For years I’ve often picked up pieces of political direct mail and scanned them in, with critiques, much like the way mainstream media does with political TV ads. I’d collected some for this season, but two things got in the way of doing so in advance of the election – technical difficulties (both with the blog software and my scanner) that took forever to fix, and a lack of material.
Normally I tend to get a lot of mail because I’m a mail ballot voter. But this year most of my mail was concerned with things like this zany Democratic Central Committee stuff (I mean really, do you even care who’s on this, much less remember ever hearing about it before this year?) which is lovely for those who produce it and for the people running. As I sat here trying to come up with something to write about the actual mail, it was hard write it in a way that people would actually read. I mean, it’s one thing if you’re writing about advertising for a big campaign for Governor or Mayor, but Central Committee? Really?
I suppose what surprised me the most, with all this money being spent, is how not one slate of candidates, or any of the various local organizations promoting their favored candidates, used any online advertising. When you consider that the typical mail piece costs $600 per 1000* voters mailed to, versus online advertising where you’re paying less than 10% of that**, you’d have thought that maybe allied candidates or whatever would have mixed in a little online advertising to reach voters, instead of relying exclusively on dead tree which end up in the recycle bin. And it’s not like their consultants wouldn’t have made money either – they just wouldn’t have had the overhead of paying designers, printers, mailhouses, postage and shipping, but would have still made their 15%.
Ah well. I’m kinda glad this boring primary is over. I’m really hoping the next few months we see something better out of our candidates for state office, and for city office. I know it’s asking for too much, but would it kill some of these people to avoid devolving debate into small smart-ass soundbites and instead demonstrate that they know something besides what some smart guy told them to say?
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