Rating the Most Recent Mailings

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Rating the Most Recent Mailings

Golly! The political mailings timed for Friday and Saturday delivery throughout Southamp­ton Town were unprecedented in my recollec­tion, and while several have observed that the short-term memory at my age bites the big one, the long-term is still pretty good. Not even in the hard-fought three-way race of 1971 where firematic icon "Dode" Hulse took the Conserva­tive line to prevail against the GOP's Roy Wines and Democrat Bill Maloney, were letter-carriers as burdened as they have been this year.

Some of the giant postals... only the Justice candidates seem to be sending out letters... and simply more of the same ol' some ol', but several are noteworthy, starting with one of several from the Southampton Town Democratic Party:

Southampton Town Democratic Party mailing

This one is simple, eye-catching, and (finally) goes to unerringly to the most vulnerable part of the present Administration's soft underbelly, the "Big Deception" of Republican-in-Conser­vative-drag Patrick "Skip" Heaney's "lowest tax rate in Suffolk County, a re­duc­tion of 4%" bull-roar about which I've been railing since his first "lawn gnome" mailer appeared on October 8th... and, a-hem, which was referred to in this blog as "'Tax Rate Down 4%' hocus-pocus" back on October 22nd.

Conventional wisdom is that success with any decent strategy, be it politics or Weight­Watchers, is, for best results, to "work the plan." Democratic Supervisor candidate Jim Henry started off strong with a wickedly effective mailer which skewered both his major opponents, Mr. Heaney and Councilwoman Linda Kabot who had prevailed in the September 18th GOP primary contest for Supervisor.

Mr. Henry continued to "work the plan" in subsequent mailings, but to lesser effect, even when Mr. Heaney gave him an exquisite opportunity to cut the legs right out from beneath his desperate attempt to stay in office.

Hey! If you're on a Special Forces reconnais­sance mission in Tora Bora and you spot Osama Bin Laden unexpectedly pop out of a cave to take the air, you gotta take the shot!

With a perfect opportunity to put a devastating salvo on the Heaney campaign's waterline, the Henry cam­paign plodded along its well-pro­duced but decreasingly effective "the people speak" path, and allowed the incumbent Sup­ervisor to recover from the shock of the Primary loss to Mrs. Kabot, switch printers, and focus on the sole "positive" message his strat­egists could spin:

Lowest tax rate in Suffolk County...
2007 taxes down 4%

That deceptive message left unchallenged, Mr. Heaney stayed his course, focused on smiling and trying to project "the old Skip." He also somehow convinced Assemblyman Fred Thiele (probably not a tough sell there!) and State Senator Ken LaValle to flip the bird to the GOP rank'n'file, and wisely waited for opportun­ities of his own.

And those opportunities came... as Mr. Heaney who has "worked with" Mrs. Kabot for a num­ber of years, knew they would even if he had to help matters along with orchestrating a dawn "raid" on Mrs. Kabot's family farm in Westhampton for maximum media impact in the week before the election.

(The Heaney camp would have been on much thinner ice tying that tin can to Mrs. Kabot's petite derrière had not her hus­band Lance showed up demanding names and badge numbers shortly after the 6:00 am incursion. Her entire cam­paign would have been better served had Mr. Kabot followed Bugs Bunny's 1947 lead: ya "shoulda stood in bed!")

And yes, Mr. Henry's own campaign... not that of the Town Democratic Committee... has made the circum­stances of that code enforce­ment and police action one of the prongs of a mailing attack on Mrs. Kabot. Well-timed, and opportunistic, it demonstrates some late hour flexibility as well as the funding to pull it off.

The other effective and telling mailing which arrived Saturday, courtesy of the Suffolk County Conservative Party which is backing Mr. Heaney, (even to the extent of late night depredations against his opponents' signs):

Suffolk County Conservative Party mailing

Borrowing unabashedly from Dr. Seuss' 1957 classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the giant postal goes after Mr. Henry's published writings and activities with the NYCLU, most of which are farther Left than most in Southamp­ton Town are comfortable with, even with the influx of "Big City Liberal" Democrats.

It's a good mailing piece as it highlights, in addition to Mr. Henry's brief against Christmas on eco-en­viron­mental grounds, his support for hiring halls and housing for illegal immigrants, and his Constitutionally-correct but unpopular activity which angered veterans' groups intent on marching in a 4th of July Parade free of anti-war protesters.

The rest of the mailings were relatively unre­markable, and we can but wait to see what Monday's mail will bring... as well as the stragglers on Election Day itself.

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