For those who don't know, my "real job" (if anything in radio can be tabbed as a "real job") is as Program Director of two radio stations. One of those stations, WDSM-AM in Duluth, is a talk-radio station that has a lot of political content (we air Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage, along with Imus, among others).
One of the perks of my job is that any e-mail that goes to the address info (at) wdsm.am ends up in my mailbox. As a result, I get a lot of e-mail from publicists, community event organizers, and, unfortunately, politicians.
Among the politicians who are always e-mailing stuff to me (well, to WDSM, but it goes to me) is U.S. Representative Mark Kennedy, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Minnesota Democrat Mark Dayton (insert Dayton-related "How can a vacant seat be vacated?" jokes here). Kennedy seems like a relatively geeky fellow, and he currently trails in the polls to Democratic candidate Amy Klobuchar, an attorney from the Twin Cities.
Anyway, Kennedy's communications director, Anne Mason, likes to send e-mail statements to the media. These statements talk about stances Kennedy has taken on certain issues, votes he has cast in Congress, and about bills he is sponsoring, supporting, or not supporting. So far, thankfully, the KennedyMail hasn't included anything attacking his opponent or the ficticious liberal media.
In the subject line for these e-mails, Mason will summarize what the e-mail is about.
"Kennedy Supports Israel's Right to Defend Itself"
"Kennedy Votes to Prohibit Internet Gambling" --> BOOO, by the way, to this bill...completely unnecessary government intervention - something I thought Republicans hated
"Kennedy Celebrates Ten Years of Personal Independence for Millions of Americans"
Stuff like that. Unfortunately for the Kennedy camp, however, some of this stuff is just ridiculous:
"Kennedy Reacts to Terrorist Attack in India"
"We will continue to oppose those who kill innocent civilians in an attempt to plunge the world into darkness."I'm glad you oppose this, Congressman. I really thought there was a groundswell of support among our elected officials for this type of behavior.
"Kennedy Lauds Positive Economic News"
No kidding. I figured he'd hate the fact that the economy is looking up. Why would you want people to have money??
And my two personal favorites...
"Kennedy Acts to Protect Our Children"
"On the 25th Anniversary of the tragic kidnapping and murder of young Adam Walsh, Congress has sent a clear message that protecting our children from sexual predators remains a top priority."Seriously? I never would have guessed that anyone would want to do this.
You know what? I'm inspired. I would like to state, for the record, that I am in favor of keeping kids from being sexually assaulted. I'm such a great American!
"Kennedy Supports Protecting Children from Online Predators"
"Parents should have the peace of mind to know that their children, when not under their supervision, will be protected from dangerous sexual predators stalking the Internet."That's good, because it frees up the parents to have that threesome they've always wanted to try.
You hear that, parents? You don't have to supervise your kid when s/he's surfing the internet. The government is here to protect them from sexual predators.
What's that? You don't feel better and safer?
Good. Neither do I.
In the interest of fairness, and because I don't want to be seen as just picking on poor Congressman Kennedy, here are some fun e-mails from Rob Vernon, who works for the campaign to elect Republican Mark Green as the new governor of Wisconsin. Sadly, I think I'd like to see current Governor Jim Doyle voted out of office, but I'm not sure the GOP got the right guy to run against him. Anyway, enough of my viewpoints.
I love e-mails like these, too, by the way. Why try to be nice like Congressman Kennedy when you can just go for the throat?
"NEWS RELEASE: Jim Doyle's Dirty Campaign Sets New Low"
“Jim Doyle should stop his dirty campaign, and give the people of Wisconsin a campaign based on issues – not negative, false ads. Unfortunately, it looks like Doyle’s campaign is going to be as negative as his four years as governor.”So in response to an allegedly dirty and negative campaign, I get a dirty and negative e-mail. Thanks, fellas.
"NEWS RELEASE: Dirty Doyle's Campaign Allies Launch Another Untrue Attack Ad"
"The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a shadowy special interestgroup with close ties to Governor Jim Doyle, has launched another false andmisleading television advertisement attacking gubernatorial candidate Mark Green."
"The ad is the exact type of false and misleading advertising that MarkGreen's clean campaign pledge is trying to prevent. Jim Doyle should stop running such a dirty campaign, agree to limit spending, and put the specialinterests on the sidelines where they belong."Such vitriol. Really, is it necessary to stoop to the level that you accuse Doyle of stooping to? I mean, at least Doyle's camp isn't sending out these stupid e-mails at least once a day.
Really, do you think that this kind of stuff is what the voters want? I know that there are polls that state that voters are more apt to respond to negative advertising, but that's because the only non-negative advertising that ever makes it to TV, radio, or newspaper are the ads where the candidate trots out their spouse and family to show how much s/he loves the family and is all about the family.
And no one wants to watch some random 12-year-old girl try to tell us that Dad would make a good Senator because he drives her to all the soccer and softball games and took her to a concert once just to spend time with her.
(No, I'm not trying to tell you campaigners to stop sending out mass e-mails. I'd rather you did that than stuck some flyer to the knob of my front door or under my windshield wiper. Actually, keep the e-mails coming, because after a long morning of work, it's neat to sit down and get a chuckle or two out of what you think passes as important news.)
I have some important stances, too.
I'm against murder.
I don't like drunk driving.
I am opposed to spousal abuse.
Not a big fan of beating kids.
I am in favor of putting felons in jail.
I think education is important.
I am 100% opposed to terrorists.
Remind me in October that I was already complaining in July. Because even though the Presidency isn't up for grabs, it's going to be a long election season, considering that the pain has already started. Buckle up.
(Oh, and I'm in favor of seat belts, too. Almost forgot about that critical issue.)