It’s campaign mailer season. (Ballots in the Seattle city council primary election are due by August 4.)
Here are some election season campaign lit Best Ofs.
The Recycling Award Goes to political consultant Christian Sinderman.
Lorena Gonzalez, Sinderman’s candidate in the at-large Position Nine race, sent out mailers that say: “Seattle is America’s fastest growing city. We need new leaders who understand the challenges of change, seizing opportunities without abandoning our progressive community values.”
And Rob Johnson, Sinderman’s candidate in District Four, Eastlake-to-Sand Point, says this on his mailer: “Our council needs new leaders who understand how America’s fastest growing city can remain a great place to call home.”
Gonzalez and Johnson both forked over $2,500 in retainer fees to Sinderman this month; they should pool their resources and split the bill next time.
The Excessive use of Exclamation Marks Award! goes to at-large Position Nine candidate Bill Bradburd. Bradburd, a Seattle Neighborhood Coalition leader, puts three exclamations on the front side of his postcard: “Let’s Take Back Seattle!” “Take Back Seattle!” “Let’s Make Growth work for all!” Given that Bradburd’s neighborhood base is on the older side, maybe talking loudly helps?
The Run-on Sentence Award goes to District Four candidate Michael Maddux. Maddux’s mailer announces: “I believe we must no longer rely solely on revenue streams that put the burden of funding needed services on the backs of working families, and will be your advocate for reform measures that require developers and speculators to pay their fair share, while laying the ground work for a millionaire’s tax in Seattle in place of constant real property and sales tax increase.”
Incumbent Jean Godden gets the We Got it the First Time Award for running three separate pictures of her posing with Mayor Ed Murray.
Best Sign of the Times Award goes to incumbent Sally Bagshaw’s mailer. Her piece, a parade of logos from endorsing organizations—dramatizing the scope of her support—leads with the masthead for the city blog, The Urbanist, a pro-bike lane, pro-development, and pro-parking maximums blog.
The Best Not-so Secret Dig at Your Opponent Award goes to District Three candidate Pamela Banks. At a cursory look, Urban League leader Pamela Banks is all positive messaging. But her header, “Progressive Values—Neighborhood Priorities,” and her bolds and all-caps, “positive change,” “inclusive leadership,” “progressive values AND neighborhood priorities” are straight up attacks on her opponent, incumbent Kshama Sawant. Sawant's critics contend that the socialist council member doesn’t have an open door to anyone other than her (finger snapping) orthodox supporters while she focuses on a national agenda rather than a local one.
Banks’s mailer goes on: “Pamela will have an open door to all—addressing issues through teamwork and understanding, not a rigid approach.”
Meanwhile, Best Sound Bite Award goes to Sawant herself. While Banks’s layered messaging mailer seems aimed at insiders who feel dismissed by Sawant, the front-page of Sawant’s own mail piece states simply: “Seattle’s Getting a Raise. Re-Elect Kshama Sawant.”
You got it? Flaunt it. Honestly? It's the most compelling mail piece tag I’ve seen in a city council race...ever, and I’ve been covering these races since 1999.
Finally: It’s not a city council race, but it must be mentioned. Best CD Liner Notes Award goes to King County Elections Director candidate Zack Hudgins.
I’ll let the elaborate fold-out mailer speak for itself:
Speaking of CDs and mail and campaigns. At-large Position Eight candidate John Roderick is hosting an unusual campaign event. The local indie rock star (the Long Winters) is playing a show at the Triple Door on Thursday night where he'll also be selling stamps and providing a mail drop box for your ballots. (He's cordially invited all this year's city council candidates.)
His campaign sent out the following email this week:
I hope all of you are maintaining your sanity and finding energy reserves in these last few weeks before the primary. Amidst the forums and meetings and everything else, I decided to play a show with my band, The Long Winters, at the Triple Door this Thursday. We've been rehearsing this week and it'll be a good show, so I wanted extend an invitation to all of you in case you want to hear some music and take an hour or two off the campaign trail.
A rock show (tickets are $20) in the final weeks of the campaign? Play to Your Strengths Award, I guess?