Tips for Evaluating Election Information
It’s election season. Irvine voters will be hit with a great deal of information. Some of it accurate, some not, some in between. To evaluate it, ask some questions:
- Where is this information coming from?
- Who is paying for it?
- What do they want to accomplish?
- What is their track record?
- How transparent are they about past mistakes?
- Is their claim something I can verify with an original source or reputable news outlet?
Also, if a source uses over-the-top language and makes exaggerated personal attacks (common in Irvine), it’s a bad sign. Verify the facts!
Mailers from Political Action Committees
Some Political Action Committees (PAC’s) are famous for mailers making dubious claims and unfair attacks. In the past, PAC mailers have singled out Irvine candidates as friends of child molesters and terrorists. Some of these ads are “off-the-shelf” – standard attacks used against candidates running in different parts of the state.
“The sad thing is, this kind of negative messaging is normalized now. It rarely raises eyebrows. … It’s part of the reason why we don’t get larger voter turnout. It’s not hopeful, it’s just a blood sport; it’s mean,” San Franisco State University Professor Joe Tuman said in an East Bay Times article about a nasty Alameda County race.
Irvine Needs Constructive Campaigns
Irvine is a top-tier city. Voters deserve honest campaigns focusing on vision and ideas. Candidates and PAC’s can compete without distorting facts.
Resources to Research Campaign Contributions:
City of Irvine Campaign Financial Disclosures (for Irvine campaigns)
Orange County Campaign Finance Disclosures (for OC County and State campaigns)
State of California “PowerSearch”: