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Duplicitous endorsements on fake Democratic flier

Original post made by Catherine McMillan, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park, on Oct 26, 2006

Menlo Park households with registered Democrats have received a mailer, proclaiming itself a “Voter Information Guide for Democrats.” Just like two (unsuccessful) slate-sponsored candidates two years ago, the Duboc/Winkler/Boyle slate is duping Democratic voters.

The mailer lists its alleged recommendations for state offices and then (quite remarkably) for Menlo Park City Council. It lists Duboc, Boyle and Winkler. It also “recommends” a yes vote on Measure J, right above its recommendation for governor no less (!).

Surprise, surprise: the ONLY names on the whole mailer that have asterisks by their names are our “Honorable” councilmembers Duboc and Winkler, candidate Boyle, and Measure J. If an intrigued voter takes the trouble to look further, they will have to turn the flier around and just might notice a minuscule disclaimer that candidates or measures designated by an asterisk have paid for or authorized inclusion in the mailer.

Let’s be clear that THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS ACTUALLY ENDORSED HEYWARD ROBINSON AND RICH CLINE; the mailer is a mere marketing piece and is NOT issued or condoned by the Democratic Party. The slate candidates or their handlers have evidently consented to or have paid to have their names used in a fake mailer designed to trick voters into thinking that they have been endorsed by the Democratic Party, perhaps by Dianne Feinstein herself, since her picture is prominently displayed on the mailer’s front!

This misleading practice is so abhorrent and unethical that it is dispiriting to think that it can actually be legal. Will Menlo Park voters make room on the dais for people who participate in this trickery? Is this another indication of how they propose to continue running MP: by deceit and subterfuge?

Comments (6)

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Posted by Appalled Democrat
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 27, 2006 at 11:55 am

I am disgusted, but unsurprised at this latest sleazy campaign tactic. Boyle/Duboc/Winkler are absolutely shameless.

Like this comment
Posted by GoodMemory
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 27, 2006 at 4:31 pm

This seems to be a reprise of a tactic used by Lori Sinnott in the 2004 election.

Like this comment
Posted by Patti Fry
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 27, 2006 at 5:06 pm

There are at least FOUR of these fake endorsement mailers: 1 each for Democrats and Republicans, and an "early voter" mailer and a "leadership for california" mailer. It is not clear who is responsible, but each mailer states that the candidates themselves "paid and authorized" these. We need to clean out this sort of sleaze from out city!

Like this comment
Posted by MPworkingMom
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 2, 2006 at 7:08 pm

And I got one addressed to "Independent voters." Once again, Boyle-Duboc-Winkler and Measure J were the only ones who paid for inclusion.

Like this comment
Posted by mpvoter
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 3, 2006 at 4:03 pm

The fliers clearly state that they are not an endorsement by any party. There is no trickery, read the HUGE BOLD LETTERS on the mailer.

Like this comment
Posted by Intentional duplicity
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 3, 2006 at 4:49 pm

"The fliers clearly state that they are not an endorsement by any party. There is no trickery, read the HUGE BOLD LETTERS on the mailer."

The flyers are designed to trick people. As today's Palo Alto Daily News editorial noted:

"A slate mailer recently sent out for the Menlo Park City Council has also been raising eyebrows.

The mailer sent to Democratic voters endorsed Mickie Winkler, Lee Duboc and John Boyle as the Democratic candidates. A second batch of mailers endorsed them to Republicans as fellow Republicans. Ditto for another group of mailers sent to Independent voters. It's targeted advertising taken to a new level.

The mailers were paid for by Menlo Park Matters, a political action committee that supports the local candidates. Winkler and Duboc say they don't recall discussing the mailers with the political action committee and Boyle said he expressed concerns about it when he was approached.

Experts warn that misleading mailers are a familiar tactic designed to confuse voters."

Read that, mpvoter? A tactic designed to confuse voters. And those "huge bold letters" are actually neither, but rather very small type printed in a narrow font in white on a blue background, almost impossible to find unless you know what you're looking for.

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