Tuesday, October 12, 2004

An interesting e-mail strand about the production of the local Democratic Party's endorsement mailer:

... will do. but this doesn't jive with what you told me yesterday. i asked if the candidates with photos were paying more and you said they were not. and how we solicited funds from these candidates initially is what matters -- not going back to them later and saying some can pay more while others will not, because by then, their funds are spoken for. in the end, even if some candidates paid in a tiered fashion, the point is that we didn't try to differentiate between those who got photos and those who did not. and that is wrong. it is also wrong to tell candidates that we'll do something later (second slate card, doorhanger, etc.) when in fact, there is nothing to indicate that is the case.
i've worked on a lot of these slate cards, melanie (dccc, rfk, plan c). equity is the name of the game as is treating people fairly. it's what makes or breaks your reputation. we've got a black eye on this one. ...

... This is not a totally correct accounting of what happened. In response to Dan's email asking if the prices could be tiered, Leslie asked me to resend out an email to all the candidates asking for a tiered pricing system for 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices since she was trying to be fair. But since she didn't ask me to do this until Friday and many candidates had already responded to my original email which asked for equal amounts, we decided to leave things as they were with a few exceptions (why would we go back to candidates who would pay a certain amount or had already sent checks and ask them to pay less?)Both Leslie and I sent emails to Dan recognizing his concerns and asking him to pay what he felt comfortable. Also, candidates have NOT paid the same amount. In fact, the contributions are ALL across the board based on negotiations with Leslie (list to come shortly). Incidently, District 5 candidates are paying tiered amounts.PLEASE check in with me before responding to anymore emails like this regarding the slate card. If we all have different interpretations of what happened, it will make the committee look even worse. ...

... Long story short, the slate card process simply didn't have one. The slate card committee was never convened; Leslie and the consultants did the card themselve. Regrettably, as a result, one side of the card features photos of all the first ranked candidates and then, in rather small font, it says all endorsed candidates are featured on the flip side (which they are -- with no photos).Sadly, you all paid the same amount of money. According to the e-mail exchange between you and Leslie, she indicates that the photo-featured candidates would pay more. They have not. Nor were they asked to.I'm so sorry about this, Dan. It's very troublesome and incredibly disappointing and unfortunately, reflects badly on this committee. I wouldn't blame you for being angry. I certainly am.But it is what it is. 50,000 absentee pieces are set to go out today or tomorrow, depending on when we collect the pledged money. As for a future doorhanger, I am totally unaware of that and I promise you, so is the slate card committee.Hang in there. And take care. ...

... Dan Kalb wrote: I've been hearing rumors from a couple DCCC members about the DCCC slate card and I wanted to check in with you regarding the design, etc. Below is a string of e-mails between Leslie and me that indicates a change in the design of card. I'm sending you this e-message because I was told that Leslie is out of the country. I obviously don't have any say in this matter and, of course, I do have a self-interest here; but it appears that the slate card design process was changed rather suddenly. Regarding the specific design, I would suggest that at a minimum, both sides of the slate mailer should list all three ranked candidates. Also, if only the top choice candidate gets a photo, that candidate should pay substantially more than the 2nd and 3rd choice candidates. Anyway, I just thought I would call your attention to this matter to make sure someone on the DCCC is guiding the process.All my best,-DK ...

... Hi Leslie,Thanks for the update. Actually, my previous e-message was not a 'suggestion' per se--only a description of what I had thought was already decided upon by you all. I don't have a strong preference and I certainly respect whatever decision you make. I just want to make sure that the money raised is genuinely proportional to the placement/design of the card if the 1st choice candidates are getting significantly more 'play'. I'm fine if you decide to list all of us with the same font style and size, listing 1,2,3, as you indicated in your first message. Thanks again,-Dan

... Re: SF Democratic Party Slate CardActually, we ended up taking your suggestion and accordingly are accepting larger contributions from the 1st ranked choice. We may do a doorhanger that will have the other pictures if we raise any additional funds that allow us to do so. ...

... Dan Kalb wrote: Hi Leslie-I understand what you've decided regarding listing all ranked candidates with the same size font (without any photos--or maybe all choices with photos). If that's the case, I will contribute my fair share. Please let me know what you ultimately decide. Obviously, I would expect all districts to appear in the same manner.Thanks, -Dan ...

... Re: SF Democratic Party Slate CardDan,All three are going to be in the same type, no picture, etc. In reality, that helps a second ranked candidate. We debated over this and this seemed to be most fair. If you would prefer that we highlight Robert, utilize a picture only for him, and reduce the size of your name and do this only in district 5 we can explore that but I would posit that this seemed the fairest approach to the endorsement. Please advise asap as to how you wish to proceed. ...

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