Democrats fume over election endorsement flier
An official-looking endorsement flier mailed to Glenn County voters has local Democrats upset.
The mailer purports to be a Democrat Election Education Guide urging voters to support a number of state and local candidates in the June 8 primary election.
However, the Glenn County Democratic Central Committee and Glenn County Democrats Club do not endorse nonpartisan races, officials said.
Neil Farrell, chairman of the Glenn County Central Committee, sent out a letter stating the mailer is not supported by his committee.
A disclaimer at the bottom of the document states it is not printed by an official political party organization. Instead, it is printed by a group or company called Election Education Guide with a Burbank post office box number.
But the format claims to be featuring every statewide candidate and proposition endorsed by the California Democratic Party, which local Democrats say is untrue.
The flier includes Tracey Quarne for the Glenn County Superintendent of Schools, Jolleen Whitsett for Glenn County Assessor/Clerk Recorder and Bob Maloney for Glenn County District Attorney.
"What flagged us is we do not and never have endorsed any candidate for non-partisan positions,'' Byron Denton, a member of the Glenn County Democrats Club, said Thursday.
He said an Orland resident recently brought the mailer to him and he took it to Farrell.
"If you read it, it looks like it is an endorsement," Denton said, but the company or organization is getting money to do it.
Another similar mailer came out Wednesday, Denton said, but also has nothing to do with the Democratic Party.
Farrell's letter said the flier is not paid for by any Democrat running for state or federal office.
"As stated above, this committee does not support Quarne, Whitsett, Maloney ... (or any other local candidates) even though the mailer makes it appear that the Democrats do support these candidates."
Quarne said Thursday, "I don't know how the organization works. They called and said they wished to endorse me and there would be a slight charge."
That was about six weeks ago, he said, and he just received a $100 bill for postage, which for a campaign is pretty inexpensive.
Quarne said he was told between 2,000 to 2,500 mailers would be sent out.
To his knowledge, Quarne said neither the Democratic or Republican parties has endorsed any local non-partisan candidates.
Whitsett said she also was called and e-mailed by the group or company about six weeks ago. However, the representative told her it was an advertisement in an election education guide or "slate mailer" to be sent to both Independent and Democratic women voters.
"They told me I could do an ad with 30 words for $220," she said. "I e-mailed the information to my campaign people and they said it was a good price."
However, the format was "unexpected," Whitsett said. She got calls about it Monday and it surprised her since she is a Republican. She added she had no idea it would be presented as a party mailer.
The office she is seeking is nonpartisan, but Whitsett said she understands why Democrats could be unhappy.
Also listed on the mailer is Democrat Ray Hennemann who is seeking nomination as a write-in candidate for the state Assembly's 2nd District.
Glenn County Elections staff confirmed Thursday Hennemann is qualified as a "write-in" candidate.
Other candidates listed include a number of big names like Jerry Brown for governor, Debra Bowen, secretary of state and Dave Jones for insurance commissioner. U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer is listed on it along with some propositions.
Calls to the Election Education Guide office were not returned Thursday.