Saturday, September 11, 2010

P.O. Box 13: Smith goes negative (Part 3)

Part 3 of our look at campaign mailers in the 13th Worcester House District race. This review includes mailers sent through September 8. Also see Part 1, Part 2, Part 4 and Part 5.

Entering the last week before the election, Joff Smith took the offensive with the first negative mailer of the campaign (or at least, the first one since we began keeping track), while John Mahoney followed up his first, biographical effort with one focused more on issues.

John Mahoney
"A Fresh Take on the Issues"
Finally, Mahoney lets us know he's more than just a tall guy, with another mammoth 8.5" x 11" job with nice, big type. Mahoney "will fight for tax incentives to entice businesses to locate in and around Worcester and Paxton." He also says the right things about education, protecting children from crime and bullying, and constituent service ("no issue is too small").

Don Sharry
"Vote for Don Sharry"
Exact same postcard as Sharry's last, and addressed to the exact same person, so it's probably not a case of being listed twice on his address list. If I was going to read it the second time, chances are I'd already read it the first time. See my reaction here.

Mike Perotto
"Experienced and Accomplished"
This Sept. 8 mailer is essentially the same message as the previous Perotto postcard, but in larger size (11" x 6"). His priorities are: "Create and retain jobs ... Increase Chapter 70 funding for education ... Lower taxes and spend wisely ... Service constituent requests." Lotta controversy there.

Joff Smith
"Stood Up for Taxpayers"
An 8.5" x 5" mailer that Rosalie Tirella hates, so it's got that going for it. Obverse is a four-paragraph letter with the usual "I know firsthand that we need to support our small businesses" and "change can't happen on its own" type of sentiment. Reverse is where the controversy is: Joff lined up next to silhouettes labeled "John Mahoney" and "Margot Barnet," and a paragraph next to each one. Joff's highlights his lowest-residential-tax-rate votes. Mahoney's blurb accuses him of being "part of the group" that wants a cut in the business tax rate, which would raise residential tax rates. Barnet's says she's "opposed to a bill that would create 15,000 new jobs in MA." It would be nice to know what bill this is (Tirella argues convincingly that it's the casino bill; Barnet is the only one of the six candidates to oppose casinos). The mailer implies that Barnet is controlled by special interests that want to raise property taxes. In both cases, the candidates' relationships to proposed residential tax hikes are a bit more nuanced than the mailer suggests; this is politics, but in terms of this week's catch, it's the only one to go negative, so it's an outlier in terms of tone.

This is the third in a series of "P.O. Box 13" blog posts about campaign mailers in the 13th Worcester House District race. The opinions expressed are those of a 13th Worcester District voter and not necessarily those of The series continues here.

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