Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kristin and Dan to Voters: Baaah

From the In Box:

I would like to voice my objection to the use of deceptive slate mailers in the current city council race. Over the past month, we have received 5 separate mailers from the following groups:

The Voter Information Guide
The Coalition for Senior Citizen Security
The Council of Concerned Women Voters
The Democratic Election Education Guide, and
The Women's Election Education Guide

All five mailers appear to be from supporters of progressive candidates and state initiatives. All five endorse Jerry Brown for governor, Barbara Boxer for senator, and urge a no vote on Prop. 23, the roll back of California environmental law. Four of the five endorse Prop. 19, the marijuana legalization initiative. And, all five endorse Kristin Gaspar and Dan Dalager for Encinitas city council. Most importantly, and this is key, all five suggest you take the mailer with you to the polls, to assist you if you want a template to guide your vote.

Is this legal? I suppose so. Is it ethical? What do you think? To me, it is a blatant attempt to hijack this election on the backs of voter apathy and ignorance. It is the height of cynicism for Kristen and Dan to feign allegiance to candidates and positions in direct contradiction to their values, in the hope that voters will not be paying attention. It treats fair elections, the lifeblood of a democracy, as a process to be gamed and manipulated .The weakness in any democracy is voter apathy and ignorance. These mailers are a direct attempt to capitalize on this weakness, and that is cynicism in its highest form. We deserve better.

Let's not plead ignorance in this matter. Kristen and Dan, are you really Jerry Brown supporters? The implication is clearly that people who are should vote for you. Will you vote for Barbara Boxer and yes on legalizing marijuana? Perhaps this is the way elections are won in countries with no tradition of free elections or democracy, but this is not the way elections should be won in America, and not in our town. You may say this is just the way the world is. I say, it is a world you are fabricating, not the one I prefer to live in. You may say this is an exercise in free speech. I say, it is a perversion of free speech, and thankfully one in which your opponents have declined to participate. I ask you, is this what you want to teach our kids about how democracy works? That it's okay to portray yourself as something totally at odds with your core principles, as long as you win?

The only way to counter this perversion of free speech is to call attention to it, shine a light on it, and to exercise that same right by insisting - enough is enough.

Cyrus

29 comments:

  1. My wife and I were talking at the dinner table yesterday wondering why we were getting all these mis-leading slate mailers in the last week or so. My wife was currious as to why she recieved all four of the misleading mailers and I did not. I told her it was most likely because I am a regestered Independent and she is a regestered Democrat. This is the most down and dirty election as I have ever seen in this city's history. What have we come to? How much money has been spent on this election? When so many have so few extra dollars to spare, all this political money is being wasted on stupid, in your face political signage, robo calls, bogus e-mails and huge BS slate mailers. Tuesday can't come soon enough. I have casted all my votes. Dan I like you but it's time to get an honest job. You said it, not me. It's time to go. P.S. I like Terrisa's take on hybrid term limits. LL

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  2. I'm in full agreement with Cyrus, Dalager and Gaspar are running on lies and distortions how could anyone trust these two to represent the people of Encinitas. I've yet to see either of them post on this blog or anywhere else a statement distancing themselves from these mailers so all one can think is they have no problem with the mailers and the lies they tell. Is this truly the season to sell one's soul, apparently it is.

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  3. Cyrus,

    I receive 5 of these today, too, but somehow my knickers didn't get twisted. I tossed mine into the recycling bin almost as soon as they arrived in the mailbox, along with all the other political cards that came this week.

    My collection of voter guides were a bit different than yours; my mix didn't include anything directed at seniors (we aren't senior enough yet), but also included one labeled California Public Safety Newsletter and Voter Guide, as well as Voter Information for Independents (both voters in this household are independents).

    While the recommended candidates were similar on most of the flyers, one I received did have some differences in the candidate recommendations - Whitman and Fiorino instead of Brown & Boxer. Several conflicted on some of the proposition recommendations.

    Dalager and Gaspar were also listed on all of the ads. Big woo.

    A careful reading of the fine print reveals these are simply cheap advertisements for a mish-mash of mostly local, semi-local, and non-major state candidacies, not official political party organized flyers. Candidates for non-partisan office chosen without regard to party affiliation is also stated.

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  4. Four of the five mailers were addressed to both my husband and me, including the flyer that recommends Whitman and Fiorino (we are both registered without party affiliation). The flyer labeled Women's Election Education Guide was only addressed to me.

    Back into the recycling bin these ads go, along with all the other ones - trash pickup is tomorrow.

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  5. Although the natural inclination is to put them immediately into the recycling bin, my point is that we shouldn't ignore this. Regardless of who you support, you should be alarmed because this represents a systemic threat to fair elections. The amorality of the people who produce these fliers should not excuse the immorality of those who pay for them. A testamount to their effectiveness is that in every election they are found in the trash bins, right outside the polling booths.

