Chocolatespoon: Emily’s Musings

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

3 more voter guides came in the mail today, and they looked a bit strange — it was really hard to figure out who is behind them (what, no web site??) But I didn’t look closely at the names, just piled them up to transcribe into a blog entry to share with you (since I do like to share).

So I picked up the first, just called “Your Ballot Guide”, and googled it and found a whole bunch of information I didn’t know about these mailers, known as “slate mailers.”

Slate mailers leave even savvy voters scratching their heads (Capitol Weekly, 11/05)

Packaged to look like it is an official party platform, slate mail is, more often than not, produced by for-profit organizations that auction off their
collection of endorsements to the highest bidder.

The Stealth Campaign: Experimental Studies of Slate Mail in California (Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Atlanta, GA., September 2-5, 1999)

If scholars have given too little attention to campaign mail, they have entirely overlooked the particular phenomenon known in California as “slate mail.” Although political “slates” are known in other states, they usually consist simply of cards or similar materials containing a list of candidates nominated by a political party. Typically, they are produced and distributed by the party, on a relatively small scale. In California, although slate mailers occasionally originate from parties, they are usually published by private entrepreneurs, some of whom mail millions of pieces per election.

Slate mailers — pay for play on CA Prop. 87

Instead of being sensible efforts to inform citizens, many slate mailers are actually extortion rackets — pay us, or we’ll endorse the other side. By producing an ostensibly “Democratic” ballot slate, but with reversed endorsements on a few races, these mailers trick voters into casting votes they wouldn’t have done if fully informed.

For-profit ‘voters guides’ called misleading” (SignOnSanDiego, June 5, 2006)

“It’s a really sleazy business and if you read the fine print, you’ll figure out it’s a sham,” Durfee said. “It’s a for-profit business and has nothing to do with party politics. All it has to do with is making money.”

Dan Walters: Mailbox is today’s war zone (SacBee, 10/11/06)

As a voter shuffles through stacks of slate mailers, the only clue to the motives behind their elaborately named sponsoring “organizations” is that recommendations for which money changed hands are marked by asterisks.

Ok, so taking a closer look at the three I received and looking for things that seem out of place…

The main thing that stands out is that all three of them (“Your Ballot Guide”, “The Council of Concerned Women Voters” and “Voter Information Guide for Democrats”) all have no for Prop 87 (yet all the other guides I’ve looked at have endorsed it

So anyway, take these mailers with a good grain of salt…

  • In: Politics
  • Comments Off on Prop Endorsements

The endorsements and voting guides are rolling in by email during these last few days before the election. I still need to read through the full guide, but here are some pointers from other groups:

Pro Choice Voting Guide

American Cancer Society: Yes on 86

Feminist Majority:
No on Proposition 85 Limits Abortion Access for Young Women
Yes on Proposition 86 Tax on Cigarettes
Yes on Proposition 87 Tax on California Oil Producers
Yes on Proposition 89 Clean Money & Fair Elections Act

CA Dems:
Yes on: 1A-E, 83, 84, 86, 87
No on: 85, 88, 90

Yes on: 86, 87, 89
No on: 85, 88, 90
Read the rest of this entry »

Finally had a chance to phone bank tonight for the No on 85 campaign. There’s lots of ways to get involved between now and Nov 7th if you’re interested.

No on Prop 85

There were some great volunteers there making calls tonight — some of the best phone bankers I’ve heard (and I’ve done a lot of phone banking for different campaigns). I was really impressed!

  • In: Politics
  • Comments Off on Looking over the Propositions

My sample ballot and voter information guide (191 pages) have arrived for the upcoming Nov 7th election, so its time to start looking into the many different propositions that will be on the ballot. Here’s what will be on the ballot in my district with links to some resources about them:
Read the rest of this entry »

Looks like the results are in for yesterday’s primaries, and my friend Darren’s race is over. Hopefully he had a grand time running and learned alot… for next time!

CQPolitics – Democrats Say Hall Is ‘the One’ to Take on Kelly in N.Y. 19: Hall garnered 49 percent of the vote over Aydelott, who finished second among voters with 27 percent. The remaining 25 percent of the vote was split among political consultant Darren Rigger and high school principal Ben Shuldiner.

Poughkeepsie Journal – Hall defeats 3 Democratic challengers in District 19: On Tuesday, primary voters got to choose from four Democrats each hoping to ride a current wave of anti-GOP sentiment to a victory over Kelly in this November’s general election.

Got a chance to meet some of the local democratic candidates at the South County Democrats annual BBQ this afternoon. Here we are with District Attorney candidate Karyn Sinunu
Our congressional candidate Jerry McNerney, Salinas Mayor Anna Caballero who is running for State Assembly in District 28 (we’re in 27)

The BBQ was at a local park with a fantastic barn:

We joined the hundreds of people in SF this morning as part of the counter-rally to the march going on there.

News coverage:
SF Gate: Dueling Middle East war protests in San Francisco

And sadly, just as we were returning from SF, we received a phone call with tragic news from Israel, the first person Shachar directly knew killed in this current round of fighting. Our thoughts go out to their family and to all the people we know serving there now, including a few just called up from the reserves last week.

As an effort to educate myself a bit more about DOPA, here is some information and some links:

The issue is the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), which would—among other things—require schools and public libraries to bar children from accessing social networking sites like MySpace. Despite widespread concerns about the Act, the US House of Representatives passed it by a 410-15 vote on Thursday.

Some people’s thoughts on this:

more coming…

Some people taking action:

  • ALA – Take Action (send an email or fax right now to your senators)
  • “Because we believe young people, who have grown up with the internet, should be consulted on solutions for internet problems. We want a seat at the table, and feel like we deserve one, especially when it concerns the technology we know so well. Congress, please listen to our suggestions and invite us to the table before your legislation silences the voices of our generation.”

more ideas about what we can do are welcome…

Just got back from my first commission meeting with a long list of things to research, prepare for, and jump right into. One of the items we put on our workplan (we spent all day Saturday planning our projects and goals for the year ahead) was to be active advocates for libraries, arts, and culture and particularly to particulate in Library Legislative Day (April 18, 2007), letter writing campaigns and other activities to be active on issues at the state level that affect MH. The California Library Association does a great job keeping people informed about library-related activities going on, but we wanted to pull together some arts advocacy sources as well.

Here are a few that I’ll have to check out

California Arts Council
California Arts Advocates
California Assembly of Local Arts Agencies
California Alliance for Arts Education Advocacy
Sacramento Arts Advocates
Arts on the Line
California Alliance of Nonprofits
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

and of course nationally there is Americans for the Arts (with our family connection to that one…)

If you know of other good ones, please let me know!


Posted on: July 1, 2006

Two of the congressional races I’m following closely (CA-11 and CT-04) are featured as finalists on the Map Changers site. The winning campaign gets a fundraiser with Governor Mark Warner, chair of the Forward Together PAC.

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