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Jon Coupal


Ah, August. For so many, that means vacation when normally hard working Californians will be visiting theme parks, going camping or maybe just relaxing in the back yard. But this is also an election year and the next three quiet weeks are the calm before the storm of political ads that will be unleashed after Labor Day.

There will be campaigns for statewide offices, Legislative seats, state ballot propositions as well as hundreds of local offices. Mail boxes will be stuffed with “information” on candidates and issues. Television and radio will be dominated with pleas for this “good” candidate and with frightening warnings that their opponent is a malefactor who kicks puppies, or that the passage or rejection of a particular ballot measure will result in orphans going hungry.

At best, these ads will have only the most tangential connection to the truth and, more likely, will be grossly misleading. The best informed voters will be those who ignore the millions of dollars of political advertising, much of which is designed to confuse voters, and who do their own research including looking at recommendations and analysis from organizations they trust.

The problem with political ads is they tend to dumb down the issues and cause “low-information” voters to become “misinformation voters.”

To read the complete column, please click here