Monday, September 17, 2007

Junk mail

The self-proclaimed people’s mayor’s people were out proliferating the people’s mayor’s people-propaganda this weekend, distributing a four-page invite to the people’s mayor’s fish fry Sunday. But rather than going door-to-door she and her supporters prone to doing during the last campaign, they took it upon themselves to use scores of the peoples’ mailboxes without acquiring one of the nifty little people’s stamps most people use to send such literature legitimately.

As any political neophyte will tell you, mailboxes are theoretically the property of the U.S. Postal Service; tampering with them in any way shape or form is often frowned upon by the feds. This is why Uncle Ming will drop off his menus at your doorstep or even on your door knob, but will avoid using your mailbox.

But for some reason, the organization “Friends of Valerie” decided this rule didn’t apply to their campaign and littered scores of west side homes with campaign literature most probably assumed to be legitimate. Sans a bar code, prepaid post mark or address, the peoples’ mayor’s people are in violation of the law, albeit a small one.

Chances are pretty good the Keeniacs were out canvassing in the late afternoon and figured they could save a penny or three by placing the campaign ads in with the mail –they do seem to be spending comparatively little on mailers. John and Jane Doe come home from work in the evening, grab the mail and voila, it’s another campaign ad to join the scores of others coming legitimately through the post office.

This may sound trivial or even inconsequential for many. However, if this becomes a pronounced practice for Kamp Keehn or any other candidate for that matter, city residents can look forward to finding even more of this land-fill fodder cluttering the channels of regular mail. Even the legitimate mailers are quite the burden. There’s no way to stop them from coming in the mail other than contact each individual candidate themselves during a particular election cycle.

There’s also a bit of irony here, especially for the good mayor and her “green initiatives” pitch she made through a certain shaky film maker this summer. Ultimately, these mailers as well as the campaign signs cluttering every last piece of road frontage in the city proper, will end up in the same place: the back of a trash truck en route to a landfill. In the very best case scenario, winning candidates might be able to reuse their road signs two years from now; something that Keehn obviously isn’t doing judging by her newly adopted “people’s mayor” moniker.

What would be interesting and unique in city politics is a candidate that touts a green platform and then swears off using these mailers or signs as trademarks of their campaign. Theoretically speaking, it wouldn’t be a difficult thing to do. Seldom is there a voter that bases their decision on how many signs they see around town.

And if the candidate really wants to get their message out, they can simply pay a visit door-to-door on their weekends and spare time. It seems to work fairly well for the Mormons.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not the first time McTygue/Boyd fanatics like you are raising false issues in order to avoid talking about substance. The Keehn campaign materials were left in doors, under doormats, etc. --- not in mailboxes. This is a false charge. Get a grip - such false trivia! You must be one of the good old boys who just wants cronyism to prevail again, but I predict Keehn will win tomorrow. Most people don't want to go back to the cronyism of yesteryear. There are 2 great pro-Val letters in the Saratogian today! Read them!

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho Ratio: Junk Mail indeed. No, DESPERATE JUNK MAIL. “THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING” as the incumbent told Channel 13 news today at 6:00 PM.

In 2005 we were told that she would “fight to keep Saratoga Springs a small, vibrant, affordable and livable city”, yet today with the help of her two Public Safety Commissioners she intends to BANKRUPT the city and increase taxes on its citizens to build a bloated facility that is not, simply, FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE.

The Pudding, as the Mayor stated on TV news 13 is that her opponent has not provided the information that would substantiate a claim of a 30% tax increase. Her colleagues on the City Council, the Accounts Commissioner and the Finance Commissioner concur with her opponent. That, she doesn’t understand their fiduciary roles is, in large part, THE PROBLEM. She “listens” to the wrong people.

Before voting tomorrow, make some popcorn and watch the candidates’ debate. It really is Priceless.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO: I know you're not a lawyer - you only play one on the internet - but it would be interesting if you could cite or quote the law you claim makes it illegal for campaign literature to be affixed to the outside of a mailbox. It would enlighten those of us who believe the first amendment right to freedom of expression is more important than the Postal Service's interest in telling everybody what they can do and can't do.

