The Propaganda Starts Rolling In

Thursday, August 15, 2002

I’ve found a type of junk mail that is actually useful — campaign junk mail. I’ve gotten three pieces so far, and I already know three people I won’t be voting for. :-) I think I’ll throw together a web page where I can rank the candidates running for the various offices. Should be a slightly better way to decide who to vote for then my usual, “Eanie, meanie, miney, moe” system.

Of the material I’ve received so far, Tim Green’s looked the most professional — it’s like a small newspaper. Unfortunately, he’s running a smear campaign against pretty much everybody, and I have no patience for such things, especially when they use misleading statistics to invent facts. He claims his opponent has never represented a client in an Oklahoma court. This claim is based on his survey of nearly 3,000 attorneys in the state. If you read the fine print, though, that’s 3,000 surveys mailed — he never says how many were actually returned. That makes it seem like he can’t be trusted.

Of the three, Ray Young’s was the only pamphlet with the URL prominently displayed. I had to search the others multiple times for their web address. That, unforunately, was the only redeeming quality of his brochure. Consider this quote:

Supported legistlation providing for 75% of teacher’s heath insurance to be paid by the state

That’s right, our state pays for “heath” insurance because of the dangers of candy bars. Next please.

Marvin Smith’s campaign slogan is “Marvin Smith Has The ‘HIVES‘.” It doesn’t matter what “HIVES” stands for — every time I look at his picture, I’m trying to see his rash. I’m sure when this idea was pitched at the campaign meeting, everybody just laughed and laughed. Now, when they go campaigning, they can’t find anybody willing to shake his hand.

I haven’t said anything about their web sites, because there’s nothing there worth talking about. It’s all brochureware — a waste of cyberspace. Tim Green insults the intelligence of his visitors by claiming a guestbook is a forum. The others don’t even try that hard. Don’t get me wrong — there is a place on the web for “brochure sites.” But, in my opinion, campaign sites should be more. A candidate is asking to be hired for the office — most employers would not hire based solely on a resume. I want a glimpse into the real person. I want to see something that doesn’t look like generic marketing hype. Is there any candidate brave enough to campaign that way? I guess we’ll see what’s in the mail tomorrow.

Speaking of junk mail… Cam links to an interesting way to stop junk mail. How much fun would it be to file that form against one of the candidates sending me brochures, then tip off their opponent…? :-)

One other thing… I’m thinking about moving OKMensa’s forums to Movable Type. I’m still contemplating whether it will do everything we need it to do — I may install it just to try it out. It has nice features, and I keep reading about cool things people are doing with it. And PHP-Nuke is such a headache to customize. The tricky part would be moving the old stories and comments, and maintaining the old system so that bookmarks, links, etc. still work. We’ll see.