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Slate mailer misidentifies Laura Richardson as a Republican

November 5, 2012 |  3:04 pm

Deceptive paid slate mailers inevitably pop up in the final days before an election, implying an endorsement where there is none or offering a recommendation on a ballot measure that is  counter to  the position of a  voter’s political party.

But the one sent out  over the weekend by former L.A. Councilman Nate Holden, labeling Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson a Republican, is just plain false.

Richardson is running against fellow Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn in a newly configured district that runs from San Pedro north to South Gate and Lynwood and includes many minority, working-class Democrats.

Richardson  spokeswoman Jasmyne Cannick said both the campaign and congressional offices have been swamped with voters calling to  complain about the mailer, which she called “just wrong and misleading.” 

The mailer lists several offices, ballot style, with recommendations.  Under “United States Representative, 44th District,”  it lists Hahn as a Democrat and Richardson as a Republican and has a check next to Hahn’s name, recommending her to voters.

“This is the kind of dirty politics that illustrates desperation and frustration coming out of the Hahn camp just days before the election,”  Cannick said.

Hahn spokesman Dave Jacobson said the campaign had nothing to do with  the false party label.  It had paid for a place on the mailer but “that was it,” Jacobson said.  “Laura needs to take this up with Nate Holden because our campaign had nothing to do with how she was listed.”

Holden said the error was  unintended and he regretted it.

He said he has remained neutral in the race, even though he once worked for Hahn’s father, the late county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn.

Dozens of campaign consultants, former and current officeholders and others sell space on “slates” sent to voters in the weeks and days leading up to an election.  Most are targeted for specific groups of voters, such as  union households or women; it is not unusual, for example, for a Democrat to pay to be on a slate mailer aimed at Republicans in hopes of getting support from opposite-party voters.

Holden said this slate mailer was sent only to Democrats.


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Photos: Rep. Laura Richardson, left. Credit: Lawrence Jackson / Associated Press

Rep. Janice Hahn, right. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times