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  6. I was at the Encinitas City Council meeting and heard the comments by Cyrus. It was something that needed to be said. Dan Dalager heard it but Kristin Gaspar did not...why...she was not there. I have been to several of the last few council meetings and I have never seen her. This is the person who says she is fit to be on our city council. Perhaps she does not need to know anything about the issues as the "boys" will just tell her how to vote. She was ill prepared for the council debates and I can see why. I know this is a small thing but often it is the small things that are the most telling. She is un-interested, un-informed and un-qualified.

    By the way....Tony Kranz was there!!!!

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  7. Cyrus,

    Why would Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman put their names on these slate pieces. Do they personally know Danny and Kristin or are they also playing the same game?

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  8. One of the speakers at tonights meeting said that Maggie is the "ONLY" council person ever convicted of FPPC misconduct/violations.

    Is this true?

    KC - please provide us with the TRUTH.

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  9. Might be true now, but Danny will be the only council member to serve time for taking brides in the form of commissions from a bank for favorable reception for votes on the City Council, and gifts from Developers.

    How much you want to bet Paul Ecke, David Meyer, and Doug Hardwood all opened accounts at Danny's bank?

    Eckes and Dalager are bad for Encinitas future

    Gaspar is an uneducated tool. She is going to end up crying more than Guerin. She is a pure puppet. Just like Pinocchio. Is it me or has her nose grown longer since this election started?

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  10. This was a very eloquent and truthful speech, and it hit to the heart of the matter. Canidates can control where their names are posted and Dan and Kristin choose not to simply because they are the type to sell out even before the train leaves the station. Vote and make sure at least 5 other people you know vote for TnT!

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  11. Their campaign reminds me a little of a Bob Dylan song "Desolation Row." It begins "Their selling postcards of the hanging, their painting the passports brow, the beauty parlor's filled with sailors, the circus is in town. Here comes the blind Commissioner, they've got him in a trance, One hand is tied behind the tightrope walker, the other is in his pants. The riot squad their restless, they need some place to go, as Mary and I look out tonight on, Desolation Row."
    Or the other Dylan song "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall."
    Cannot believe that I remembered it without looking up the words. We used to sing both of these in the Vietnam era. His poetry transcends all ages and is prophetic of our local election and the national ones as well.

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  12. Anon 11:45. Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman have nothing to do with the mailers. If you look closely ( more closely than Dalager and Kristin would prefer ), you'll see a few names with asterisks in front of them - Dalager and Gaspar among them. Those are the only people who paid to be included on the flier. The fliers are produced by a company which simply looks at the target audience, figures out what candidates and initiatives they're likely to support, and uses them in a "gallery" shot to try to fool people into believing the paying candidates share those sentiments. It is, as I said, a perversion of free speech. This kind of rot grows best in the dark, in a climate of ignorance and apathy. That's why it's important to turn a light on it and say, "Wait a minute now". If enough people do this, perhaps candidates like Gaspar and Dalager will realize that this kind of tactic has consequences, and perhaps isn't worth the money. In a free society, bad but legal can crowd out good but legal if it isn't challenged.

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  13. Anon 11:45. Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman have nothing to do with the mailers. If you look closely ( more closely than Dalager and Kristin would prefer ), you'll see a few names with asterisks in front of them - Dalager and Gaspar among them. Those are the only people who paid to be included on the flier. The fliers are produced by a company which simply looks at the target audience, figures out what candidates and initiatives they're likely to support, and uses them in a "gallery" shot to try to fool people into believing the paying candidates share those sentiments. It is, as I said, a perversion of free speech. This kind of rot grows best in the dark, in a climate of ignorance and apathy. That's why it's important to turn a light on it and say, "Wait a minute now". If enough people do this, perhaps candidates like Gaspar and Dalager will realize that this kind of tactic has consequences, and perhaps isn't worth the money. In a free society, bad but legal can crowd out good but legal if it isn't challenged.

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  14. Maggie was never "convicted" of campaign misconduct/violations. Harry Eiler carefully went through all her reporting forms to pick out every minor error in reporting occupation and employer of each contributor, most of whom were individuals.

    All the FPPC did was to tell her to be more careful. Eiler made a mountain out of a molehill. The big deal was when Jerome Stocks received a $2612 contribution from Barratt American for hosting a party and had to repay out of his own pocket because it exceeded the $250 limitation. Stocks always voted in favor of Barratt American, who had a lawsuit against the city at the time. Stocks said, "It's not a big deal."

    There was no conviction here either. But which one do you think was the more serious ethical violation and closer to vote buying?

