How many of my readers remember this video clip?
Even though the Ventura County Republican Central Committee is outraged a candidate would obscure their party membership on a mailer their candidate Audra Strickland did just that by paying to be on a slate mailer sent to Democratic households that make it look like she is a Democrat. Meanwhile she is sending to Republican households mailers attacking her opponent for not being Republican enough.
Here is the guest blog entry from Democratic Party Activist KK Holland:
I got this REALLY interesting and wacky "pay to play" mailer today, with JFK on the front, and a banner saying "take this Democratic voter guide to the polls!" The four candidates with the biggest pictures were on the inside page, and Audra Strickland was one of them--over a big box reading "Democrats" and encouraging me to "vote DEMOCRATIC on Tuesday, June 8." Her name has an asterisk on the opposing page, which the mailer states means "Appearance is paid for and authorized by each candidate and ballot measure which is designated by an * " .
Like everyone, I've gotten a ton of these, but the Strickland campaign involves a Republican central committee going up against one of their own under the premise that Strickland is the real Republican. Strickland's entire campaign is premised on making the race not about nonpartisan, county-level representation, but identity, values and a fight over the legitimacy of who represents real Republican values here in Ventura County. That makes it super problematic for her to resort to this type of cheap trick. While these types of mailers are generally irrelevant to the process, this mailer seems different because of how deeply contradictory and damaging it is to the entire reason for her campaign. If this campaign isn't a litmus test of values and party identity, then there really isn't any reason for Republicans to support her over Parks--and it seems tough for Strickland to continue to make that case with a straight face given the powerful visual imagery she chooses to associate herself with here. Strickland is already contending with allegations of being a career politician looking for the next pay check, having run for three offices in the last six or so months. This really reinforces the meme of a vanity candidacy.
I've attached three of the four pages. If you want the back piece, let me know and I can get it for you.
Thanks for your post KK. If any of my other readers would like to analyze campaign mailers for a guest blog entry send me an email.