From a purely aesthetic point of view, Ori Raphael is dominating the District 11 City Council yard sign war. His opponent, former park board member Lee Kleinman, went with blocky, mustard-colored letters superimposed on a blue background, his enormous first name partially obscured by a silhouette of the Dallas skyline.
Raphael opted for a red and blue name on a white background. The only flourish is a stylized "O." It's a clean, modern design that harkens back to the campaign materials of another young politician whose name starts with "O."
And that right there is the rub.
According to a dispatch from Preston Hollow People, Raphael accused his KIeinman's canvassers of going door-to-door and highlighting the similarities in the designs. (Kleinman denies this.) "I've already had doors slammed in my face because of that," he's quoted as saying.
Does this mean that Far North Dallas is so unwaveringly Republican that a vague resemblance between the yard signs of a municipal candidate and those of the president is enough to elicit an immediate door slam?
Raphael says the quote was taken out of context, that he was complaining more generally about Kleinman's ground game. "Some people have been told pretty exaggerated things, that I'm a die-hard liberal or a die-hard Tea Partier," he says. "It goes both ways."
For the record, the former Pete Sessions staffer considers himself a mainstream Republican. As for the sign, he says he crowd-sourced it. He solicited bids online and picked the best one. The similarity to the Obama "O" crossed his mind "maybe once."
"There's not much you can do with an 'O,'" he says, though he points out that his does include a Texas star, among other differences. "It's Ori's 'O.' It's the Ori-O."