goddamn fucking election junk mail shit fuck

Look, I want to restore oversight to government, and I’m cheering for the Democrats to regain control of at least one house of Congress, so I’ve actually been looking forward to this election since the last disastrous one was over. . . but I have really had enough with the goddamn commercials, the signage spam everywhere I turn, and the fucking goddamn direct mail bullshit.

Especially the fucking goddamn direct mail bullshit.

Today, I got 26 pieces of mail, and all but seven pieces were those goddamn political mailers. (After culling out the rest of the junk, I had 2 bits of real mail: a bill and a reminder from my vet.)

Luckily for me, this is the first election in years where I haven’t been harassed by phone calls and push polls, but it’s not going to take very much to send me to the top of a metaphorical tower with a metaphorical rifle; if some Republican campaign sends me one more fucking mailer (I’m a Democrat, you douchebags!) I swear to god, I’m going to save them up, take them to Republican headquarters, and shove them up someone’s ass.

18 Replies to “goddamn fucking election junk mail shit fuck”

  1. At least bulk mail subsidizes first class mail, and doesn’t interrupt me. It’s the phone calls that drive me crazy. All those people that aren’t calling you this year… they’re calling me instead.

  2. I second Dave’s thoughts – a phone call from any candidate or issue is more likely to influence my vote against, not for, them.

    As for the mail – does anyone read that crap anyway? What a waste of donor’s money?

  3. Direct mail is the single most effective tool for making contact with a voter. Because people look at their mail. Even if it’s just a glance as it passes from your hands to the circular file.

    It’s really hard to advocate for a candidate or issue these days. People don’t want to talk to you on the phone. They don’t want you knocking on their doors. They don’t want a sign in their yard. And they certainly won’t volunteer to do any of phoning, walking, or sign-sticking.

    Deal with the mail. Enjoy the chance to see the other side’s hit pieces – lots of people don’t. If you’re getting both mail you’ve either given money to or attended an event for a Republican at some time in your life, or you’re registered as the noble and popular “Decline to State” which means both sides want your vote BADLY.

    Push polling calls are dasterdly indeed. In the next week, however, you’ll probably be getting GOTV calls – which, as you probably know, stands for “Get Out The Vote.” Those calls come from really tired, malnutritioned and probably soon to be heartbroken voluteers who really just want you to vote. Don’t give them shit. They probably aren’t getting paid and if they are Dems, are probably going to wake up pretty sad on October 8.

    So again, deal with the damn mail. Get over it and toss it, or maybe read it and then toss it. Or donate it to your local high school’s civics classes for study. But don’t cuss it out.

  4. I’ve never gotten a GOTV call from a live person. From robots by the butt-load. And when the robot calls my cell phone and uses my minutes I get angry.

  5. I have a question about a piece of mail I got today, though. It’s called “Voter Information Guide For Democrats” and has Di Fi’s picture on it. While it contains a notice that this is a private mailing not affiliated with any political party organization and that most of the candidates and positions listed are paid ads, it never actually says who sent it. Does anybody know?

    And the state proposition recommendations look like crap, BTW. I wish I knew who paid for them.

    And

  6. Disclosure laws for slate mailers – the kind you received that are made to look very official – can vary based on jurisdiction and are widely criticized for their lack of info on source and funding. There are hundreds in every city as well. Without seeing it, hard to say where it came from or who paid for it. But it’s a big money industry. The laws that require candidates to tag their own productions don’t apply to Joe MakeSomeMoneyPrinters so you’re right to raise an eyebrow.

  7. AP: I got the same thing today. If you look closely, it says it’s paid for by the people inside that are marked with an asterisk – Daviann Mitchell, Janis Levart Barquist, Yes on “H”, and Bob Henry. The recommendations on the propositions are actually quite different from the Democratic party’s endorsements (for example, the Dems support Prop. 87).

  8. CD makes a lot of good points that I mostly agree with, for what it’s worth. GOTV is going to make a huge difference in this election, and I’m hoping that the good guys have a better GOTV operation than the bad guys.

    The direct mail still drives me crazy, and I won’t apologize for that.

    I will, however, vote on election day, and encourage everyone I know to vote, as well.

