Paladino’s Direct Mail Offensive: The Letter Campaign

Carl Paladino’s ground offensive–part of a multi-million dollar ad “blitzkrieg“–is officially underway.

A source from Paladino’s camp forwarded a series of letters and glossy flats being sent to Republican primary voters.

One of the more interesting parts of the campaign is that Paladino is sending a lot of letters–in envelopes with a generic Buffalo return address–on stationery that looks like it could belong to Paladino personally. The letters are long–usually clocking in at two-to-three pages–text heavy, and are aimed at older voters for whom sitting down with the day’s mail is an important part of the day. They read like Paladino talks (minus the profanity), with a more polished version of his folksy, bar-room style, like this line to Italian-Americans about the result of high taxes on business:

“That means that on Sunday nights-instead of eating dinner with the entire family, we are waiting by the phone for that call. The weekly phone call from our loved ones who moved out of this state to pursue a better job and a better life somewhere else. Its sad. But we can change it.”

And most of them have a P.S. or two, which Gerry O’Brien–a Republican direct mail specialist not involved with the campaign–tells me is the sign of a professional piece.

The idea is to keep voters from tossing the piece and then to engage likely primary voters, who the campaign sees as generally older and more literate than the general population (the kind of people who actually enjoy reading letters they get in the mail).

In addition to two general letters outlining his outsider campaign, decrying the mosque, and declaring himself a “Ronald Reagan conservative”–one of which comes with the photograph above–the campaign includes several different letters targeted to individual issue groups. (Maggie Haberman got one of the general ones from a Queens source a few days ago.)

A letter to Italian-Americans, targeted based on ethnicity lists, leads with the story of how Carlo Paladino came here from Santa Croce de Magliano, Italy in 1917, and ends with a P.S. that L.G. candidate Tom Ognibene is also Italian.

A letter to prospective 58,000 gun owners–based on NRA records and state gun records and licenses–says “the restriction of our firearm rights went too far under Governor George Pataki and Assembly boss Sheldon Silver,” who it notes later is from New York City. It also calls the recent micro-stamping bill “more Liberal, feel-good claptrap.”

A letter to 72,000 pro-life Republicans–ID’ed by phone survey– says Paladino is “100% opposed abortion and taxpayer funding of abortion based on his Roman Catholic Faith.

And a final letter to 19,000 farmers says Paladino “OPPOSES” the farm workers’ bill of right and “animal comfort” regulations, among other restrictions and taxes.

Paladino Voter Mail 2 Paladino’s Direct Mail Offensive: The Letter Campaign