Friday, October 30, 2009

Campaign Literature Galore in Harris County, Texas

Another pre-election day, another full mailbox. Campaign brochures galore. Some are glossy, and quite professionally created. Others, more on the attack mode and less sophisticated.

Let's take a look at the bounty from yesterday:

Two jumbo postcards with the same message - anti Annise Parker and Gene Locke paid for by 'Peter Brown for Mayor'. These fall into the attack mode category.

One jumbo postcard from the George Foulard Campaign, running for City Council District G. A simple message of campaign promises and asking for support. Nothing but positive communication.

A standard glossy 8x10 folded brochure from Oliver Pennington, also running for City Council District G. The recipient is told to look inside for endorsements. The inside double spread shows lists of supporters- organizations, elected leaders, precinct leaders, community leaders, etc. Noted by this reader, many are the same names listed as supporters of Gene Locke for mayor. Locke is neither conservative nor Republican.

The "Official Voter's Guide" from Texas Conservative Review. The purpose of this is a bit cloudy. Though the editor, Gary Polland, a former Harris Co Republican Chairman, doesn't endorse specifically due to involvement with the local PBS station and a political show, the guide publishes the result of a poll taken on the candidates. From a conservative point of view, the best rated was Roy Morales - which makes sense as he is the Republican in the race and a conservative. The next best rated is Annise Parker - also not surprising as she is fiscally conservative though a Democrat. She is the current City Controller. For conservatives with a more libertarian view of the social issues, Parker is a solid contender to Morales.

In the Official Voter's Guide, there are ads from all of the mayoral candidates and assorted others. There is an opinion piece authored by Congressman Ted Poe and City Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck (Dist C).

And, finally, "The Chairman's Report" from Jared Woodfill, current Chairman of Harris Co Republican Party. He's running for re-election, with the voting for that in March. Though the mayoral race is billed as non-partisan, party affiliation is clear if voters bother to research candidates. In this report, room is given for a half page ad on the back page for Peter Brown.

This report publishes the results of a questionnaire for City of Houston races. And, a half page invitation to join the Harris Co Republican Party.

This report would have been more timely had it been received just before early voting began. Arriving the day before the end of early voting, it does no good to those voters who have already voted. And, it does nothing to encourage voters to get out there and vote early.

A low voter turnout is expected for this local election. In this case, every vote counts. It would have been good for local Republican leadership to strongly make that point.

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