About Me

Based on a career (mis)spent in American politics, I debunk politicos, pundits and spinners, usually with a dose of humor to make it fun.

Email me with news tips, comments, and ideas for disinfo rehab any time!

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May 31, 2008

Disinfo Rehab Weekend Edition: Daly Det Cord, Dead Tree Mail, and More! (UPDATED)

Living in the Inner Sunset, and for some reason not on any mailing lists, I've missed out on most of the "fun" that is Political Dead Tree Mail this season. In particular, I'm missing out on the flurry of eastside mailers for the Democratic Central Committee, which include many current Supervisors as candidates.

The Bay Guardian's blog reports that apparently the so-called "Change" Slate of candidates is sending out a slate card mailer with the Bay Guardian's logo on it, implying an endorsement of Sen. Carole Migden (the SFBG in fact, endorsed Mark Leno.) There is a more detailed photo of the mailer in question over at the Wall discussion board as well.

I took a look at the pictures myself, and the "too-clever-by-half" design makes it rather easy for voters to be misled that it's a Guardian slate card. Yes, it does say "all change initiatives and DCCC candidates endorsed by" above a logo that looks almost exactly like the Bay Guardian's. At the same time, however, they use the logo as the return address as well.

Yes, there is a disclaimer, but to the casual eye scanning a pile of crappy junk mail, it seems to give the Guardian stamp of approval to all candidates. The fact that people are complaining about it to the Guardian indicates that whatever the alleged "intent," if the end result is the voter is feeling misled or confused, the piece fails. Not being a mind reader, I don't know if this was intentional or just plain dumb, but I wonder what progressives would say if the roles and candidates were reversed. I seriously doubt they'd be giving the Other Side the wink and a nod.

More interesting, though is how Supervisor Daly has taken a "do it my way or go F**K yourself" attitude, saving his best vitriol for people who've been on his side in the past. He has issued two heavy handed progressive fatwas on SF Labor Council director Tim Paulson - someone whom I've worked with in the past and always found to be an honorable, decent guy - and who, with the SFLC, did a lot to support Supervisor Daly in the past.

Continue reading "Disinfo Rehab Weekend Edition: Daly Det Cord, Dead Tree Mail, and More! (UPDATED)" »

May 20, 2008

The Usual Suspects has All Sorts of Direct Mail Goodness Online.

Well that certainly didn't work out, did it?

I think I must be on a direct mail blacklist, because I've never gone through an election and received a handful of mailers before....so aside from the few I'd planned to scan in this week, I have very few pieces to dissect.

However, the patriotic citizens of SF Usual Suspects, who pioneered this concept some time ago, have an extensive archive of direct mail online to read, dissect, and so on. Enjoy!

May 18, 2008

Ok, Now I'm Begging: Got Political Junk Mail? Send it Over To Me!

I never thought the day would come when I would not be getting an assortment of political junk mail, but, for some reason this year I've received maybe 4 pieces, total. I get more mail from the folks who run LinuxWorld or the good people at Netflix than from the many causes and candidates.

So, now I'm begging - if you're getting buried under piles of appeals for people running for DCCC, State Senate, or whatever, email me and let me know what you have, and I can either arrange to pick something up or you could just send me a JPEG of the many dead trees in your recycle bin.

What little I have will be scanned and placed in this year's Direct Mail Disinfo Rehab Archive, but the more the better! At this rate, all I'll have to debunk are a few flyers and the endless email spam a certain out-of-town candidate for Congress keeps bombarding me with.

April 16, 2008

Call For Entries: Disinfo Rehab Mail Archive - June 2008 Primary Edition!

It's that time of year again, when people decimate entire forests so that they may flood your mailbox with endless amounts of political mail. This June we've got all sorts of mayhem on the ballot, what with the Nation/Leno/Migden rage-a-thon in full swing, and an assortment of those ballot measures folks just love to put on the ballot, and assorted other electoral detritus and term-limited open primaries that makes San Francisco (and Bay Area) politics so much fun.

As always I don't always get the latest and greatest political mail, or at the very least tend to only get certain pieces targeted to westside Democratic voters. So, if you get some particularly egregious piece of political mail, or if you wanna show off your mad mail skillz, or if you really would like to help me lead the charge in debunking politicos and their spin, feel free to send me either a) a pdf or JPEG of said mail or b) email me and let me know what you have and we'll make arrangements to either have you mail it in or I'll pick it up.

Most mainstream media outlets can debunk tv commercials rather easily, since they either end up on YouTube, the candidates' websites, or can record them off of TV.

Mail, however, does not usually get noticed as easily, and passes "under the radar" and into the voters' mailboxes. By publicizing what campaigns are doing, and discussing the tactics used to convince you, the voter, of what to do, we can all get a better understanding of what's being said out there.

Check out our 2006 archive and our 2007 archive, and let the fun begin!

PS: For more information on how direct mail is created, check out this clip of my good friend (and super smart consultant) Jim Spencer, who appeared on the Daily Show a while back.

PS2: If you're a support of Speaker Pelosi and like Our Fair City, I've been working on a new blog that's in the embryonic stages in support of Our Speaker and City. I'm sick of people bashing our City like it's some hippie dippie Disneyland, and bashing Nancy Pelosi. If you have suggestions or would like to help, please feel free to drop me a line.

Fellow Travelers