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
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.
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