Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Van Tran Sends Out Scratch-and-Sniff Mailer

At the Fresno Bee:

Something stinks in the 47th Congressional District race.

Republican candidate Van Tran has sent voters a scratch-and-sniff mail piece taking aim at Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

"Something smells rotten about Loretta – it's the stench of Washington," the mailer reads.

Wrote one Capitol Alert reader who received the mailer: "It is a horrible odor – like a combination of five or six of the worst possible scents you can imagine."

Carl Costas (photo at left) and Jay Mather Bee file Democrat Ami Bera, left, and Republican Rep. Dan Lungren will tangle in their only debate of the election campaign this morning on radio station KQED. They're competing to represent the 3rd Congressional District.

The mailer was designed by Ryan Clumpner, a former California Republican campaign operative and legislative staffer who now works for the Missouri-based Axiom Strategies.

"It's definitely eye-catching when you have all sorts of mail pieces in the last couple of weeks," Tran campaign manager George Andrews said.

The Sanchez campaign found the mailer's smell and approach nauseating. "Talk about bad taste," Sanchez spokeswoman Caroline Hogan wrote in an e-mail. "While our opponent is busy spamming voters with ill-smelling mailers, Rep. Sanchez is talking about the issues that matter to Orange County families."

Tran isn't the only candidate making an olfactory appeal. Republican Carl Paladino, the tea party candidate running for New York governor, has mailed out fliers that smell like garbage to make a point about corruption in Albany.