Much has been made of the Democrats’ use of slate mailers in Irvine elections, but as this election shows, Republicans know how to use the post office too.
Slate mailers funded in part by members of the conservative Lincoln Club have launched biting attacks on Democratic council candidates Larry Agran and Shiva Farivar, and congressional candidate and sitting Councilwoman Beth Krom.
The mailers, distributed by the Voters for Responsible Government slate mailer committee, are a counter to the Voter Assistance Guide, the latest incarnation of a slate mailer that Irvine Democrats have used for multiple election cycles.
The Republican mailer focuses on the current council majority’s spending philosophy, while the Democrats’ mailer goes after Republican council candidate Jeff Lalloway’s character.
The Voters for Responsible Government mailer charges the Democrats with “Waist full” spending of the council majority and say Farivar’s victory would amount to a “rubber-stamp” vote. The mailer calls out Agran for spending millions on a Great Park “that doesn’t exist” and on “Buses That No One is Using,” a reference to the Irvine Shuttle.
Just a couple of days after that slate mailer hit city mailboxes, the slate mailer promoting Democratic council candidates sent out a hit-piece on Lalloway and put up a website critical of the candidate’s past.
The website claims that Lalloway is unfit for office because of alleged defaults on a student loan and a personal loan. The site also says Lalloway was disingenuous when he listed himself as an “Irvine businessman” instead of a divorce lawyer on the ballot.
The duel has also taken an interesting twist, with Agran raising questions about potential impropriety on the part of the slate mailer promoting Republicans.
Agran questioned the slate mailer’s relationship with the Lincoln Club of Orange County given that Lalloway is a member of the club’s board of directors. It is illegal for a candidate to have editorial control over a mailer.
The accusation is ironic given that many of Agran’s critics have accused him of controlling past slate mailers and even of ghost-writing them.
Lalloway emphatically denied having control over any of the content of the slate mailers promoting his candidacy.