Explore This Fascinating and Disingenuous Campaign Mailer
(Editor’s Note: Above is the cover of one of the more interesting mailers of the June 2010 primary election. At first blush, a reader wonders exactly how big an audience Ms. Cranch is appealing to. The words “union” and “Republican” are not commonly used in conjunction. It’s a bigger audience than the reader might assume.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 2.5 million union members in California in 2009, representing about 17 percent of the workforce. Approximately between 30 percent and 33 percent of those union members are Republicans — 750,000 to 825,000 persons, according to inquiries made of union representatives by California’s Capitol. In the California School Employees Association, the union to which Ms. Cranch may very well belong, 34 percent of its members are Republicans. In unions representing law enforcement personnel, GOP membership levels are probably even higher.
Opening the mailer offers another eye-opener:
While Superintendent of Public Instruction is a non-partisan office, Assemblyman Tom Torlakson is an Antioch Democrat. He was also a Democrat during his eight years in the state Senate and his previous terms in the Assembly prior to that.
Opposition to Proposition 14, which would change the state’s primary so that its top two vote-getters, regardless of affiliation, advance to the November election, is the only issue on the ballot, the state GOP and Democratic parties agree on.
However, underneath the pitch for Torlakson, the supposed “Republican Primary Voter Guide” recommends a “no” vote on Proposition 16 and Proposition 17.
On the other hand, the “Official California Democratic Party Slate” urges “no” votes on both propositions, branding Proposition 16 a “utility power grab” and Proposition 17 an “insurance rate hike initiative.”
The fourth page of the mailer presents the answer to these anomalies:
Note the return address in the upper left-hand corner: California Labor Federation.
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