Sunday, September 12, 2004

Electoral Storm - Mailers and Robo-Calls

So I'm trying to not think about the great big mushroom-shaped explosion in North Korea for the moment (Administration view: "We have no proof this is a nuclear test"- My view: "Holy Flaming Crap!") and instead will work on the leadup to Tuesday's primary, in a review of the various flyers and automatic calls.

No doubt about it - this has been the biggest election since I've gotten out here, and easily the most heavily-funded. My mailbox has groaned under the weight of flyers, and the message machine usually has at least one pre-recorded message on it. A lot of cash has gone into this election.

On the flyer front, my personal pen-pal is apparently Dave Ross, running for the 8th District Democrat against Alex Albens and Heidi Behrens-Benedict. Ross has sent me no less than a half-dozen highly professional mailers. Here's one on common-sense governing. Here's one on promising a clean campaign. Here's one showing him in Baghdad last year. These are pro jobs with full color, multiple folds and cuts, and eye-catching designs. Coming from a print side, I also know these are EXPENSIVE promotions.

Following up on Dave Ross's heels in raw numbers is the Republican star candidate, Dave Reichert. The former King County Sherrif has been running on a "Green River Killer? Caught 'im!" platform, which has served him well (including a made-for-TV movie on A&E on the subject last week). In his mailers, he has added his WTO contribution in order to highlight his "law and order" stand. Now, WTO to me was a police riot in the old classic sense where the frustrated police force unleashed an onslaught on everyone who got in their way, teargassing folks in their homes, so I wouldn't make this a strong running point, but then I'm not fighting for the Republican side of the 8th.

And in the 8th district, Reichert has to shore up his conservative image, because all the other candidates are MUCH further to the right. Diane Tebelius, Luke Esser and Conrad Lee are all more conservative, and have really hammered the more moderate Reichert hard. Most of the robo-calls I've gotten have been from the conservative air corps (what list did I get on in order to get these calls? I mean, its fun, but they're wasting their resources). Diane Tebelius in particular has a wonderfully loathsome mailer that accuses Reichert (shown in a b/w photo, of course) of saying nice things about Democrats and, worse yet, listing Rom Sims as one of his political heroes! Oh, the humanity! (Tebelius, for her part, lists the more-respectable Ronald Reagan and Elizabeth Dole as her political heroes).

There's more available than I can really put here - mailers from Pat Sullivan and Geoff Simpson, Democratic candidates for the two positions in the 47th (nothing from the Reps here). One for Terry Bergeson for Superintendent of Public Instruction. A couple judgeships, one of them is from Jim Johnson, who, though non-partisan, uses the code phrase "Judicial activism" to show that he's not going to be one of those judges who, you know, makes decisions or anything. You know, I think that's why I have a judge in the first place (and the King County Bar Association feels as well, since they give Mr. Johnson an "Adequate" rating.

OK, that's it for the moment. There will be more in the mailbox and on the answering machine tomorrow, but unless something particularly odious shows up, I'm done on this subject.

More later,