Tag Archives: slate mailer

Beware of for-profit slate mailers that claim to represent ‘green’ positions

Union of Concerned Scientists Warns CA Voters about Misleading Slate Mailer and ‘Trojan Horse’ Attack Against State’s Clean Energy Law; Urges Voters to Vote NO on 26

With most voters’ attention diverted by the oil industry’s efforts to derail the state’s landmark clean energy and climate law with Proposition 23, another, less scrutinized oil-industry-funded ballot measure–Proposition 26–also poses a serious threat to the environment and clean energy.

Proposition 26 has received nearly $16 million from Chevron and other big oil companies, as well as alcohol and tobacco interests, to get themselves off the hook from paying for environmental and health damage they cause and shift that burden to taxpayers.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is alerting California voters to beware of misleading ‘slate mailers’ arriving in their mailboxes just before the November 2 election. UCS strongly urges a ‘NO’ vote on Prop. 23 and Prop. 26.

“While Prop 23 is a frontal assault on our clean energy law, Prop 26 is more like a Trojan horse,” said Dan Kalb, UCS California policy manager. “As deceptive as the Prop 23 campaign has been, the campaign to pass Prop 26 is even more insidious. Not only do the oil and tobacco companies behind Prop 26 hide the fact that it would starve state and local public health, clean air, and clean energy programs, but now they are funding misleading slate mailers that misinform voters about what the pro-environment position really is on Prop 26.  The pro-environment position on Prop 26 is a definite NO.”

Voters have already begun receiving a for-profit mailer with the headline “Californians Vote Green” recommending votes on Props 25 (no) and 26 (yes) that are the opposite of what the state’s leading public health and environmental organizations recommend.  UCS and several other leading environmental and consumer groups strongly support Prop. 25 and oppose Prop. 26.

“This pay-to-play ‘green’ mailer sinks to new lows when it comes to false advertising,” said Kalb.


Proposition 26, which is vague and poorly written, threatens California’s efforts to bolster green jobs by cleaning up the state’s energy supply and cutting global warming pollution.  According to UCS, if passed, Proposition 26 could:

~ Prevent the California Air Resources Board from collecting a fee from polluters to fund CARB and other agencies implementing policies to reach the state’s 2020 global warming emission-reduction target. Those policies include standards for renewable energy and low-carbon fuel.

~ Prevent CARB from levying fees on global warming pollution as part of an economy-wide cap on emissions.

~ Eliminate funding streams for public transportation, crippling implementation of SB 375, which is designed to help Californians drive less, pollute less, and spend less money on gas.

Proposition 26 threatens California’s clean energy and climate laws by oddly redefining taxes, Kalb explained.  Under current law, the state and municipal governments have the authority to impose narrowly-defined fees on industries whose activities harm public health or the environment and then use that revenue to correct and prevent those harms, as long as the amount of the fee bears a reasonable relationship to the harm.

Fees require a simple majority to pass in the Legislature, while taxes require a two-thirds super-majority vote. Proposition 26 would redefine fees as taxes, establishing a nearly impossible hurdle that could dry up funding for CARB and local governments to implement vital energy and environmental clean-up programs.

“If Californians want to support a clean environment and vibrant economy in California, they should vote ‘NO’ on Props 23 and 26,” said Erin Rogers, manager of the Western States Climate and Energy Program at UCS. “If passed, these measures won’t just put the brakes on California’s clean energy laws, they will send a message to businesses, entrepreneurs and investors in the state’s booming clean tech sector that California is no longer open for business. That’s a rotten deal, especially considering that clean tech is one of the only bright spots our state’s economy.”

R Dirty Tricks at the local level

(Some edits for space. “Democratic Voters Choice” has been one of the more egregious abusers of the slate mailer process. Come next December, it’s time to reform the slate mailer process. Thanks bolson! – promoted by SFBrianCL)

Here we have a big fat lie that came in the mail recently:

The actual candidates endorsed by the Democratic Party are Janet Wolf for Supervisor and Cynthia Brock and Margaret Connel for Goleta City Council.

Brian’s edits: Click the image for full size image. You’ll notice that this “team for Democratic voters” also supports Prop 90 and Rejects Prop 87, both positions are the exact opposite of the Official California Democratic Party’s actual positions

The small print at the bottom says:

Democratic Voters Choice, 601 S. Glenoaks, Burbank CA 91502. Ballot measures and non-partisan offices evaluated independent of party. Not paid for or authorized by candidates and ballot measures not marked by an *. Endorsements by elected officials and organizations apply to spefiied candidates and measures only.

