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Our View: Hit mailers insult voter intelligence

Posted: April 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

The election for two City Council seats for the city of Santa Clarita is less than a week away, and candidates are making preparations for their final push.

Numerous forums have been held, along with meet-and-greets and the tradition of precinct walking. Stories in the media, yard signs and an assortment of bumper stickers all pull our attention to the impending election. Many readers are getting more excited as Election Day approaches while others of us are already worn out by the process.

This election has had, unfortunately, its share of shenanigans, conspiracies and questionable tactics. “Boys will be boys” or “politicians will be politicians” is how we normally slough these things off, but we shouldn’t. The people who represent us should be held to a higher standard.

The Signal tries to be even handed in its indignation over the more noteworthy political antics, but even we are left shaking our heads on occasion.

While these questionable behaviors deserve our editorial attention, our message today is not about what has transpired already but, instead, about something that is likely to happen between now and the moment you punch the ballot card. Our disdain for last-minute so-called “hit mailers” cannot be overstated.

They are, in a phrase, a cowardly act. They are designed to create an image, generally negative, avoiding pre-election day accountability or transparency. Most often, we don’t find out who the senders really are until long after the election, if at all.

Our issue is not with candidates and initiatives that send out mailers at election time that champion a candidate’s strengths, experience, views or vision. Those are the things we want to know.

Our wrath is fanned by the hit mailers that are designed to emotionally push us toward an unflattering impression of a candidate or, by default, toward some other, more heroic designation before their targets can respond.

People who send out last-minute hit mailers are invested in the notion that voters are not too bright or discerning.  They want to con your vote away from your rational evaluation and distort or influence the outcome of an election.

Your vote belongs to you until you give it to someone or some cause that reflects what you know and believe. When this trash arrives in the mail take it directly to the garbage and remember who it was supposed to benefit. 

There are numerous resources available to provide the information you need to help insure your vote remains your vote. Use them and vote. It’s your city. 

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