Junk Mail Received During the 2007 Elections

The 2007 election system has come and gone. Whew, I’m glad that’s over! Now I can sit back and wait a few months for the 2008 election process to start. What? Oh yeah, it started even before the 2007 elections were held. Sigh.

During the 2007 election cycle, which included the Virginia state Senate, Delegate, and local offices, I collected all the political junk mail that was sent to my home. I’ve finally gone through it all (80 pieces of mail) to present this summary:

Candidate Total Mailings Pro Candidate Negative Oponent Both Issues Referenced Notes

Virginia General Assembly, 51st District

Paul F. Nichols (D-Winner) 18 8 8 2 guns, immigration, education No candidate web site referenced.
Faisal M. Gill (R) 11 3 3 5 transportation, development (growth), education, immigration, family values VAGOP.com referenced in one mailing.
 

Virginia Senate, 39th District

George L. Barker (D-Winner) 20 5 9 6 environment, family, immigration, transportation, taxes, environment, education, abortion, voter’s guide (16 items) BarkerForSenate.com referenced in one mailing.
J. K. “Jay” O’Brien, Jr. (R) 19 6 10 3 community, immigration, transportation, development (growth), family values No candidate web site referenced. See notes below.
 

Prince William County Board Chairman

Sharon E. Pandak (D) 4 1 1 2 PandakForChairman.com and a local phone number.
Corey A. Stewart (R-Winner) 1 1 0 0 CoreyStewart.com
 

Prince William County Clerk of Court

William M. “Bill” Ryland (D) 0 0 0 0
Michele B. McQuigg (R-Winner) 1 1 0 0 McQuigg4Clerk.com
Lucile S. “Lucy” Beauchamp (I) 1 1 0 0 No candidate web site referenced.
 

There were five items I received that were not authorized by a candidate:

Jay O’Brien’s campaign sent out two items that are noteworthy. One was a letter from his wife, Sevea O’Brien. It came in a light yellow envelope with a return address of PO Box 5, Clifton, VA 20124. There should be a law that all campaign mailings have the “Authorized By” statement on the outside of the envelope. Keeping the disclosure hidden inside the envelope is deceptive. See Good Move or Campaign Tactic Overload? for more on this letter.

The other odd mailing for the O’Brien campaign was a postcard from Waja Grimm, of Turkey Run Court. Who in the world is Waja Grimm? Where is Turkey Run Court? It sounds like an insult of a judicial system. An internet seach shows she is a member of the governing board of Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy. I also found her complete street address online, which actually is a street called “Turkey Run Court” in Manassas. I wonder why she didn’t include the complete address in her mailing? Was she worried about her privacy? If so, she should either get a PO Box, or not endorse candidates. Is there a rule that campaign mailings must include a complete return address? If not, there should be.

I wonder why the candidates and campaigns don’t make better use of the web. Only one of the candidates for state-level office included their campaign’s web site URL in their mailings, and he only included it one time in the twenty mailings I received. The candidates and parties spent thousands of dollars on these campaigns, but then don’t include one line of text about how the voters can get more information about the candidate? That is a bizarre waste of money.

The candidate web sites could be found at:

So, election 2007 is over. And only 329 days to go until the Presidential and Congressional (House and a Senator for me) elections. Oh boy. I can’t wait to see how much junk mail comes in over the next year for those.