  9. Direct mail has the complete opposite effect on me, I’ll actually not vote for people for the sole reason they sent me something or worse called my house. I have a very adverse reaction to anyone trying to tell me how to vote on anything. A great side effect of being a registered independent is no one calls or sends you anything. It’s once you commit to a party that people start trying to change your mind I guess.

  10. I always liked those who proclaim their love of the environment while destroying it by sending multiple copies of the same pamphlet over a few days.

  11. Edward: Yes! Why is this not possible? Don’t citizens have some say over the US Postal Service?

    And as for election spam, I think it’s a good thing. While I might not personally enjoy it, let us remember that voter turnout is less than we’d like. I’m for anything that gets Americans into a headspace of “I have to vote.” There’s the story of Mark Osterloh who is pushing a voter initiative in Arizona, suggesting that you can get more people to vote if you put their voter receipt into a hopper for a chance at a million bucks. While it may not be legal, at least it is an idea. So if bulk election mail is wasted on some, if it increases voter turnout at all, then I’ll take the hit for the team.

  12. I use spam blocker for unwanted e-mail, how do I install mail blocker for unwanted snail mail?

    You can opt out via the Direct Marketing Association but I think that non-profits are exempt (as they are for the national do-not-call list) and also it only applies to mailers who are members of the DMA. Still, check out this page for more info.

    Here’s the FTC’s page on unsolicited marketing (mail, phone and email).

  13. Sean – I think your take on direct mail and campaigning is kind of sad. While there are some out there who only “campaign” because they are paid too and don’t know much about the issues or the people past what a script handed to them says – many, many more are just people passionate about their issues who want a chance to discuss things with you. You can say no, hang up, toss the mailer, etc, but to pull the excuse of going against them just because they ask – well, few things make this activist’s blood boil faster or harder.

    These people aren’t “telling” you how to vote – they’re asking for your vote. They’ll end their conversation by saying “So, can I count on your support on November 7?” The request or the question shouldn’t piss you off – you know you can say no, or refuse to answer, or say yes, etc.

    And once you commit to a party – no one will try to change your mind, you won’t get mail from the other party, you’ll get mail from your own reminding you to vote, explaining how its candidates support the same views you do because they share your party (or you may read the mail and decide they don’t). Trust me, campaigns do NOT waste time wooing the other side in partisan races. As Wil said, GOTV determines races. Trying to swing someone is harder than convincing someone who agrees with you to get the hell to the polls on Election Day.

    The hopeful spirit of true political activism has become so lost these days I fear for the future. Cut people some slack and open your mind as well as your mail.

  14. CD – did you read Wil’s post above? He’s a Democrat and he’s getting Republican mailers. My landlord is a republican and there are democrat mailers in my my box every day addressed to him. So I think you are mistaken.

    And you don’t have to like my reaction to this unwelcome intrusion, but that’s the way I feel about it. I’m not a fan of activism in general, and that’s my right.

  15. Sean – it depends how the person is registered. Though you’d think people who say “I’m a Democrat” or “I’m a Republican” would have ticked the corresponding box on their forms – not always the case. Also – all it takes is visiting the wrong website or inadvertantly sticking your info on the wrong list and – poof – you get stuff from the other side (especially if your other demographic indicators imply you could swing the other way). There is always *some reason* you’d get the other party’s mail. That stuff isn’t cheap, so it isn’t often wasted on blind mailing.

    You’re right, it is your right to feel however you want about activism or volunteers’ attempts to educate you and invite them to join in a particular cause or for a particular candidate. Of course, you can’t blame people for wanting to have you on their side. Clearly you’re politically knowledgable – and, as the founder and president of the Eric Garcetti fan club, not to mention of this site, guess what, you’re an activist too.

    I just find it sad that you’d dismiss anyone who attempted to contact you about a candidate or proposal. Perhaps it was just said in such a blanket manner for effect, but I’d rather you just say “no thank you” to the callers, walkers, and mail-senders, and not use them or their efforts as a reason specifically to vote against something.

  16. If Sean doesn’t like activism in general, then what’s his favored method of changing something you don’t like?

    I’m all with CD on this one. I don’t like the mailers either, but I’ve also been on the other side where I’ve gone door knocking, phone-banked, registered people to vote, worked on GOTV, and been crushed the day after elections. It was all voluntary, and most of the people I met were happy I was there to get them registered or tell ’em about a candidate running in their district.

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