Your one-stop shop for today's local campaign news, gossip, and analysis.

1) Morning Fizz was impressed by a talking campaign mailer supporting Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon that landed in its mailbox over the weekend, but for my money, the most innovative mailer of the year so far comes from the campaign against I-1183, the liquor-privatization initiative. Although, at first blush, it looks like any other 11-by-8-inch campaign piece, the mailer is actually personalized. Mine, for example, reads: "Erica, why would one corporation spend $27 million to deregulate and expand liquor access?"

Christian Sinderman, the consultant behind the mailer, joked that the campaign "printed them all with 'Erica,' knowing that a few would have an impact." In reality, the mailer uses a technology called variable data printing, which allows the campaign to laser any name into the data field.

"It's cool and people actually look at it, which is a bonus," Sinderman says.

2) Money continues to trickle in to Seattle City Council candidates in the days leading up to the November 8 voting deadline. Bobby Forch, a Seattle Department of Transportation manager who's challenging two-term council incumbent Jean Godden, reported a few notable contributions in the last few days, including $100 from SDOT spokesman Rick Sheridan (whose only previous contribution was $100 to then-mayor Greg Nickels in 2009), $500 from Puget Sound Dispatch (Yellow Cab), and $500 from former mayor Wes Uhlman.[pullquote]Bobby Forch, a Seattle Department of Transportation manager who's challenging two-term council incumbent Jean Godden, reported a few notable contributions in the last few days, including $100 from SDOT spokesman Rick Sheridan. [/pullquote]

3) In a piece that could serve as a J-school primer on why giving "both sides of the story" doesn't always make sense, the Seattle Times gave the mike today to proponents and opponents of the Families and Education Levy, a perennially popular property-tax levy that pays for early-childhood learning, health clinics at schools, summer programs, and other support services for Seattle public school students.

After enumerating the many good programs the levy would continue to pay for and citing proponents' arguments for the levy, the story gives equal time to "opponents"---specifically, one conservative blogger and one staffer at a libertarian think tank---who say the levy's useless because dropout rates and school performance haven't improved much in the 20 years that it's been in place. "[Conservative blogger Stefan] Sharkansky calls the academic gains at levy-supported middle schools 'modest' and says of the levy as a whole, 'It's appallingly ineffective and extremely expensive,'" the story notes.

Leaving aside the fact that Sharkansky's quote is an opinion and not a fact, the story fails to note that the levy routinely passes with well over two-thirds of the vote and has never had any organized opposition, making its premise of giving "equal time" to both supporters and opponents all the more ludicrous.

4) The Times' Keith Ervin reports that Bellevue developers Kemper Freeman, Bob Wallace, and Skip Rowley are behind a mailer alleging that pro-light-rail Bellevue City Council candidate John Stokes "can't keep his story straight" about his legal career and revealing that the Texas state bar once found him guilty of professional misconduct.

The mailer, paid for by Bellevue developers Kemper Freeman and Bob Wallace and Issaquah developer Skip Rowley, asks, 'What is John Stokes hiding? A lot . . .' and says his 'problem with professional misconduct has followed him to Bellevue.'"

Stokes called the mailer, which refers to a case he took on in 1988, "sleazy and really distorted."

5) As for Stokes, who's running against Freeman-backed Aaron Laing for the open seat being vacated by longtime council member Grant Degginger, he got an $800 contribution from Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith last week.

Microsoft has been a key player in the fight against Tim Eyman's I-1125, to which Freeman has contributed more than $1 million, giving $700,000 to the pro-light-rail cause.