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  15. Barth lost my voteOctober 28, 2010 9:00 AM

    Barth has lost my vote!! Her association with Shiela Cameron will never do.
    Cameron remains the most divisive political human being in Encinitas.

    Barth what are you thinking?? Get away from that woman, she will bring you down and destroy your council legacy. Now I understand why Stocks, Bond and Dalalger don't like Barth.

    I'll vote Karnz and that's it!!!

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  16. Don't forget the double contributions Stocks had to refund or the out of town PAC money funnelled in to his campaign, some of which was through an organization working out of Gaspar's consultant's [guru? puppetter?] address.

    When you get a slate mailer, Google the address of the sender. If you find multiple
    organizations working out of the same address [or out of an executive suite with different office numbers] chances are good you are looking at one of the many for profit organizations using multiple non-profits to hide money and responsibility. You probably will pull up a list of non-profits in the area - look at how many are running out of the same address. Some of these "consultants" have multiple offices as well. Then Google the name of the apparent organization head and you will find even more groups. There is a huge group of folks preying off the public's gullibility for the money they can siphon off the political process.
    NEXT ELECTION, early on let's ask all candidates to NOT use slate mailers or lose our votes. I have no problem with an official political organizations putting out mailers with affiliated candidates and issues and clearly stating that on the material, but we should not have to put up with these cynical, for profit junk.

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  17. Perhaps when Teresa and Tony are elected we could discuss election reform for this city establishing appropriate and ethical political guidelines.

    I know, seems funny to use "political" and "ethical" in the same sentence.

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  18. Great idea Herb

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  19. Leftcoast, I think that's a great idea. How could it be done preserving 1st amendment freedoms? A voluntary set of guidelines where shame is the enforcement mechanism? Something equivalent to the TV addendum, "I am so-and-so and I approved this mailer"? Better disclosure of the source of funds for the mailer, e.g. Jane Blair or David Meyers in this case?

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  20. Encinitas needs to challenge the Supreme Court!

    Let's take this to the Supreme Court - Oh yea, that didn't work out so well did it.

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  21. No one's saying take this to the Supreme Court. I'm wondering if we can work something out within the framework of the courts latest decision that preserves fairness and transparency in our elections. That seems like a worthy goal. I just don't want to deal with this sort of thing election-after-election. A voluntary pledge regarding election best practices that candidates either take or refuse, doesn't seem to me be in conflict with 1st amendment rights, nor does a requirement that people who fund these mailers provide sufficient documentation to ensure there is no coordination with a particular candidate. No one should object to or be afraid of more election transparency.

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  22. 6:12 gets my vote for post of the year and link of the decade.


    we now return you to the regularly scheduled portion of the paranoid postings that i also enjoy.

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  23. i thought a good Dylan song for this election would be

    AINT GONNA WORK ON MAGGIE'S FARM NO MORE

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  24. Speaking of links. . . Cyrus Kamata (sp?) last night at city council meeting, Judy Berlfein, Dadla Ponizil and Kathleen Linderman.

    Encinitas needs all of our voices, all of us being vigilant and all of talking to each other. Thanks JP and KMC for a platform to speak to each other.

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  25. The link to Judy's city council 3 minute speech last night has be uploaded again. Click here to hear her.

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  26. Not 'has be' - I meant 'has been' uploaded.

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  27. Clarifying an earlier statement, someone has pointed out to me that I should have questioned the ethics of candidates who pay for these slate mailers, not their morals. A valid point. I don't want to just sling mud on this issue. I do think it's important enough to discuss on its own merits, regardless of what party or candidate you support.

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  28. Didn't someone file a lawsuit to force Yahoo or AOL to reveal who was sending slanderous e-mails. Seems to me these vicious e-mails and the linked videos are illegal as well as where they are getting the addresses. I am pretty sure that they are using e-mail information from my mothers Gaspar records...which is illegal. I was trying to explain to her what was happening in this election and I truly didn't know where to start. Mud slinging of the worst kind, character assignation, lies, misinformation, nasty videos, name calling, phony slate mailers...this should be a novel..we got it all.
    A self-serving mayor and an absent candidate in Kristin Gaspar. Kristen....where have you been, I have been looking for you at the Council meetings.
    It does not say much for your dedication to not even show up at council meeting. I would think as ill prepared as you were for the debates you would take this opportunity to learn more about the job you are asking us to give you.

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  29. to anon.9:40 Hey Phony-Tony

    I see the bottom dweller is back. You pretend to be someone you are not, you mislead people into clicking on to a vicious web-site and spread lies and misinformation....did I miss anything. If you had more than two brain cells still working you would realize that people are onto you and this sort of thing is not flying.
    This is behind the barn grade school stuff. But since your candidates are not saying anything I guess they are down in the mud with you.

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