Monday, November 03, 2008

Hoodwinking Slate Flier

Originally this post was going to be titled "Too Late" and focus on (1) the fact that I didn't get this mailer until after I'd mailed in my ballot and (2) the differences between who and what I voted for and the slate presented in this flier. Then I did the standard blogger's due diligence: I googled the name of the organization that sent the flier "The Team for Democratic Voters." Up popped this handy article from The Sacramento Bee, "Political Mailer Misleading."

Apparently "The Team for Democratic Voters" is a for-profit company from whom candidates and proponents of propositions can pay to be included on mailings designed to appeal to members of a particular party. Apparently something similar is happening with misleading fliers aimed at Republicans.

Here in Fullerton, City Council candidate F. Richard "Dick" Jones and Superior Court Judge candidate Kermit Marsh felt that deceptive campaign mailers were worth their campaign's dollars. Thank goodness I didn't vote for either of them. In fact, based on my research, F. Richard "Dick" Jones was the first candidate that I crossed out to indicate "Do not vote for this bad guy." And did the Democratic Party of Orange County even endorse him? No. The OC Dems endorsed who I voted for: Karen Haluza and Sharon Quirk. (Click here to see my comprehensive Fullerton voting guide - which is solely my own doing and is in no way supported by any political party.)

And you know what really gets my goat about Kermit Marsh's blurb on the mailer? It says, "Opponent: Long-Time Criminal Defense Lawyer." (A) Like that's a bad credential for a superior court judge. (B) His opponent, Debra Carrillo, is currently a Deputy District Attorney, so she's not exactly a hug-a-thug. If anything, having been on both sides of the criminal justice bar will make her a fair-minded judge. Oh, yeah, and by the way, if you want to know who the Democratic Party of Orange County actually endorsed in this race: Debra Carrillo.

But the first clue I had that something was rotten in Denmark was that the mailer suggested I vote yes on Proposition 10, which is pretty well known as one natural gas billionaire's personal proposition of doom (though, interestingly, the OC Dems were neutral on it). Also the criminal justice propositions the mailer advocated were internally inconsistent. You probably would not vote yes on Proposition 6 (Police and Law Enforcement Funding/Criminal Penalties and Laws) and Proposition 9 (Criminal Justice System/Victims' Rights/Parole Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute) AND vote yes on Proposition 5 (Nonviolent Drug Offenses/Sentencing, Parole, and Rehabilitation).

What do I have to do to get a proposition banning misleading political mailers on the next ballot?

Click here to return to Gnomicon home page