Surprisingly, several challengers campaigning to oust incumbents from school trustee and water director positions on the Nov. 6 election ballot didn’t take advantage of the most cost-effective method of reaching voters with statements about their platforms and qualifications.
Under a state law enacted in the 1970s, county Registrars of Voters must allow candidates to purchase space in the information guides they mail to all registered voters, along with sample ballots, before an election.
These candidate-written statements cost pennies compared to the expensive flyers that fill residential mailboxes each election cycle, and they are most often read as voters are marking sample ballots for use at precincts or when their mail-in ballots arrive.
Many serious contenders pay the fees involved to have their statements printed and mailed with election materials because they are well aware that candidates who don’t submit statements stand little chance of winning, based on some 40 years of experience with the law.
For example, all three Yorba Linda City Council candidates seeking two seats available this year paid the $885 deposit required to have 200-word statements mailed to each registered voter. That’s a bit more than two cents per voter versus a substantially higher cost for flyers.
Of course, the law comes with restrictions, including prohibiting mention of an opponent, including comments on their qualifications, character and activities. And, obviously, they can’t use those grainy, black-and-white, smirking photographs of an opponent.
Maybe that’s why the glossy, colorful flyers are so popular with candidates and the many “independent expenditure” committees that pay for them. A Registrar of Voters handbook has 13 pages that outline regulations governing the county-mailed statements.
In the Yorba Linda Water District, only the three incumbents, Phil Hawkins, Brooke Jones and Al Nederhood, paid for statements, $951 for 200 words or $1,585 for 400 words. Challengers Robert Kiley and his wife, Barbara, didn’t purchase statements.
Brett Barbre, Yorba Linda Water District assistant general manager, paid $2,022 for a 200-word statement in a race for a sixth term representing six north county cities at the county Municipal Water District. His opponent, Brea attorney Greg Diamond, didn’t make the buy.
And Yorba Linda resident Jeff Brown paid $1,092 for a statement to be mailed to voters in Area 6 of the North Orange County Community College District, which includes a tiny part of Yorba Linda south of Yorba Linda Boulevard west of Van Buren Avenue.
His opponent Pao Ling Guo, adult school principal in the ABC Unified School District, didn’t buy a statement. Trustees Barbara Dunsheath and Steve Blount didn’t draw opponents, so they’ll be appointed to new terms.
Mailings of the county and a separate state election guide begin Sept. 27, with the process completed by Oct. 16.
Jim Drummond is a longtime Yorba Linda resident. He gives his opinion on local issues weekly. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.Posted by https://goo.gl/TXzGV5