In Honor of Valentines Day: Dear Ted Lieu, You're Making My Boyfriend Jealous

february-15-ted-lieu-election.jpg

Who says people never send real (snail) mail anymore? Ted Lieu, termed-out Assemblyman and Democratic candidate for California State Senate, and his surrogates, send me something almost everyday. If it's a day the U.S. Post office is working, it is a day Ted Lieu and his friends send a special something that arrives in my mailbox.

What do Lieu and his comrades send me? Flowers? Chocolates? Well, without going into too much detail, Lieu and his friends tell me why he is the best. In honor of men and women out there who have been asked out one too many times, I get it, please give me space to let me make my decision. The election is February 15th, so you'll get my answer (and those of many of my neighbors) soon enough.

Much as this post seems an indictment of Lieu and those who endorse him (and consistently share their endorsements with me), it absolutely is not. Lieu is doing what any smart candidate with fundraising prowess tries to do, reach the voters. In fact, every time I get a new piece of mail from Lieu and associates (and by that I mean every time I check the mailbox) all Lieu is trying to do is speak to me, and beseech me to cast my ballot for him. Put another way, he is just campaigning.

The problem is that while Lieu gets to make his case again, some candidates never get to make the same pitch. So to the other candidates, my complaint (and I always have one) would be, why don't you ever write?

Allow me to answer my own question. Because they don't have enough money, or supporters with enough money, to spam my physical mailbox. Our electoral system gives those with more money more speech, and that is the real problem (not Lieu's frequent use of snail mail).

The question is what do we do about it? The Unites States Supreme court has said that money is speech. Therefore it is very difficult to limit the amount of money anyone can spend in elections.

Is there any light at the end of the tunnel? Perhaps. I hate to break it to Lieu (and really any political candidate or ballot measure campaign that sends me something), but most of the mail hits the recycling bin quite quickly. I prefer to do my own research, and hear the opinions of those I trust, not just those with the ability to pay for postage.

Maybe the Internet (for those who have access) will have an equalizing effect. While a slate mailer may make a quick trip to the recycling bin, an intelligent article, blog or email doesn't find the same fate in my gmail trash folder.

What do you think? Where do you get your news?

So happy Valentines Day dearest pen pal. For at least one reason, here is hoping there isn't a run-off.

The photo on this post is by Flickr user karen horton. It is used under a Creative Commons License.

About the Author

Jessica Levinson is an Associate Clinical Professor at Loyola Law School. She focuses on the intersection of law and government.
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