Take out the double negative and we find that someone associated with the three local candidates and * marked initiatives paid for and/or authorized this mailer. It would seem that Secord, Onen and Bennet paid for and authorized this lie. I hope some clever lawyer can sue their fraudulent asses off – or if they somehow claim plausible deniability at least shut down “Democratic Voters Choice” which has run these shenanigans before. Another example over the flip.

Here’s another piece currently circulating from “Democratic Voters Choice”:

This one gets all the state wide candidates right, but lies about the ballot initiatives. The lies being paid for are: No on 1A-1C (CA Dems say yes), No on 87 (CA Dems say yes), Yes on 88 (CA Dems say no), Yes on 90 (CA Dems say no).

I have my own opinions on the ballot initiatives (yes on 87,89 and Santa Barbara D and P, no on the rest) but I really hate dirty tricks.

The Slate Mailer as a Tool of Deception

UPDATE: Art Torres has released a statement about these mailers: “The oil companies are trying to win this campaign with deceptive mailers.  The California Democratic Party has one official position and that is Yes on 87.”

Last week I received a slate mailer with a postmark in Riverside.  It had a big picture of DiFi on the cover, and I was a bit suspicious. I’m thinking to myself, hmm, this is suspicious. Riverside, DiFi…hmmm.

Well, anyway, my suscpicions were confirmed when I opened the slate mailer to read a No on 87 endorsement.  I think to myself, hmmm, I don’t think DiFi would endorse No on 87, so I look it up.  Turns out, DiFi supports Prop 87.  Now, unfortunately, I failed to scan this slate mailer in before it got swept into our recycle bin.  But, before I tossed it, I did notice a few things. 

DiFi did not have an asterick by her name to indicate that she paid to be on the mailer. Prop 87 did. So did Prop 86, Prop 89, etc.  So it turns out that all these “No” Campaigns had paid to be on this mailer, probably because DiFi was on it. In effect, the mailer was using DiFi’s image to slyly suggest that she did not support Prop 87, when in fact she does.

This my friends, is deceptive.  Check out silence’s diary about the No on Prop 87 campaign’s use of these mailers.  Some of the mailers they are appearing in: “Democratic Voters Choice”, “Continuing The Republican Revolution”, “Committee To Protect The Political Rights Of Minorities Candidate Pac”, “Republican Voters Checklist”.  You see, they spent lots, and lots of money to .  You can check out the No on 87 campaign spending here.  Oh, by the way, notice the $750,000 to the California Republican Party.  I guess they had too much money after all the Chevron cash dump.  So, might as well give it to the GOP, huh?  I guess the No on 87 campaign is just another fundraising arm of Team Arnold.

“Democratic Voters Choice” my butt.  These slate mailers are misleading and deceptive.  The deceptive practices of some, but certainly not all, of these mailers must be reined in.

Slate mailers — pay for play on 87

(These slate mailers have deliberately deceptive names. There should be no place for that in a serious political debate. – promoted by SFBrianCL)

Each year, around election time, my mailbox fills up with “slate mailers” — glossy mailers endorsing a whole pile of candidates and propositions.  These mailers are sent by groups with names like “Democratic Voters Choice” or “Citizens for Good Government”

Unfortunately, their names often have little to do with their real purpose.  Instead of being sensible efforts to inform citizens, many slate mailers are actually extortion rackets — pay us, or we’ll endorse the other side.  By producing an ostensibly “Democratic” ballot slate, but with reversed endorsements on a few races, these mailers trick voters into casting votes they wouldn’t have done if fully informed.

Last year, the big buyer was PhRMA, trying to prevent Californians from passing a measure which would have cut drug prices and hurt their profits.  This year, it appears to be the “no on 87” crowd, who want prevent Californians from taxing oil to pay for a renewable energy investment.

To date, I count the No on 87 crowd as having made the following expenditures:

The only “yes” endorsement I found on a slate mailer was on the Cops Voter Guide — at the cost of $100,000.

Undoubtedly, there are other examples of pay-for-play endorsements in slate mailers going on out there.  All you need to do to find them is to go look, and pay close attention to who sent that mailer which appeared in your mailbox.