"Spotlight Is Cast on Paid Endorsements" (Oct. 11) hits the nail right on the head. As any candidate for office or elected official knows, money is the "mother's milk" of a successful campaign, and slate mailers can spell the difference between victory and defeat.
When I first ran for office (L.A. County assessor) in 1990, I was inexperienced in the political arena. In large part, slate mailers and political tabloids on which I paid to be included contributed to my victory. Certainly, having the name Kenneth Hahn helped as well. One tabloid put out by a U.S. congressman featured me (for a price) and displayed a photo with both Supervisor Kenneth Hahn and then-City Atty. James K. Hahn with the caption, "Carrying on in the Hahn tradition."
In subsequent reelection campaigns, the money I raised went mainly to buying as many slate mailers as my campaign manager could lock me into. And federal and local politicians issued a good number of these. It didn't matter about my political affiliation; I bought slates attributed to Democrats and Republicans as well as organizations -- and they worked! After all, not many voters knew about the county assessor, and others just didn't care. Nonetheless, my name was on mailers and they went to a high percentage of the electorate. I got a lot of "bang for my buck" and was reelected twice more.
Kenneth P. Hahn
L.A. County Assessor (Ret.)
Thanks to Bill Simon, I now have a new, foolproof voting strategy for election day. I will make it a point to vote for candidates who had enough integrity not to pay big bucks for a spot on the dreaded California Organization of Police and Sheriffs endorsement mailer.
Re "Davis Appointees Give $12 Million to Campaign," Oct. 13: Why would anyone be surprised at the connection between political contributions and Gov. Gray Davis' appointments of those individuals to commissions and state boards? The entire state of California is "for sale" to well-heeled Democratic supporters. And corruption on a major scale is certain to follow as our one-party state breeds total arrogance in these Democratic political leaders.