Friday, May 28, 2010

Cheap, fraudulent direct mail pieces

Press Release----May 24
Flyers Misrepresent Local Democrats as Republicans
Humboldt Republican Women Federated (HRWF) is protesting the distribution of deceptive mailings that have been sent to many registered Republicans by an organization that presents local Democratic candidates claiming to be Republicans. The fliers also claim to be offered as guides on how Republicans should vote. Three local Democrats paid to be listed as if they were Republican Candidates. Bonnie Neely, candidate for Fourth District Supervisor and Patrick Cleary running for Fifth District Supervisor are Democrats. The same is true of Paul Gallegos, who is contested in his bid to stay in the District Attorney‘s office.

Loren Hanks, candidate for Congressional Representative is Republican. That is true of Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVores who are campaigning for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat. All the candidates for state offices on the flyers with the exception of Larry Aceves, a Nonpartisan, running for the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction are Republicans.

The candidates paid advertising fees to be shown on the flyers. It appears likely that those distributing this primarily false information published the flyers as a profit making venture since whichever candidate bought first was presented as the choices of HRWF and Humboldt County’s Central Committee for the Republican Party. Democrats paying to be on the flyer knew that it was distributed as a partially false guide for Republican voters.

Colleen Hedrick, President of HRWF and a member of the Humboldt County Central Committee) said, “The publishers appear to produce the product primarily for the bucks. However, if similar flyers targeted registered Democrats we have not had reports on that happening. Those who bought space chose to be presented as if they were endorsed by Republican organizations. The flyers are sponsored by neither HRWF nor by Humboldt County’s Republican Party.”

The flyers also took on the role of telling Republicans how to vote on Propositions 14, 15, 16 and17. California Federated Republican Women are advocating No on 14 and Yes on 15, 16 and 17.

Colleen Hedrick

Note: These deceptive mailers proclaim themselves "Voting Guides" - and there is a Republican version, a Democrat version and a Libertarian version. The creators use some legitimate names and candidates in order to appear legit.

It is just as dishonest to imply that Gallegos has the endorsement of the Democratic Central Committee. Neither he nor Patrick Cleary was endorsed by the HCDCC. They paid to be included - as did anyone else with an asterisk after their name.

What it is is a cheap way to get a direct mail piece in the hands of voters, and some candidates do not care about being honest.


  1. What specific, factual claim is being made about the mailer? It would help to see a scan of the mailer so we can get past the hyperbole and rhetoric.

  2. I have to admit that I don't know how these voter guides work (and I don't think you do either), but based on the two conflicting guides that our household received in today's mail I'm thinking they are produced by groups mostly interested in swaying the vote on specific propositions. Both look similar and include a similar set of Democratic candidates - Boxer and Brown are featured prominently - but the recommendations on Props 15, 16 and 17 are totally opposite. I imagine PG&E paid for one, not sure who paid for the other.

  3. Everyone knows that the Republicans are supporting Democrat Virginia Bass, and Democrat Allison Jackson.

    Just how gullible do these folks think voters are?

  4. Bob, it's simple, every candidate gets solicited for these "Voter Guides" - kinda the same way a newspaper sells ads in a tabloid insert.

    In this case, whoever comes first gets their name listed, if multiple candidates say "yes" - the ethical candidates I know have not bought in, ever.

    Here's an example of the solicitory email:
    Voter Guide Slate Cards Since 1986
    6285 E. Spring Street, Suite 202, Long Beach, CA 90808 (562) 425-5251

    Dear Candidate:

    Voter Guide Slate Cards will produce three slates for the June 2010 Primary Election: the Democratic Voter Guide, the Voting Guide for Republicans and the Independent Voter Guide. We have been producing slates in California since 1986 and our current Voter Guides since 1992. (see samples attached)

    Candidates who utilize slate mail are successful and no one offers a better program than Voter Guide Slate Cards. Our slates are a first-rate guide recommending the most qualified candidates for non-partisan and partisan offices. Many voters have recognized our familiar graphic design for more than 20 years and trust our recommendations. (see "Why Use Voter Guide Slate Cards" attached)

    There are less than 60 days before election day. Please let me know ASAP if you would like to reserve one or more of our slates for the June 2010 Primary Election.

    I look forward to assisting you with your plan to win!

    Jerry Seedborg
    Voter Guide Slate Cards

    It's a cheap way to get a mail piece in the voter's hands, and candidates who buy it know exactly what they are doing. They figure it is the voter's own fault if they "believe" it.

  5. It's worth noting that it is just as unethical for Gallegos to pretend that he is endorsed by the democrats as the republicans - neither endorsed anyone in this race.

    The HCDCC did endorse Bonnie Neely (and Jon Brooks I believe) but no others.

  6. Gallegos has a clear track record of deceit. Long and documented and the majority of us are tired of it. I am giving Cleary the benefit of doubt just because he is new and can make mistakes especially if he is relying on others. He may have not known or realized and that doesn't mean he's deceitful. I may not support him but he is a nice guy and I won't bash him for this. Who is his manager or who is makig these decisions for him? Waswhy do we only find out about this on your blog? Where is the press? Dead?

  7. "Rose said...

    It's worth noting that it is just as unethical for Gallegos to pretend that he is endorsed by the democrats as the republicans - neither endorsed anyone in this race."

    Well I think what had happened is that after conversing with them after Rex Bohn introduced him to them they both felt that their statement was an essential endorsement,but really could be attributed to a miscommunication.
    So then Rex told him that he had heard from his cousins husbands brother in law that the parties asked their names to be taken off of the list because of harassing calls placed upon them by those wondering why they would endorse Paul.
    So this story goes to the papers.
    Upon reading of this development,the parties then publicly claim that no such calls were ever made to them,and they have no idea why they were put into any spotlight............
    Oh wait,hmmm,I think I mixed up a few things here.

  8. Where did that come from?

  9. has anyone run into slate mailers that were paid for and not delivered by this company/ i would like to know. most reputable slate mailing companies send you proof of mailing as well as updated information. please help

    Susan in SFV


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