Disinfo Rehab Mail Archive – Fall 2006

Note: This entry will be updated as I get more mail. New mail is featured at the bottom of this entry! Today’s additions: Jane Kim, Marin Healthcare Board, and more!
As promised, here is the first installment of the Fall 2006 Disinfo Rehab Mail Archive. Unlike television ads, which bloggers and media folks can easily dissect because they’re on TV, YouTube, candidate websites, and the like, mail is a “below the radar” medium. You know it is out there, but unless you’re on the targeted mailing list, you won’t see it.
Which is why it makes for a great way to send distinct messages to distinct groups of people – and a great way to attack someone and get away with it. By the time anyone notices it, it’s too late to do much about it, and the press usually isn’t sent copies of hit pieces by candidates!
Since I personally do not live in a district with an angrily contested Supervisorial race, I’m interested in submissions from readers who might have something they’ve received in the mail in the Daly/Black/SF Republican Party brouhaha, and the mega-money festival that is the District 4 battle to replace Fiona Ma, now that she’s been elected to a 6 year term in the Assembly. Oh and if anyone has any “freaky” mail from way out in Distrct 8, send it over!
As always, if you submit a big pile o’ mail, I’ll buy you a drink/coffee/whatever once this nutty election is over. Email me and tell me what you have and I’ll make arrangements to pick it up, or you can simply scan them in yourself and send them in as JPEGs.
Please note that all pieces that appear on this page were sent to actual voters, who in turn gave the pieces to me for inclusion in this fall’s archive. (To protect their privacy from identity thieves, their names and addresses have been Photoshopped out)
A mail piece’s appearance here does not indicate I’m endorsing or not endorsing a particular candidate, and it does not indicate that campaign endorses this site, its views, or anything at all. Conspiracy theorists, please put down the crack pipe and find something else to worry about.
Update: A loyal reader tipped me off to a similar project being done by the East Bay Express, entitled Fun with Misleading Mailers. Short and to the point, the additional coverage of the myriad of pieces hitting the mailbox is great for voters
And now, for the fun, after the jump!

Click on the thumbnail image for a fullsize image of each mail piece.
Governor’s race:
Arnold Schwarzenegger/California Republican Party:
This piece dropped before the Foley/House Page scandal. Rather ironic.

Phil Angelides/California Democratic Party
These pieces are trying to make a case about Governor Doofinator’s record that the candidate it is supporting, Phil Angelides, has not made during his own campaign. No one wants to join the “Phil Angelides Campaign Sucks” bandwagon, but there was a theme that would have served him better than trying to sell himself as the smartest guy in the senior class at high school. Everyone knows the smartest kid does not win class president – it’s the jock who did the prom queen at the homecoming dance. Three guesses as to how someone sold himself as the Gray Davis coin-op Democrat version of that one in this race.

State Propositions
Yes on 89 – Postcard
Yes on 89 is selling a complex law, but has an easy way to make quick work of the pages and pages of law, by running mail pieces that are easy to understand. Curiously, they do not look or sound or “feel” like the much ballyhooed ad by former Paul Wellstone ad man, Bill Hillsman. You’d think they’d want to maxmize the exposure, but these pieces are at least easy to read.

Yes on 89 – Brochure

San Francisco Ballot Measures
No on E – Parking Tax
This is an easy piece to “scan” and get the message. It’s not just a “slap clip art with a snarky headline” piece – it has a theme and appeals to voters based on the cost of living. And it uses the political establishment’s favorite bogeyman, Chris Daly, who to hear some sour folks tell it is Satan Incarnate, to attack Proposition E. Regardless of your position on the issue, one has to admit this is an effective piece.

Yes on A – Brochure
It is interesting to see the use of security and safety to sell a school bond measure, when traditionally the appeal has been one of kids, schools and “education.” This piece has some effective imagery going for it, and makes a rational case for Yet Another Bond (i.e. borrowing money at high interest rates). Remember, it’s not free money – it’s expensive borrowed money!

San Francisco Democratic Party Slate:
If you ever want to know just why running as a Green Party member has serious consequences, look no further than this slate mailer sent out by the Democratic Party of San Francisco. Thousands and thousands of voters will be receiving this in the mail, and many will use it to help them pick candidates for lesser-known offices. The Greens can’t match this in number of voters reached, or registered Green voters one could target.

Educational Voter’s Guide – A Slate Card in San Francisco
This is a slate card where candidates and ballot measure campaigns pay to appear on one piece of mail, thus saving campaign costs. Note the “*” next to each candidate and ballot measure on the piece.

SFUSD School Board – Jane Kim
Here’s a piece for SFUSD School Board candidate Jane Kim. It’s a very attractive, well designed piece of mail, easy to read and features some excellent photography of the candidate. While it does not hurt that Ms. Kim is an attractive person, good quality photography of her on the cover, and on the inside makes the piece work. It also has an overview of her positions on the issues, and a list of endorsements. Overall a really nice piece of mail.

Non San Francisco Races
Marin Healthcare District Board
This piece, from the Marin Healthcare District Board, was created by Johnny Wang of JKW Political Consulting. The piece is a standard 11 x 17 sized piece, but it uses a unique “3 fold” instead of a standard book fold.
The result is an interesting piece, starting with the cover, opening up to a platform of the candidates’ views (done as if it was on a pharmacist’s pad) and then finally opening up to an 11 x 17 spread (spilt here because my scanner is only 8.5 x 11).
A positive, professional piece, and a distinct contrast to past Hospital Board races which have featured nasty, angry, partisan, deceptive “hit” pieces that tell the voter little about the candidates running for office who will run the hospital.

SF School Board Candidate Hydra Mendoza
Here we see a bilingual postcard for candidate Hydra Mendoza. One of the challenges a designer faces when doing a bilingual piece is figuring out how to fit text in both English and another language. It’s especially difficult if one of the languages uses non-Roman characters, or if a piece replicates copy in Spanish (you can count on Spanish versions of text to be at least one and a half times longer than English). Getting all the elements on the page means the designer has to work with the consultant and the candidate closely to get the desired result.
In this piece, targeted to Chinese American voters, we note that Ms. Mendoza has the endorsement of prominent elected officials and Asian American leaders in San Francisco.

San Mateo County Measure “A”
Keeping track of the numerous local measures which all use the same letter can be confusing sometimes. I think this year there are like, a million “Measure A” things on the ballot, covering all sorts of issues.
Here we see an easy to read piece that clearly explains the Measure to voters, and is detailed in its explanation so that the voter will vote “Yes.”

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