Friday, November 19, 2010


After going carefully through the various propositions in the state voter guide, I spied a mailer on my table that sported this partisan label: “Continuing the Republican Revolution.”

A bald eagle was prominently displayed beside an extended quotation that lauded Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday and his “ideals of limited government, lower taxes, and personal freedom.” At the left top was a cute red, white and blue elephant with a couple of stars dotting the pachyderm.

On the inside were listed CRR’s presumably conservative recommendations. Again, diminutive flag-colored elephants stood at the top left and top right of the page.

A small, unadorned column with miniature pics and names of seven Republican candidates running for statewide office stood in the far left section of the page.

The real message of this shameless deception focused on the statewide propositions that occupied the lion’s share of the mailer’s space. These recommendations were repeated twice—once in the inside page and again, quite prominently, on the back page (which could double as the mailer’s front page).

Moreover, each proposition contained a brief “argument” in its favor. The “No on Prop 20” case was stated as follows: “20 is an elitist attempt to force a new, costly bureaucracy down our throats. The California State Firefighters Association says, NO ON PROP 20.”

One would never guess, based on this “explanation,” that Prop. 20 is about redistricting and proposes a commission of 5 democrats, 5 republicans, and 4 independents to draw district lines without the political gerrymandering that’s made so many races uncompetitive.

The biggest shock was that the presumably “conservative” recommendations on the various propositions (20-27) turned out to be 100% contrary to what one would expect from a “conservative” group.

I checked CRR’s mailer against Jon Coupal’s “Howard Jarvis” voter guide—a group that’s unquestionably fiscally conservative. The “Save Prop 13” recommendations were perfectly in line with conservative positions—and the precise opposite of CRR’s.

A small asterisk next to each proposition ad in CRR’s mailer directs voters to a disclaimer that’s placed (inconspicuously in black and white) next to the mailing address. That disclaimer says CRR doesn’t really represent an official political party and that items with an asterisk have been paid for. Put bluntly and honestly, CRR isn’t what it represents itself to be in the mailer.

Personally, I wonder what brand of cynicism CRR embraces. Is it for money or is it out of ideology that Hart and Associates of Newport Beach chooses to deceive voters?

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