Commentary: The Deluge of Political Mailers; plus Beware McKeon piece
If you are like us then there has been an absolute flood of mailers pouring into the mailboxes of registered voters in the community. At least one candidate has mailed more than 35,000 mailers this past week alone and plans more leading into the primary election. Now, just multiply that by a couple of Assembly candidates, several Congressional candidates, the GOP party, presidential mailers and all the propositions and there has got to be hundreds of thousands of mailers going out to households.
Most people I know glance at these mailers, if that, before tossing them in the trash. I generally read them then throw them away except this year; I have started putting them in a pile on my desk in the home office. It was purely an exercise in comparing and contrasting these mailers once there was enough to lay out on a table.
Once I read through this stack of mailers sitting on my desk, several things struck me immediately. For one, there were no mailers from Paul Strickland probably because he has not raised very much money. Paul only had $1,030 on hand in the most recent campaign filing which is not enough to do a substantial mailing by any means.
Also, he has made no secret that he is counting on voter confusion between him and Tony Strickland who is running for Congress in a neighboring district which overlaps with the 38th Assembly District. If anything that should show voters that Paul Strickland has a character deficiency!
I also took note of a campaign piece from Congressman Buck McKeon which had the word “BEWARE” in white capital letters in a large horizontal red bar on the back panel of the mailer. The entire back panel had to do with “two candidates with the last name Strickland in our area THEY ARE NOT RELATED.” The mailer also points out that “State Senator Tony Strickland endorses McKeon.”
So, we have to ask the question; why is Congressman Buck McKeon sending this mailer out to residents in Simi Valley outside his district? Unless we are complete morons, who it seems Buck McKeon campaign staff must think voters are, they apparently are once again using his resources in support of wife Patricia’s run for State Assembly. There is no doubt in my mind that Buck McKeon’s staff has done this solely to help support his wife’s campaign.
On the flipside, it may actually backfire on the McKeon’s because, as I have mentioned, most people glance at these mailers quickly. Voters will see a photo of Congressman McKeon and Tony Strickland and the large word “BEWARE.” Their campaign staff must have slept through Marketing 101 as their mailer actually sends a negative message to perspective voters! Just squint your eyes and it reads BEWARE MCKEON!!
And again, there are many eyebrows being raised and claiming that this mailer is not “legal” and that the Congressman’s Staff has been helping out his wife’s campaign. Yet it just seems that these types of activities are continuing to go unchecked by election regulators.
I received two mailers from Patricia McKeon and what stood out was the lack of solid endorsements in either mailer. One mailer had one endorsement from the president of the National Tax Limitation Committee, a group that I have never heard of and the other mailer had no endorsements at all. Patricia does not appear to have many endorsements and the ones that she does have like Tony Strickland were coerced through political pressure by her husband. Some call that politics, others call it sleazy!
The other striking thing about one of the Patricia McKeon mailers is that she uses The Signal logo and a portion of a commentary she wrote to give an impression that the newspaper somehow supports her; not true as the paper has endorsed Headington and Wilk.
Contrast that with the Scott Wilk for Assembly mailer which uses its entire back panel to show only a partial list of his substantial endorsements; State & Federal Leaders; Simi, San Fernando, and Santa Clarita Valley Leaders; and a cadre of Republican Organizations. The mailer actually uses one inside panel to showcase quotes from Congressman Tom McClintock, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and Dean Kunicki of the Ventura County School Board. A quick glance and this reads like a winner and someone you should be voting for in the election.
I have to say that it has been a terrific exercise in stockpiling these mailers so that they could be looked at as a group and with an a marketing/advertising eye. It is amazing to me that every election cycle that comes along there seems to be more of these mailers which make me want to scrutinize them even more from a design standpoint. Just remember to toss them into the recycle bin so that they may be used for something useful eventually!!
Dave Bossert- Commentary
Dave Bossert is a community volunteer who serves on a number of boards and councils. His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of the West Ranch Beacon.