October 1, 2007

Anonymous Political Mailings

Much has been written over the past few years about anonymous political mailings. In essence, these are mailings that are dropped into an area without a "Paid For By". The difference between anonymous mailers and the regular political propaganda that we might see is that the anonymous mailers usually don't tout the positive attributes of one candidate, but are meant to discredit the other.

We have seen several of these this political season, primarily in county legislature races, as well as a smattering of them around the county, apparently by both Republicans and Democrats.

The Greater Niagara Newspaper Group and the Buffalo News have devoted much coverage to this issue. On LCTV last week, Tom Christy devoted an entire show to the topic.

What I do not believe has been determined is, are anonymous political mailings effective? From some scuttlebutt heard around town, these mailers may not have the desired effect that some may have hoped. Primary results may tell a different story.


Pete said...

The problem isn't the mailers, it's the campaign finance laws. The laws don't mandate that anyone lay claim to the mailers. Until the state changes the laws, I would imagine we can see more of this in the future.

As for their effectiveness, it would seem that both parties have realized success using them. Personally, I think some of them that I've heard about seem somewhat over the top. I guess it's a matter of opinion.

Anonymous said...

I saw Christy's hour-long rant on LCTV. At a couple of points, callers tried to get him off the subject of anonymous mailers, and no matter what the other topic was, he kept bringing it back to the mailers. It was really pathetic.

Apparently Christy thinks that these mailers are the most important thing happening in the county. At one point, he stated that the mailers could have been sent by Al Quada. AL QUADA for heaven's sake!!!!

They really should not let him go on LCTV before taking his meds.

Turk 182 said...

People act like politics in this country used to be lily white and it's being corrupted in recent years. Read any history of American politics and you will realize that the personal negative tone is actually much tamer today than it once was.

You know what the best anectdote is to negative mailers? An eduated voter.

If local media, especially print and television, not pundits like Leffler and Christy, did a better job covering these races and the issues, these tactics would be less effective.

Unfortunately, Prohaska and Terreri themselves get caught up in the horse race aspect -- who's ahead, who's behind, who's gone negative, who has money to spend -- rather than spending time on issues, what groups back a candidate (which is a very telling sign) their experience, bios, etc.

But at the end of the day, people are too lazy to become educated voters.

Vintage said...

The only thing on topic I would say is that no candidate should claim to be on a crusade for accountability if he or she won't put their name or their surrogate's name on a 'negative' mailer.

Anonymous said...

Yes christy is great and hobbs you are slomas ball washer