Don’t be Duped by Fantasy Baseball Election Endorsement Mailers

Anyone who’s registered as either a Democrat or Republican gets printed glossy mailing pieces around election time with a list of endorsements on them and photos of smiling politicians and candidates.


Personally, I think they’re all a waste of trees and delivery resources, but they are still the main source of information on candidates and measures for most voters.

It’s the sneaky mailers you have to watch out for. They seem to come from say the Democratic Party or from some very popular politicians. If you see the words DEMOCRATIC or DEMOCRATS sprinkled through-out the mailer and the names and pictures of popular national or state politicians listed next to or just above a bunch of local candidates you have never heard about, you probably are looking at a commercial pay to play “slate card”.

Those popular politicians were not asked for their permission to appear on the mailer. They were picked by the mailing company for maximum appeal to voters.
That’s why I call them Fantasy Baseball Endorsements.

The genuine endorsement slate mailers include very explicit phrases such as Endorsed by the Democratic Party, or Endorsed by Senator Sally Smith, or Endorsed by XYZ Democratic Club.
Some of the pay-to-play commercial mailers include a tiny font disclaimer that they were not prepared by an official party organization. They use the same font size as the print that used to appear on cigarette packages twenty years ago.

Both good candidates and mediocre candidates use pay-play-slate mailers because those mailers work.

A very good well-known local candidate recently used a different type of pay-to-play mailer. This one was very cleverly folded so that voters who were turned off by the law and order title COPS Voter Guide, would simply discard the mailer without unfolding. If you did unfold it, you’d see names of two candidates with verbiage to make them appear “tough on crime” only to voters who place high value on that. That one is covered here

Today while I was campaigning at the Temescal Farmers Market, someone who had already voted explained to me how they had voted based on a recent slate card mailer with the words DEMOCRATIC and DEMOCRATS prominently displayed alongside photos of Bernie Sanders and Loretta Sanchez. The voter assumed the other candidates listed were endorsed by Sanders. After I explained pay to play endorsement slate mailers, he looked crestfallen and said "I guess I was duped."

Go to the LWV site, for quickly researching candidates.

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