There's no way for us to know how many BlueNC readers have taken the next step to advocate for a candidate or issue. Those of us who have know how good it feels to read your ideas in print knowing that everyone else in town will see it as well. It's fun, empowering, and, most importantly, effective.
I just heard again from my local paper, and they're printing another letter of mine, the second in two weeks. These letters can provide your perspective, examples of the ways bad policies effect you, and/or new facts about an issue. The following letter to the Cherokee Sentinel demonstrates another function of the LTE - correcting the record and molding opinion:
"Typical of an election year, Charles Taylor has begun a local radio smear misrepresenting his opponent's position. The misleading ad states that Heath Shuler wants to reduce funding the Border Patrol's efforts to stop illegal immigration quite the opposite from the facts as given on Mr. Shulers website:
"We must increase the resources and funding available to the Border Patrol so more agents can be hired and more patrols conducted to keep people from illegally entering our country..."
Mr. Taylor's ad also asserts that Mr. Shuler wants to take money from the Border Patrol and apply it to a fully-funded program. What program, Mr. Taylor? Vague innuendos don't fool informed voters. I, for one, will not vote for anyone whose campaign is based on fabrications and smear tactics."
Letters like this one can help to combat incumbents who throw money into early ads. If ads go unanswered or unchallenged, they are accepted into the greater narrative each candidate is trying to create about the other.
Letters to the Editor are easy to write and they'll give you a place to put all that energy. Here at BlueNC, Lance and the well-trained team of code monkeys created a good tool for writing to some of the bigger papers. Tried it?
For those of you in smaller markets. Google your local paper and get the mailing address and/or the email address. Keep your letters under 200 words. Keep your language civil. Tell the truth. It's that easy.
No matter your district, candidate, or issue, LTEs are easy, fun, and effective. Use this comment thread to talk about Letters you've written, strategies for LTE writing, and any other random tangents.