put an end to the campaigns. Polls opened at 7 a.m. in the city of Albert Lea and will stay open until 8 p.m.