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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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On September 30, 2016 the Glendale Star reported former mayoral candidate Mark Burdick was fined $619.59 for violating state statute. Here is the link: http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_37133b8c-8431-11e6-8aee-c743b27a385d.html .

Glendale City Attorney Michael Bailey shipped the investigation over to Scottsdale City Attorney Bruce Washburn to avoid any conflict of interest.

Every candidate is required to include “paid for by” and the name of the campaign committee on all campaign literature. Burdick violated the law. He sent out a hit piece on Mayor Weiers and failed to include attribution to his committee.

As for the $600+ in fines, can you say unbelievable? Burdick is claiming that the cost of the campaign mailer including postage was $1,239. Washburn says, “You have provided me with an invoice indicating the cost of the mailer was $1,239, which you have informed me is inclusive of postage and all other related costs.”  

Let us assume for a moment that Burdick’s claimed expense of $1200+ was for postage only. At 40 cents per piece in postage (not printing) that accounts for a mailing to 3,075 homes citywide. Glendale has an estimated 90,000 registered voters. A candidate usually sends mailers to high efficacy voters. That would diminish the numbers considerably and probably be approximately a third of the 90,000 registered voters or about 30,000 voters. The cost to mail a campaign piece to 30,000 voters citywide would be about $12,000. This estimated cost does not include the design of the piece or the cost of printing the piece.

Burdick is claiming one tenth of this estimated cost. Ridiculous. The cost of production and mailing one piece of campaign literature to high efficacy voters in the Yucca district in this election was over $1600. I suspect but have no proof, that Burdick’s mailer, to produce and mail citywide, would have cost somewhere between $12,000 and $18,000.

The penalty of the violation can be up to three times the cost of the mailer. Washburn gives Burdick a “get out of jail” card by saying he believed the violation was not done on purpose. In criminal cases, not civil cases, motive and intent matter. Shades of FBI Director Comey refusing to refer Hillary Clinton for prosecution to the Justice Department because he could not determine “intent.” Has intent become the new buzz word to absolve wrong doing?

Burdick’s fine should have been far more substantial, anywhere from $12,000 to $50,000. Instead he received a slap on the wrist by having to pay $600+. I guess there are different standards for different people and lady justice stopped being blind a long time ago.

NOTE: My next blog will be on the most recently filed (due September 29, 2016) campaign finance reports. Sammy Chavira, once again, flaunts the law, by as of this posting, having failed to file his campaign finance report. Then again, the Campaign for Truth and Leadership (fire committee) and Fire Fighters interested in Registration and Education PAC have not filed their campaign finance reports either. Both of these groups sent out campaign mailings in support of Sammy.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to

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Five pounds

Posted by Joyce Clark on August 31, 2014
Posted in City of Glendale  | Tagged With: , , | 3 Comments

I bet 99% of the voting population put political mailings in the “circular file” without ever reading them. Usually, I do as well. Not this time. I decided to save every one and to take a good look at them when I had some time. That time is now.

85 pieces came to our home before the Primary Election. Collectively they weighed over 5 pounds.  All of them were on slick paper or card stock and in color. Overwhelmingly the most popular size of mailing is the 11” X 6” card mailer. I received 32 pieces that size. The second most popular form of mailer is something new. It is in booklet form, 8 ½” X 11”, with either 4 or 6 pages. I received 27 of those.  The third most popular was the traditional 12 ½” X 8 ½”, oversized card.

The hottest race in my area was for the Congressional seat being vacated by Congressman Ed Pastor. Whoever captured the Democratic Primary would win the seat as there is no Republican opponent in the General Election. Ruben Gallego led the pack with 14 pieces of mail followed closely by Mary Rose Wilcox with 10 pieces. Each was running against the other for that coveted seat.

Their campaign philosophies were in stark contrast to one another. Gallego had 12 positive pieces about himself: 8 were from his campaign committee; 4 were Independent Expenditures – 2 from Revitalize Arizona (local PAC based in Tempe) and 2 from the Mayday PAC (national SuperPAC based in Austin, Texas). His committee only put out 2 hit pieces on Mary Rose Wilcox highlighting her history of promotion of her own self interests while an elected official. Clearly his campaign focused on the positive.

On the other hand Mary Rose Wilcox sent out 10 mailings. 3 were positive pieces about her and 7 were negative pieces about Gallego centered on the theme of his pro-gun stance. Apparently her old school politics tactic of using every piece of negativity she could dig up didn’t work. She received 36% of the vote vs. his 49%.

In all of the other races from Governor to Superintendent of Public Instruction to County Supervisor, some candidates sent out anywhere from 1 to 3 pieces. Many sent out none. The future trend appears to be to move away from printed material and to the media – TV and radio ads and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  It makes sense. Most of us throw political mailings away as soon as they are received. TV ads and radio ads we often suffer through to watch the local news or a favorite TV show. The same can be said for radio. With social media we tend to “friend” or follow those political figures with which we share a point of view. Sometimes we follow others just to see what the opposition is saying.

Most of the campaign mailings were banal. Candidates often use photos of themselves, family and friends. Sometimes there are children or eager followers with eyes rapt on the candidates, smiling in excess. The mailings are often too “busy.” Since this may be the only shot a candidate has to reach the voter, he or she tends to tell us too much.

Most have probably never heard of the KISS principle – that is, Keep It Simple, Stupid. Images are far more powerful than words in many instances. With President Obama’s favorable rating in the toilet, many Republican candidates are using images of the President juxtaposed with the opposition candidate. I chose four mailings that I thought were effective because they caught the reader’s attention.  All have powerful and in some cases, evocative images. Print is to a minimum. The white print works. I would not have used any colored print. Three of them have black backgrounds which makes the images pop.  Forget the issue and/or the candidate depicted and view the powerful images:

apples and oranges

 This mailer was produced by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club in support of Justin Pierce for Secretary of State. Michele Reagan beat him and is the Republican candidate. The image is effective in portraying the old adage of “comparing apples to oranges.”

 

Benghazi

This mailer was produced by Veterans for a Strong America, a national political action committee. It is in opposition to Christine Jones for governor. She was defeated and Doug Ducey is the Republican candidate. The photos of the 4 Americans who were killed in Benghazi are poignant.

 

Trayvon Martin

This mailer was produced by the Mary Rose Wilcox committee in opposition to Ruben Gallego. The image is a powerful one and could be any teenager. Wilcox did not prevail and Gallego took the Congressional seat.

 

Mary Rose Wilcox 2

 

This mailer was produced by Gallego’s committee. The sneer and distain on Wilcox’s face is palpable. In this case the sepia tones contribute to the image. It works. Gallego beat Wilcox.

 

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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