02.09.18 Let the deluge begin (bonus: fond memories of David Trone)

If you thought Snowpocalypse and Snowmaggedon were bad, you ain’t seen nothing like the storm that began dropping its detritus this week. I’m talking about piles of political postal mail and robocalls from the ~130 candidates on the ballot in Montgomery County (at county, state, and Federal levels) – and this is only counting candidates in competitive races. (I’m assuming that those running unopposed will be minor contributors to the deluge.)

Here in Takoma Park, we received our first mail piece two days ago: a letter (in an envelope) from David Blair, a candidate for Montgomery County executive. Then, last night, we received our first robocall, from Lorna Phillips Forde, who is running for county council at-large (Forde’s message was cutoff at the beginning, making her look [sound] bad).

There are benefits to candidates who start advertising (in whatever form) early: the fact that everyone else isn’t yet in the game means your forays will stand out. Of course, not all candidates have the finances to start this stuff mid-winter (some at-large council candidates are nowhere close to being able to afford a county-wide mailing). It will get crazy in May and June, when we come home to half-a-dozen mail pieces a day.

Should we consider this to be garbage? Or is it valuable input voters’ decision-making? I lean towards the former view. Mailing pieces are almost always ugly and tell us very little that isn’t boilerplate pablum. Robocalls are one of the most obnoxious phenomena in the known universe.

But almost none of the candidates will be able to afford broadcast advertising or billboards (except for David Trone* who will  spend $25 million to purchase a seat – from the sixth district – in Congress). How else are they gonna get name recognition across their districts or the entire county? (Well, having legions of volunteers to door-knock for you and visiting a wide array of community and political events are much better ways to connnect with potential voters, but these involve hard work!) So, I try to be tolerant. In the case of robocalls, though, any campaign that hits me more than once is going to get added to my I-hate-you-forever list very quickly.

I plan to collect all the junk mail we receive, with the goal of counting it and weighing it on Primary Day (June 26, 2018). What are your hobbies, Dear Reader?

PS. Some other blogs (like Seventh State) post images of some mailings they receive. I don’t plan on doing that. In my view, either one does it comprehensively (which is most fair to the various campaigns, but would mean this blog would do nothing else) or one is cherry picking based on criteria that your readers most likely aren’t privy to.

*See my prior coverage of this liquor salesman turned buy-it-for-myself politico:

And: in a candidate’s forum, Trone recently said Israel should be our 51st state and should get everything they want.


©2018 Keith Berner



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One Comment on “02.09.18 Let the deluge begin (bonus: fond memories of David Trone)”

  1. […] Left is right. « 02.09.18 Let the deluge begin (bonus: fond memories of David Trone) […]


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