The following arrived in the mail the other day -- maybe you got one too. On the front is an eagle the size of my fist, with giant letters proclaiming VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE in the same font as the official sample ballots. In smaller print, it instructs me to take it to my polling place and use it while voting.
I was suspicious from the start, and confirming my suspicions was the work of 15 seconds on the web: It's a flat-out advertising organ that pays no attention to political stance or even coherence of opinion (I found an example on the web where the two opponents in a race had both paid and were both endorsed).
I dislike advertising that pretends to be something it's not (property-tax adjustment scams, ads that are meant to look like certified mail, and so forth); they're deleterious to a well-ordered society. If a county CFO can fall prey to a Nigerian bank scam, how many poor sods are going to believe these ads' claims and take them as gospel?
As I read the so-called Voter Information Guide, I was all set to be critical of the candidates who paid this dude money (he's some scam artist out of Sherman Oaks, apparently). But then I came to the VOTE, VOTE, VOTE paragraph. Go on, read it carefully. Let me help you.
What I'd like to know is, How does exorcize one's right to vote? The only way I can think of offhand is to commit a felony. Is that really what these candidates want us to do?
Spelling remains perhaps the most reliable means of spam detection (when was the last time you got spam email that was written perfectly? That's right: never). But if I were a school board candidate -- a school board candidate -- I would hesitate to place paid advertising on a slate mailer with spelling mistakes. Some random blogger might think that I had approved the copy beforehand. And if spelling is a reliable means of spam detection, what other forms of imposture can it detect?