(From the diaries. This is definitely a great campaign innovation, and used to fantastic effect given the subject matter it features -- kos)
Today I opened up what I thought would be an ordinary campaign mailer, only to hear the voice of our infamous local Republican Congressman Wally Herger,CA-02, praising a self-proclaimed "Right Wing Terrorist" as a "Great American."
See and hear this unique campaign mailpiece for yourself:
Transcript and back story below the fold:
UPDATE: Jed Lewison, of DailyKos TV engineered better sound for this clip. For better sound quality watch it here.
The Democratic candidate for Northern California's Second Congressional District Jim Reed narrates the following when you open the card:
In a recent townhall meeting in Redding, California, a man stood up and declared,
Man: "And I want to say I'm a proud right wing terrorist!"
Shockingly, Republican Congressman Wally Herger responded,
Herger: "AMEN, God bless you, now that's a great American!"
(Crowd cheers and whoops)
MSNBC's Keith Olberman named Herger The Worst Person In the World:
Olbermann: "You're a U.S. Congressman, damn it! You're not entitled to serve as Redding's dog catcher, let alone to serve in the House of Representatives!"
Join me, Jim Reed, and join our campaign to take back California's second Congressional district. Help us send the message the right wing terrorism should not be applauded. Help us end Wally Herger's reign.
I instantly got on the phone and contacted Jim Reed's campaign manager, Crystal Martin, who was relieved by my praise for the mailer after just fielding a negative phone call. "After 23 years of Wally Herger's reign we felt we needed something to get people's attention," she said. Well, this talking card, the first ever sent out by a political campaign, certainly does make some noise. I'm hoping Keith Olbermann gets wind of it! Although the sound quality is undeniably tinny, when you first open the card the sheer novelty of a talking card that isn't made by Hallmark initially grabs your attention. Hearing town hall craziness effectively and unexpectedly used against the Republican who openly praised it is deeply satisfying.
This is brilliant, and I hope to see this kind of audio-visual approach used in more campaign mailers. The more Wally Herger's, or any Republican's crazy talk is repeated aloud, in their own voices, the more we can rub their noses in it.
Yes indeed, those of us progressives who live in WallyWorld nearly despaired when Jeff Morris, riding the Obama bounce in Chico, still couldn't oust the conservative Republican. Herger's base is deep, and he can easily raise millions of dollars for his campaigns.
Even more depressing than Herger's re-election was his participation in last August's town halls, where he infamously praised the self-proclaimed "proud right wing terrorist." I thought to myself, if the next Democrat who runs against Herger doesn't smack him repeatedly with this like a wet trout to the face it's political malpractice.
And now someone has the guts to throw Herger's words back at him with the most innovative political mailer I've ever encountered.
Campaign manager Crystal Martin is hopeful, saying "California’s second congressional district is the majority of Northern California, and is a perceived Republican stronghold. But the party numbers are almost 50/50 now, and we’re going to make the noise needed to win this election."
The mailer doesn't just rely on the voice gimmick to get your attention. While I've never heard of Jim Reed, the first plank of his campaign would make any progressive happy:
Jim supports health care reform that ensures affordability for families and access for all, not a bailout for insurance companies.
A mailer like this can't be cheap, so feel free to show some love at Act Blue.
(Oh, and Markos, Jim Reed is also an avid bicyclist!)