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Direct mail is the Ninja assassin of politics. “An icepick to the forehead,” it was called by Dave Gold, who did our direct mail when Jim Hunt beat Jim Gardner in 1992.
That year, we targeted 100,000 swing voters statewide. And bombarded them with a series of mailings about Gardner’s checkered business record. By the end of the campaign, one man in a focus group said: “He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t go to jail.”
That’s why direct mail was – and again will be – the weapon of choice in the Wake school board race.
It’s deadly because it’s the ideal means of communicating negative information about an opponent. For example, that Kevin Hill supports “busing for quotas” (as John Tedesco charged on TV Tuesday night) and that Heather Losurdo is a tool of the Tea Party.
It’s silent because it’s carefully targeted. Compared to radio and TV ads, which everybody sees, there’s less chance of blowback.
Best of all, given the explosion of independent campaigns, candidates get the best of both worlds. They can decry negative attacks – and benefit from them.
Ain’t politics great?
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# dap916
Friday, October 14, 2011 4:21 PM
I'm finding myself in an unusual situation, Gary. I totally agree with ya here. I've been a county campaign manager (Gene Johnston back in the '80's) I licked enough envelopes that I thought my lips would be stuck to my tongue. But, they did the same thing in Alamance and Guilford and he won. Sure, other things came into play, but as you say, there are things you can say in a direct mailing that can't/shouldn't be said on the airwaves or in newspapers...the internet wasn't a big deal back then :-).

Good advice.

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