"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.