Less that 40 hours until polling places open...
POST-HALLOWEEN TRICKERY: Many campaigns save their sleaziest stuff for the last three days, when it's too late to be completely held accountable. Here's some of what I've picked up on in the last couple days:
-- A phony slate card went out to Democratic voters in Ventura County that listed most of the expected candidates -- which is to say, Democrats -- but also two others: Republican Assembly candidate Jeff Gorell and Republican candidate for supervisor Bob Roper. These slate cards are nothing more than pay-to-play propaganda in which the mailer lists endorsements for whatever candidates of causes that pay him money.
In this case, there was a pretty good tip-off about where some of the money was coming from. It recommended a Yes vote on Proposition 33 and a No vote on Proposition 37 -- the opposite positions of the county Democratic Party. Mercury General Insurance executives and the seed industry have throwing money around like water to pass 33 and defeat 37.
County Democratic Chairman David Atkins sent out this alert today: "You may have gotten a flimsy WHITE thin paper slate today claiming to be a Democratic voter guide. It's a fraud. Roper and Gorell are conservative Republicans. Ventura Democrats support Prop. 37 and oppose Prop. 33. For our actual endorsements, please visit VenturaCountyDemocrats.com. IF IT'S BLUE, IT'S LEGIT. IF IT'S WHITE, IT'S NOT."
-- Democratic Sen. Fran Pavley's campaign has reprised an unsubstantiated claim about Republican challenger Todd Zink. I wrote here a couple weeks ago .about a Democratic Party mailer that overstated Zink's position on abortion. Its assertion that he opposes abortion even to protect the life or health of the mother was based on a story I wrote in May that didn't say that. The story was silent on that issue, but did report Zink's belief that abortion should be banned except in cases in which a woman becomes pregnant because rape or incest.
Now the Pavley campaign has repeated that baseless claim in a mailer of its own. In response, the Zink campaign noted that I had concluded the first mailer was misleading, and released a statement that reads in part:
"The second false mailer exemplifies Pavley's lack of ethics and unabashed attempts to mislead voters. Although the Zink campaign is troubled by the allegations, it is not surprised that Senator Pavley has resorted to such political games."
-- Phone calls that make false claims this time of year and are virtually impossible to substantiate. Here's the only one that anyone has passed along to me so far: A call placed to voters with Spanish surnames in which a voice with a Mexican accent tells those who answer that Zink is a Democrat.
WERE YOU EXPECTING A CALL FROM BILL CLINTON?: A number of voters in the 26th Congressional District got just a call today, and here's what the former president had to say:
"Hello, this is President Bill Clinton calling to urge you to vote for my friend Julia Brownley for Congress.
Ever since her days in the PTA, Julia's been a crusader for California schools, ensuring our kids have the opportunity to achieve greatness. She's the only candidate in the race who will stand up for women's rights and freedoms. We can trust Julia to fight for access to birth control and a woman's right to choose. She'll always side with the middle class, and President Obama needs her as a partner.
I hope you'll vote for Julia Brownley for Congress this Tuesday, November 6."
STATE SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER TO BE IN TOWN: The Zink campaign tells that California Senate Republican leader Bob Huff will be in Thousand Oaks today working with volunteers doing phone-banking.