While driving north on US 301 this weekend, I was shocked and delighted to see this in the middle of Lawtey, a small town in a very conservative part of Florida:
I wasn’t able to stop and take a picture, but I did note that the sign said it was sponsored by Doug Stein, MD. The other side of the billboard, facing south-bound traffic, was a standard advertisement for Dr. Stein’s vasectomy practice. After a bit of searching this morning, I was able to locate an email contact form for Dr. Stein. I wrote, thanking him for putting up the sign and asking if he could provide a photo and a few sentences describing why he chose to put it up.
Dr. Stein responded this evening, and it turns out that he has converted seven of his billboards across Florida to the "No McSame" message. Here is a portion of his response:
As strongly as I believe that prevention of unintended pregnancies is a worthwhile undertaking for a number of social and environmental reasons beyond the scope of this e-mail, I feel even more strongly that for the past 8 years, my country has followed a course (domestic and foreign) that is very different from what I believe would be a better course for the US and for the world. McCain stresses his differences, but, compared with other candidates, I think his sameness, on many issues that affect both our personal lives and our international relations, overshadows those differences. And I don’t think that more of the same will be good for my country or the other countries and species with whom we share the planet. Thus the decision to convert the billboards.
In addition to the photo of the billboard in Lawtey, Dr. Stein also included a more distant view of one on I-4 in Plant City:
This is a particularly useful location, as noted recently by the Guardian:
The key to winning in Florida is a 132-mile stretch of busy road known as Interstate 4, or I-4. The road cuts across the heart of the state, stretching from Tampa Bay to Daytona Beach. It is both the literal and metaphorical middle ground of Florida politics. It bridges the gap between the Republican core of northern Florida, which is very much a part of the conservative Deep South, and the large Democrat-leaning cities of the south-east, such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
This so-called ‘I-4 corridor’ is home to most of Florida’s independent voters and is some of the hardest contested political turf in the whole of America.
Many thanks to Dr. Stein for sharing his message with Florida and for taking the time to respond to my inquiry.