As soon as Centre Party chairman has uttered his usual «here I am, again», the host Revo Raudjärv opens show by taking up anti-corruption posters by IRL mayor candidate Eerik-Niiles Kross.
«But how can I take a man like that seriously,» the mayor happens to be telling his audience as in the right-wing corner of the screen, behind the studio window, an apparition makes its appearance. In the blink of the eye, it is hovering over the mayoral shoulder: a sign, declaring that «Savisaar corruption robs your family €1,000 a year. Let’s stop that».
The helicopter move turned into an unforgettable event of this year’s election campaign, by furore only equalled, perhaps, by city government’s hoisting of a giant foamed plastic doll over Ülemiste Crossing opening ceremony costing tens of thousands of euros.
For Mr Kross, the «helicopter attack» cost a few hundred euros. The idea had been born a mere couple of days before, in his elections headquarters. This they knew: on the night in question, Mr Savisaar would be performing at the Solaris studio. Meanwhile, the Kross campaign team happened to be mightily frustrated by the way city govt had dealt with their posters.
«We set two car trailers in front of the city government, carrying anti-corruption posters. These were removed, citing parking and property maintenance rules,» relates Tiit Riisalo, the Kross Elections HQ chief. «That was frustrating.»
Thereafter, they proceeded to hook the posters unto a bike used by Mr Kross to go take the IRL election lists to the city government. «Even there, confrontation with MuPo (municipal police) occurred. Doing us a giant favour, as if, we were allowed to park the bike in front of the building while the lists were being delivered,» continued the campaign head.
«Now, we turned defiant – halted on the ground, we will try air force!»
Promptly, wisdom was sought from unmanned aircraft enthusiasts. In nearby bush, testing the quadcopter proved a success – the drone proved its load-bearing capacity to suffice for lifting up the visual aid detested by powers-that-be. At the critical time juncture, an experienced drone-pilot took his position on Theatre Square. Up the poster went, towed by the aircraft.
In a cafe nearby, the team responsible stooped over a laptop, the screen showing two parallel pictures: Tallinn TV studio and stream from drone’s onboard camera. «To the right, a bit. To the left, a bit,» the copter operator was instructed. The most cost-effective guerrilla operation of the entire campaign, probably, was underway.