March 27, 2007

E... (via pchuck):

'Billboard King' Reid Looks to Leave Mark on Senate War Funding Measure (Elizabeth Williamson, 3/27/07, Washington Post)

In a (quite) large sign that protecting U.S. troops isn't the only thing on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's mind these days, the Nevada Democrat inserted an item into the Senate's Iraq war funding bill -- safeguarding billboards.

Senate debate began yesterday on the bill, which provides $122 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; sets a goal of March 31, 2008, for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq; and -- if Reid has his way -- allows thousands of billboards destroyed by bad weather to be rebuilt.

For the senator, who has referred to himself as the King of Billboards, "it's a constituent issue, but it's a value that he believes in," said Reid spokesman Jon Summers. [...]

About 40 billboard companies operate in Nevada. Over the past two years, Reid's Searchlight Leadership Fund has received $6,000 in contributions from the OAAA's political action committee.

Doesn't the neon make Nevada ugly enough without billboards too?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 27, 2007 9:46 AM

More to the point, don't the billboards block your view of the neon? Where's the neon lobby on this one?

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at March 27, 2007 10:07 AM

Block your view of the neon? Billboards and the neon block your view of Nevada. Make the trip from places like Wells to Twin Falls, and and even the most zealous dirtworshiping Gaian is grateful when it spies the billboards and neon of tourist traps of places like Jackpot just ahead.

Remember the "we're running out of landfills" scare from a few years back? The only people who fell for it were the New England types who've never driven I-80's western end. Although I must admit that one year, a late spring storm dusted all the mountains such that the snow stopped about 200 feet above the valley floors during the week the wildflowers were in bloom, a sea of purple. It would have qualified as "pretty" if you didn't know what it normally looked like. (Actually, the ugliest Interstate has to be I-84 and I-86 across Idaho and the Snake River region. Then again, I've never driven across Texas...)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 27, 2007 10:23 AM

All the neon makes Las Vegas beautiful, not ugly. It lifts my spirits each time I see it.

It also empties my wallet, but that's a different situation.

Posted by: Brandon at March 27, 2007 11:25 AM

(Actually, the ugliest Interstate has to be I-84 and I-86 across Idaho and the Snake River region. Then again, I've never driven across Texas...)

Nahhhh....South Dakota on I-90.

The only thing to keep you awake is trying to figure out the motivation to put a semi-trailer billboard on every dirt clod between Mitchell and the Missouri River.

Posted by: Chris B at March 27, 2007 12:33 PM

Reid was quoted in USA Today (yesterday) as saying this issue was of "great personal importance to me".

Billboards? Perhaps he thinks they are important for campaigns.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 27, 2007 6:13 PM

Ugliest highway: I75 South from Macon to about Ocala. Boring and ugly. Lots of kudzu.

Also has about a million of those orange and white barrels with the reflectors on top that have perpetually dotted the roadside for the last 15 years along with signs warning about the dire consequences of speeding when workers are present. In 15 years I've seen a lot of barrels but no workers. I'm sure the workers exist because somebody put those barrels out.

Oh, yeah, and a Waffle House at every exit. At least they've toned down the King Frog and the Ron Jon signs. But we still have the Bare All!!! signs for one truck stop/nudie bar. Great conversation starter with the kids.

I'm driving it tomorrow with 4 kids, aged 11 years to 4 months.

Don't get me started on all the darned tourists and Canadians that I will be sharing the road with....Please fly to Disney World when you can. Please!!!!!

Posted by: Buttercup at March 27, 2007 9:00 PM