GREEN: Gas-pump push-back
Vice President Joseph R. Biden may think the administration’s energy policy is “the best it’s ever been,” but consumers don’t agree. Customers outraged by high gas prices are turning to sticky notes to translate their fill-up frustrations into a political message. An anonymous customer left a Post-it on a gas pump at a Kroger store in Douglasville, Ga. “Hey there, voter!” the note reads. “Do you remember that on Inauguration Day [Jan 20] 2009, the national average for a gallon of gasoline was about $1.78? How’s that ‘Hope & Change’ working out for you? Anyone But Obama Nov. 2012.”
After spotting the missive on Facebook last month, Jared Vallorani, chief operating officer of Liberty Alliance, was inspired to make the trick more accessible. He commissioned notes with a similar preprinted message in a font resembling handwriting. His initial run of 5,000 packages of 25 notes sold out quickly, as did a second lot of 5,000. Mr. Vallorani’s website, PatriotDepot.com, began accepting preorders while waiting for a third batch of 10,000 to be printed. He anticipates them selling out within a week. “They’re moving quicker than anything we could have expected,” he told The Washington Times. “We’ve had a lot of successes in the past, but this product is blowing us away more than anything we’ve seen previously.”
Liberty Alliance formed after the election in 2008. “You can thank Barack Obama for our start,” Mr. Vallorani said. “He has taken our country away from what we consider our core values.” Before the gas-pump sticky notes, a bumper sticker proclaiming, “I’ll keep my guns, freedom and money, you can keep the change,” was a best-selling item. “This idea is beyond the gas issue. I’ve seen pictures of notes in grocery stores on food items saying ‘this product used to cost this,’ ” he said.
The idea is spreading. “The sticky note campaign” has its own Facebook page where people upload pictures of different notes spied around the country. “I believe in Hope & Change. I hope we change Obama’s job title in Nov. American cannot afford another 4,” one says. “How’s that Keystone pipeline looking now?” another asks rhetorically. A third, posted on a gas pump next to the digital price display of $4.08 per gallon, said simply, “Are you kidding?! Nobama 2012!”
Heather Lawver saw the notes at a neighborhood gas station and sought to verify the claims. “If the goal was to get voters to learn more, we need a way to give out more info,” she explained. So she launched Hellovoter.com, providing backup for fuel price statistics and ways for the like-minded to find one another. It will eventually offer downloadable notes.
Advocates of this novel form of grass-roots political advertising believe they can change the country one note at a time. If prices continue to climb as they have in the past month, gasoline will be $5 per gallon by Election Day, when the broke nation decides whether it can still afford this president’s out-of-touch energy policy.
Anneke E. Green is Assistant Editorial Page Editor for The Washington Times. Follow her on Twitter: @AnnekeEGreen
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