What is a slate mailer?
A slate mailer lists or pictures several candidates on the publication. The goal is to leave the voter with the impression that the candidates represented on the mailer stand together on a particular party or issue. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Slate mailers can be confusing. They can be deceptive. But, these sneaky attempts to mislead voters are a cheap and effective tool for a candidate to garner votes.
DA Tim Ward uses slate mailers to bait voters.
According to 2018 financial records, Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward’s re-election campaign spent approximately $22,276 on notoriously misleading slate mailers. Ward’s purchase guarantees his name will appear on the: Cops Voter Guide, Latino Voters’ Guide, California Public Safety Voter Guide, National Tax Limitation Committee, Save Proposition 13 Voter Guide, Tax Fighter Guide, Women’s Voice Guide, amongst others, all in time to flood Tulare County voters’ mailboxes right before the June 5th election. The voter guides are published by Landslide Communications, Budget Watchdogs, CAL SAL Voter Guide, California Voter Guide, and Larry Levine’s Election Digest.
Ward’s mailers will attempt to convince Tulare County voters that he is a champion of women, lower taxes, proposition 13, and public safety. The disturbing reality of Ward’s overspending on slate mailers conveys a misleading message to the public, and calls into question his ability to serve as a nonpartisan and independent district attorney who is fair and impartial.
Tim Ward has received scathing criticism for failing to investigate the Tulare Hospital, despite a 2016 Grand Jury finding that millions of dollars were unaccounted for. Ward’s failure to investigate the matter, likely stems from the fact that Ward received $21,000 in campaign contributions from Dr. Benny Benzeevi through his company Medflow.
How do slate mailers work?
Candidates, like Tim Ward, pay a fee to appear on a given number of mailers. The producer, a for profit organization, fills the vacant or unsold spots on the mailer with other candidates or issues. An asterisk will designate the candidates who paid to appear on the mailer. The goal is to make the flyer appear to be sponsored by specific political groups or organizations trusted by the targeted voter.
“They usually have a fireman, a dog, a puppy, a baby or a flag on it, to make it look very patriotic,” said Carl Luna, political science professor at San Diego Mesa College in an interview with inewsource.org. “The hope is that voters who haven’t made up their minds will look at that and say, ‘Hey, my choices are made for me.”
Slate mailers can mislead and confuse voters, especially those who do not read the fine print. When deciding to cast your vote for District Attorney, use extreme caution with slate mailers which will soon flood your mailboxes, courtesy of Tim Ward.