I saw a post on social media over the weekend from a local politician.  She explained statewide mass mailing for a campaign can cost as much as 70,000 dollars.  While it may sound steep, I’m sure it’s costly.  First, there’s the graphic design, the glossy paper, and the collection of addresses on a mailing list, which most campaigns purchase.  On a local level, the cost for a legislative district could range in the thousands of dollars.

Does Mailing Work?

Is mass mailing effective?  If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be drowning in political mailings.  An acquaintance of mine, Craig Shirley, was a long-time business partner of Richard Viguerie, one of the pioneers of politically driven direct mailing.  Viguerie focused on even more concentrated mailing, tracking motivated voters and personal candidate preferences.  He helped in bringing about the conservative revolution in the early 1980s.

Despite the money being spent on these glossy and often creative mailings, many are buried in landfills in Cassia County and were never even read by a potential voter.  I’ve seen recycling bins filled with mailings next to an array of mailboxes.

Donors Cover the Costs

The cost of maintaining a modern political campaign is steep.  Large donations are in many cases a legalized form of bribery.  When a candidate says large donors get no special consideration, you can be sure the candidate is a bald-faced liar.  Donors don’t give candidates money because they like the looks of a politician.  Money is a guarantee someone will look after your interests.  It’s why you often see large donors giving to candidates in both parties.

We’re just an afterthought.

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