Thank You Don Pardo and Welcome to Slater Mailer Challenge

Yes, it’s that time again. Another exciting round of  Slate Mailer Challenge where lucky contestants count the asterisks and win!

Today’s first challenge comes from “Leadership for California” prepared, the small print informs, by “California Voter Guide, not an official political party organization.” Nonetheless, the back page says it is a “Voting Guide for Republicans.”

But let’s look at the cover first.

asterisks --front

Three asterisks. That’s absolutely right!

And remember, those of you playing at home, the asterisks mean that candidate or ballot measure has paid California Voter Guide for the privilege of being included.

The three candidates on the front presumably pay the most. They are GOP Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado, GOP Controller candidate Tony Strickland and State Treasurer Bill Lockyer.

Wait a second. What’s Bill Lockyer, a lifelong Democrat, doing in a “Voting Guide for Republicans?” Willing to pay more than Republican Treasurer candidate Mimi Walters? Of course, it doesn’t say anywhere that Lockyer isn’t a Republican so his secret is probably safe with the recipients of the mailer.

But on with our game.

Larry Aceves, a candidate for the non-partisan superintendent of public instruction, is the only freebie.

Let’s look inside.


Man, o Manischewitz, it’s asterisk a-go-go. There’s the three from the front plus five more from all five of the propositions.

While not technically part of Slate Mailer Challenge, a special Disingenuous Award is presented to the blurb for “No on 20; Yes on 27.” The “Stop Wasting Our Money on Nonsense!” above the flaming greenbacks is a nifty touch but the “Send Sacramento a message! No more taxpayer money on the political game of reapportionment” is what catapults the ad into the pantheon.

The supporters of Proposition 27 would rather leave the political game of reapportionment in the hands of politicians.

Proposition 20 would strip California’s congressional delegation of the ability to draw their own legislative district lines, placing the task in the hands of an already existing commission.

Proposition 27, backed by the state’s eager-to-keep-drawing-their-own-districts congressional delegation, would eliminate the commission. When the proposition creating the commission appeared on the November 2008 ballot, the Legislative Analyst said it had “no significant fiscal impact.”

A close second is the “No on 24” box. What opponents call a “jobs tax” is the repeal of several tax breaks totaling some $1.3 billion annually that the opponents would benefit from.

Their benefit comes at the expense of state revenues and public schools, which are guaranteed at least 40 cents of every dollar the state receives.

There’s no commitment by the opponents that lowering their California tax burden translates into creation of more California jobs.

Also odd that a “Voting Guide for Republicans” would encourage them to vote “no” on Proposition 23 which suspends AB 32, California landmark greenhouse gas emissions law, until unemployment falls to 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters.

Moving to the back.


Some local candidates are included – all 10 with asterisks — taking the Voter Guide to a very respectable 21 asterisks total.

Let’s take the Slate Mailer Challenge again.

Uhler Mailer

This time it’s the National Tax Limitation Committee Newsletter, which doesn’t have much “news” other than a commentary by Lew Uhler, president of the Roseville-based group.

In the space beneath the commentary there are nine asterisks. Oddly, not one next to Meg Whitman, the candidate with by far the greatest ability to pay. Aceves is forced to pony up to appear in this slate.

Flipping back to the first page…


An asterisk-rich vein. All seven propositions have paid to be placed there.

But it’s the back page that vaults this mailer into first place.


Every proposition and candidate has paid for their slot – 12 in all.

Adding it up, that’s 28, a full seven more than the Voter Guide.

A big round of applause for California Voter Guide. Thanks s much for playing. There are lovely parting gifts and a copy of the home version of the game.

Until next time, so long from Slate Mailer Challenge. And remember: Keep Counting!


Filed under: Venting

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