Maybe it was the same law Bullethead Franck - another wannabe lawyer - was shouting about last year when he tried to get the Postal Service interested in his wacky theory that it was illegal to mail charter reform information to city voters.

And where did you get the idea that political handouts and mailers all wind up in a landfill? Did you forget that recycling paper is mandatory in Saratoga County? That's what most residents of Saratoga Springs do with paper they don't want - they throw it in the recycling bin, not in the landfill.

By the way, the primary election is over. After 8 months of his campaign of lies, voters are finally giving Gordon Boyd a resounding "NO!"

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You have lost it now. You are out of touch with any campaign.
If you don't like the mayor, that is your opinion. But to say that these tactics are foolish you are losing credibility. Every candidate here or in all elections nationwide rely on door to door distribution. The US mail fails in a variety of ways such as cost, wrong addresses, new residents, impersonal approaches etc.. It is far more complicated than you make it. I enjoy reading this blog, but take a deep breath. The primary is here in 12 hours. Wait for the onslaught in October!

7:00 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Anonymous Numero Uno: There’s nothing false about that claim. They placed campaign literature in mailboxes on the west side without post marks, without bar codes and without addresses, which is illegal. As I’ve already espouse, even political novices should be cognizant of this. If you need further proof, I dare you to try the following exercise: take a handful of flyers with your name and contact information printed on them, distribute them throughout area mailboxes and see how quick it is until the postmaster gives you a not-so-friendly jingle. The Keehniacs were astute on this one, because they hit the mailboxes on a weekend and after the mail had already been delivered.

Still, my point is this: these mailers are a waste of time, money, and…well…they’re just a waste. I would gladly vote for any candidate –perhaps even Keehn –if they held true to swearing off campaign signs and literature.

Anonymous Trois: And I suppose you’re Perry Mason. But to humor your augmenting sarcasm, take this excerpt from the Feds themselves: “Mailboxes are protected by federal law, and crimes against them and the mail they contain are considered a federal offense. Violators can be fined or imprisoned for each act of vandalism.”

True, placing a junk literature in mailboxes doesn’t rise to the level of federal crime, but it is an invasive practice of which the postmaster certainly prohibits. And if you think there’s something “First Amendment” about placing unsolicited advertisements inside someone’s private mailbox, please forward me of your address; I’ve got a few things to fill it with.

Anonymous Four: Door-to-door distribution is fine; knock, and if the person answers, hand them a flyer. This is reasonable. In fact, I give the utmost credit to candidates that do this, especially if they show up in person instead of sending a lacky. What I’m trying to say is that politics has become intensely impersonal; hence why there are so many vitriolic and deeply personal attacks forwarded by candidates. If candidates relied a bit more on their own feet and savvy to get elected, maybe we’d have someone in office that would get something done.

But instead, voters get a mailbox full of dog shit, lawns filled campaign signs that make the city look like a giant flee market and enough rhetoric between the two to fill a garbage dump. It’s a lazy candidates approach and one they all use increasingly more these days, as the politicians lose touch with the public.

And lastly, to both one and three: what gives you the notion that I support Boyd OR McTygue? Only a fool would mistake the frequent criticism of an overtly inept mayor as a tacit endorsement of her political opponents.


9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I delivered Keehn campaign literature on the west side, I know this is a complete hoax. How low can you go? Pretty low it appears. Rumor mongering to promote your biases, while you stay cowardly anonymous in all your trivial pontifications. But I am starting to suspect I know who you really are.

5:53 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Then you must have been the one to violate the law; you must be the reason I can take a stroll over there and FIND Keehn’s bullshit literature callously dumped on the ground. It’s funny how you can make this claim, yet I’ve received more than one of these complaints from west side residents.

Tell me, oh great distributer of campaign literature, how did you deliver this nonsense? Did you hand them to residents? Place them under doormats like cheep Chinese food menus? And then riddle me this, Batman; how did these flyers end up all over the place? Let me guess –one of McTygue’s lackeys found this hand-out and then placed it in mailboxes around the city, and then contacted my site to do a blog about, all the while paying me top dollar. See, this what you people do best while proselytizing for this mayor: point blame and call names.

