06.21.14 Sixteen pieces of mail
Yesterday, we received 16 candidate mailers. There is a point nearly every election year when the volume of mail overwhelms will to actually pay any attention to it. With so many competitive races this year (in MD D20, there are ten candidates; in MoCo D5, there are five; then there are all the other races) we have passed the point of absurdity. The candidates are just wasting their money — and destroying entire forests. The pound of paper we got yesterday went directly into the recycling bin.
But what is a candidate to do in a local race? The only candidate in this part of the county with enough money to go on TV is Jonathan Shurberg, but TV is even more of a financial waste than paper is — unless ads are repeated on all channels over an extended period, they have zero impact. So, apart from door-knocking, appearing at forums, and trying to score free media attention and endorsements, mail is all the locals have. It seems to me, though, that in a frenzied year like this, only those who mailed early had any hope of having impact. I do remember some of the mail pieces I got three or six weeks ago. The stuff that I’ve gotten in the past two weeks? Direct to the bin.
So, I get the psychology of candidates with cash on hand at the end of a campaign wanting to do something — anything — with it to gain attention. But I submit they’re not actually gaining any, which makes all of this just plain, utter waste. Which is a shame.
©2014 Keith Berner
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