As everyone with a mailbox knows, the closing few days of an election are when candidates unleash a last minute barrage of direct mail designed to grab the voters’ attention and hold it until they go to the polls on Tuesday. Depending on who is developing your campaign materials, these can range from clever and highly effective parting shots to useless or even offensive junk mail which can backfire on you spectacularly. One particularly sneaky piece from supporters of Mitch McConnell in Kentucky clearly has the Grimes camp up in arms to the point where they claim to be going to court to stop it.
The campaign of Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has filed a lawsuit to stop Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign from distributing a mailer that it says amounts to illegal voter intimidation tactics.
The Grimes campaign on Friday said it had filed for an immediate injunction with the state court in Franklin County, which is where the state capital is located…
“Of all the terrible things Mitch McConnell has done during this 30 year career in Washington, this last-ditch campaign he authorized to intimidate Kentuckians and prevent them from exercising their right to vote is unquestionably his most despicable,” Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst said.
The mailers have the words “ELECTION VIOLATION NOTICE” sprawled at the top and attack Grimes for spreading “fraudulent” information.
You can follow the link above to see the actual mailer if you wish. The “despicable” postal delivery has the usual list of suspects up in arms across the Leftosphere. It’s being described as, “sleazy” and “threatening” and “a sick new low.” (That last one was Salon, if you couldn’t guess.) As to the idea of requesting a court order, that’s all for show at this point. The mailers have all been delivered by now and they can’t be dragged back. This is just a way for Grimes to get some free media coverage out of it.
People put provocative headers on mailings – both in politics and retail sales – in the hopes of grabbing your attention and preventing it from going directly into the trash bin. You’re probably familiar with those letters and e-mails that the GOP sent out earlier this year that were labeled PAYMENT OVERDUE – or something like that – which turned out to be another solicitation for donations. Was it dumb? Yes. Was it effective? Doubtful. In fact it turned a lot of people off. Was it illegal? Most assuredly not.
I’m guessing that many of you are also familiar with those incredibly annoying, pre-recorded telemarketing calls which start out by invoking a dire warning about “irregularities” with your credit card account. Of course, they then go on to say that you are paying too much interest and that’s why you should switch to the Company XYZ card. It’s deceptive to be sure, but sadly we can’t lock them up for it.
The McConnell mailer is nothing more than the next release of this time worn tactic. (You can read the text of the accompanying letter here, and it clearly does not claim to be any sort of threat of legal action. It even says it’s information “provided as a public service.”) Trust me… I’ve had worse delivered to my door. Heck, I’ve had worse delivered to my door about candidates I was staffing. And in the end, not be too offensive about it, but if you’re enough of a dim bulb that this sort of postcard could actually scare you off from going and casting your ballot on Tuesday, I’m not sure how much of a value add it was to have you voting in the first place.