A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Let's Rebuild California" flyer has misleading democratic endorsements

OK, this has me upset. We just received two big flyers from "Let's Rebuild California". The first of them appears to be Alameda-specific Democratic voter recommendations.

However, it is not the endorsements of the City of Alameda Democratic Club. I thought that maybe they got their endorsement list from the Alameda County Dems, but this flyer's list of local endorsements (Johnson, Matarrese, Tam, Jensen, Ortiz) matches neither group's! (I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader as to how.)

And when you look at the state propositions, you can see that it isn't even related to the California Democratic Party's endorsements.

What irks me the most is how misleading this is. It looks like some sort of official, locally produced democratic ticket endorsement. It's not. They endorse NO on 89, when the City endorsement is YES and the state takes no position. They endorse a YES on 83 as the state party does; the City of Alameda Democrats smartly endorse a NO vote on that. I'd hate to think of how many people will take this to the polls and think that this is some sort of "official" endorsement. Let's hope that there are more thinking voters than party-following voters; as you can see, the state's positions differ from the local positions. That's healthy democracy. Misleading voters, however, is not.

But what this flyer really is, is all about Props 1A through 1E, which get a bit wet kiss of a YES. Five of them, actually. That's what this "Rebuilding California" is all about. And there are some of us, democrats or otherwise, who think that 1A thorugh 1E are not such a good deal after all.

The other big flyer from the same group promotes Beverly Johnson. I'm sure the "slaters" wll complain that this is some sort of soft-money scam as they tend to do, but in reality, I think it's actually another way that the 1A-1E people are trying to ride the wave of Johnson's popular support (sorry Pat, I mean Doug) and her endorsement by that democratic party entity that came up with the slate in the other mailer.

I really want to know if Johnson is really such a big proponent of measure 1A through 1E, or did this slate effectively put words in her mouth without her permission or knowledge. I'll post an update if I find anything out.


Blogger Jon Spangler said...


Most of these mailers are paid for by statewide groups with a particular bias, as you noted. Some endorse loccal candidates at no charge, and some "slate cards" (no, not the Action Alameda kind) sell slots on the cards to local candidates for a price.

The upshot is a polyglot mixture of sometimes contradictory or confusing endorsements of candidates and measures.

Caveat emptor is the key--ALWAYS read the fine print, and make up your own mind using info sources you trust. (One of them might even be this blog! :-)

12:15 PM  

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