The Del Norte County Republican Party (DNCRP) became aware of mailers sent by Voter Guide Slate Cards (VGSC) when a Republican voter brought in a similar slate mailer, which was targeted to “Crescent City Republicans.” The Republican targeted mailer included the Democratic candidate for U.S Senator and Democratic supported propositions that the DNCRP opposed.
As a for-profit-company, VGSC charges candidates and proposition committees to be on their slate mailer. The mailers are directed towards Democratic or Republican voters, and are paid advertisements that any non-partisan candidate can subscribe to. However, VGSC is not a product of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, it is a paid advertisement no different from The Del Norte Triplicate. In addition, candidates run their own campaign advertisements independently from the DNCRP.
In 2014, a similar targeted mailer was sent to Republicans in Del Norte County. The mailer featured the Republican Logo without the permission of the state party which was a trademark infringement. The California Republican Party (CRP) notified multiple firms who were issued a cease and desist order from using the logo in future mailings. Due to these types of mailers, the DNCRP distributes Official Endorsement mailers each election. A copy of the November 2016 endorsement mailer can be found at www.delnorterepublicans.org.
For-profit direct mailers have been around for over 25 years. It is a shame that The Del Norte Triplicate decided to feature this story now, 3 days before the election, without having adequate time for the candidates to respond.
In addition, these are nonpartisan races. Local Candidates are not representatives of just local Republicans or just local Democrats. Local Candidates are representatives of their Districts, not the parties they are registered to. As such, it shouldn’t matter to The Del Norte Triplicate what party candidates belong to as long they represent the people of their communities. By candidates reaching out to all voters in their districts, Republicans and Democrats, they are truly acting nonpartisan as they should.
However, The Del Norte Triplicate was divisive in their coverage as they implied partisanship and unethical conduct in these nonpartisan races. To criticize the company who create such mailers is appropriate. To criticize the nonpartisan candidates in buying advertisements to reach all voters is hypocritical.
The DNCRP believe all voters should have all options and be informed voters on November 8th.
For more information on DNCRP endorsed candidates and propositions, visit www.delnorterepublicans.org or on our Facebook page “Del Norte Republicans.”