To all those folks calling up election clerks and demanding (rudely, in some cases) to know why only the Democratic candidate in the Nov. 3 10th Congressional District special election has a statement in the ballot pamphlet, here is the scoop: Republican nominee David Harmer did not submit one and Democrat Lt. Gov. John Garamendi did.
Harmer’s campaign manager Mike Caporusso says they made a strategic decision to spend the $6,600 elsewhere. (Update 10/13/09: I failed to note that the $6,600 cost is for Contra Costa County only. Combined with the filing fees in Solano, Alameda and Sacramento counties, the cost exceeded $10,000. It’s also worthing mentioning that the deadline to file and pay for the candidate statement for the Nov. 3 runoff election was Aug. 7, almost a month prior to the Sept. 1 primary election. In other words, candidates had to pay for the statement before they knew they would even appear on the Nov. 3 ballot. However, the losing candidates in the primary received a refund of any money paid for the Nov. 3 ballot statement.)
Yes, that’s how it works. You can stop harassing the election clerks now.
Candidates may submit statements for inclusion in the ballot pamphlet but the candidates — not the taxpayers — have to pay their share of the printing costs.
Most candidates view the statement as a relatively cheap means by which to communicate with every registered voter, especially when compared with the cost of sending out an individual mail piece.
The Harmer camp says they can spend that money more effectively through other forms of communication. What forms? They won’t say.
Harmer did include a ballot statement in the primary special election where he needed to distinguish himself in the large field of Republicans seeking the nomination.
We’ll find out soon enough if their strategy works.