Turn That Political Junk Mail Into Gold (Sort Of)

Last weekend, mail ballots in the California Primary were mailed out to voters, which means the first wave in what is going to be an avalanche of political junk mail is starting to make its way through the US Postal System. A primary such as the one we have now, where just about every term-limited politician is running for every other office on the ballot, makes it even more ominous.
This is also a chance to observe the power of dead trees vs. television. That’s because TV ads are seen by “everyone.” Heck, you can go on YouTube.com and see ads by the ever telegenic Steve Westly, the humorous Phil Angelides and more. You can even scrutinize the oh-so-clever ad by Fiona Ma, driving around town in a shiny new Prius! How enviro-friendly! (I wonder if she actually owns a PC-Prius or if they just rented it….frankly I’d be more impressed to see a candidate slog through the district on the N Judah, in a TV ad, complete with weirdos and stalled trains, but I digress).
Now here’s the thing about TV ads – the reason it’s so easy for snarky bloggers, politicos and the local press to pick apart these little gems is because they are so accessible. Direct mail, however, is not. Everyone is getting different pieces of mail depending on where they live, and what their past voter history (if any) is. More to the point, by the time anyone in the press sees anything earth-shattering or nasty, the election’s over.
This time, however, you can help particpate in a good old fashioned Disinformation Rehab for the Primary. If you start to get a nice big pile of steaming junk mail, don’t recycle it. Instead, send me an email and tell me what you’ve received in the mail.
If it is something I do not already have, you put it in the mail and send it to me, and I buy you a coffee or other beverage of some sort somehow. I’ll scan in the best of the bunch and post a gallery on Flickr, and we can all give these guys and gals a once-over they don’t usually get.
And besides, it’ll be fun! Really!

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