Local elections produce a lot of mailers, big colorful oversize cards with smiling candidates, often surrounded by family or carefully diverse constituents.
Most of them fit one of two templates: The first type are boringly generic about how The Candidate loves Coral Gables, has lived/worked/dreamed of the City for eons, and will fight to “preserve” it or “protect” it from crime and other unnamed horrors. They’re for trees (parks) and against high property taxes and red tape–even thought that’s Coral Gables’ middle name, and indeed strong zoning and competent and honest enforcement of planning and construction rules is what drew many residents to buy here. Pretty much 100% of these are substantially indistinguishable and amount to a waste of paper. I’ve gotten a bunch of these from the O’Doski campaign. Yawn.
The other common template is a hit piece by some shadowy group that doesn’t file state paperwork so we can know their donors until after the election (the fines for late filing are laughable). These commonly have grainy scary pictures of the target, and accuse him or her of something heinous. When the charges are not simply made up, they are almost always based on something ancient or something taken out of context. For me and I suspect many other voters, the primary effect of these mailers is to raise the stature of the target: if the dark money wants to attack them, they must be doing something right. There were some of these in first round, but I haven’t gotten any in the runoff, perhaps because they utterly failed to work the first time around.
But every so often, there’s a mailer that breaks the mold. It acknowledges being from a campaign, not some pseudonymous cut-out, and it says something true and relevant. I think this mailer from Melissa Castro does a a very effective job:
When I first looked at it, I thought it was one of the hit-job type of mailer–it took me a few seconds to get that, in this case, “zero” is good. And indeed, these three zeros are at the heart of why I recommend voting for Melissa Castro.
The election is this Tuesday. If you have an absentee ballot you didn’t mail in, you can take it with you to your polling place and they will let you vote a regular ballot unless they have a dropbox, in which case you will be able to drop it off there. Don’t try to mail your ballot at this point, as it won’t count unless received by 7pm Tuesday. Postmarks don’t matter.