Blame McTygue’s bullying. Blame ‘the old guard’ for running Keehn’s name through the muck, blame Boyd for being McTygue’s groupie, blame “bullethead” Franck for being in bed with both. Blame, blame, blame. Even when you’re wrong, you still point blame, even though the one person you should be blaming is your cherished candidate, who squandered the first chance in decades for this city to have cooperation on the board to get things done. Instead, this childish blame game has again dead-locked this city another two years and has literally decimated the Democratic party.

As for your own ‘intimidation’ tactics, your “rumor mongering to promote your biases” while staying “cowardly anonymous in all your trivial pontifications,” feel free to take it to another Web site, maybe one of the content-lacking Keehn Web sites. You and fellow supporters of this vapid candidate had your time in the spotlight, squandered it worse than any group in recent times, and in a few short months, you’ll have your brief footnote in the history books. Good riddance. As the age-old proverb goes: don’t let the door hit you on the ass...

Cheers and happy Primary Day!

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous #5...

"Rumor mongering to promote your biases, while you stay cowardly anonymous in all your trivial pontifications. But I am starting to suspect I know who you really are."

those are big words coming from a poster named "anonymous".

i hope the Keehniacs are listening right now, because i'm going to say something worth paying attention to: i'm on the outside looking in when it comes to this primary. i'm a registered republican who staunchly believes in voting on the issues, not along party lines. but if i found myself in a position to vote in this primary, i'd honestly be voting for Boyd. this vote would be based, in large part, on my complete and utter distaste for the way Val Keehn and her supporters whine, bitch, moan, name-call, and point fingers so incessantly and childishly.

i'm with HO on this. i don't support either candidate... Boyd didn't win my vote, Keehn LOST it. you guys can thank yourselves for that. (VK can thank you guys for that, too, next month when she's running on the Independant ticket.)

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANY PREDICTIONS in today's primary?

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO: Your relentless attacks on Mayor Keehn really had a big impact.

You managed to hold her down to 65% of the vote!

Can you spell L-A-N-D-S-L-I-D-E?

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a registered Dem. I thought about sitting it out today but I went and voted against Keehn for these reasons: Her handlers should have let Hank K. run back then and not have started this schism, Demonizing McTygue (Tommy M. might be a jerk but he was the lone Democrat and contradictory voice in this city for years), Trying to grease the cop vote with a proposed 17 mil. budget, Trying to smear Boyd with national issues relating to the Conservative endorsement (it has no effect whatsoever on local politics!), And the biggest offence in my book- consorting with David Bronner (one of the most heinous and hateful cretins I have ever come in contact with!). My parents voted for Keehn as a way to spread out the power structure and I didn't argue with them yet, but come the real election I will be making the argument, not for Boyd, but against Keehn. My demographic by the way: Male, white, 39, barely an east-sider, B.A., blue collar, son of white collar, resident since 1970. Pax, Philthyrex

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO: The Saratogian website's headline:


8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there you go Mr Johnson----your best case scenario was just handed to you on a silver platter

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What di dboyd spend on mailings and signs $30,000.00?
Keehn spend 7,000.00. Maybe all candidates should do more distribution via the door.

Who was excessive????

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philthyrex (Filthy Rich?): Looks like you're going to get your wish and have a chance to vote for Boyd in the general election, now that he's won the Independence Party primary by a whopping 3 votes.

Of course, you don't have to vote for Boyd on the Independence line. You could make a statement by voting for him on the Conservative Party line, since you don't think it matters in a local election that the Conservative Party has an anti-choice, anti-labor, pro-war platform that calls for restricting a woman's right to choose, halting stem cell research, eliminating workers' pensions, outlawing the use of public funds to preserve open space, and continuing the war in Iraq.

Hve you seen the photos of Boyd with Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich? Why do you think Boyd refuses to account for his whereabouts on the night of the Conservative Parfty's annual dinner where Gingrich was the guest of honor?

By all means, be sure to vote for Boyd and get as many of your friends to vote for him as possible. Every vote for Boyd is a vote that $$cott Johnson won't get.

Results on November 6th:

Valerie Keehn (D): 50%
$$cott johnson (R): 30%
Gordon Boyd (C): 20%

5:44 AM  

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