No, I'm not giving out any personal endorsements here. But in reviewing some of the state slate mailer financial reports today, I was struck again what a bizarre business these outfits are that send mailers to voters listing a slate of "recommended" candidates when the only basis for that recommendation is cold, hard cash.
That's how the slate listed above got grouped together. Each of those individuals has purchased space on the Republican-leaning slate mailer the "California Voter Guide." That guide will list endorsements for such individuals as GOP U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, Republican Assembly candidate Jeff Gorell, Republican Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (running for supervisor), Republican state Sen. Tony Strickland (running for controller), more than a half-dozen individuals running for seats on the Ventura County Republican Central Committee (including Chairman Mike Osborn and his wife, Mary) ... and Jim Dantona, a Democrat running for county clerk.
The cost to Dantona to have his name listed among all these Republicans: $17,250.
On the other side of the aisle, it cost sheriff's candidate Dennis Carpenter, a Republican, $6,000 to have his name included on the "Democratic Voters Choice" slate mailer, where he will be listed alongside such prominent Democrats as insurance commissioner candidate Dave Jones and attorney general candidate Pedro Nava.
And then there's the deceptively (and ungrammatically) named "Californian's (cq) Vote Green" slate mailer. It accepted $40,000 from the Pacific Gas & Electric Co.-funded Proposition 16 campaign to recommend a yes vote -- despite the fact that most state environmental groups oppose the initiative because they believe its passage would depress the demand for renewable energy. Audra Strickland, whose campaign asserts that opponent Linda Parks, the incumbent, is a radical environmentalist, paid $1,000 to have her name listed on the "Vote Green" slate.
This can't be said often enough: If you receive one of these slate mailers, no matter how official and principled it may look, no matter how boldly it displays the American flag, no matter how warm-and-fuzzy its environmental message, it is nothing more than a paid advertisement. Ignore it -- and look for some other source of information upon which to base your voting decisions.