Political Notebook

Perea again falsely claims Mims backing in slate mailer

Twice this week, slate mail pieces that Fresno mayor candidate Henry R. Perea paid to be on have falsely claimed that he has the endorsement of Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims. She hasn’t endorsed anyone in the race.
Twice this week, slate mail pieces that Fresno mayor candidate Henry R. Perea paid to be on have falsely claimed that he has the endorsement of Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims. She hasn’t endorsed anyone in the race. Vida Staff Photo

For the second time in three days, a political mail piece touting Henry Perea for Fresno mayor includes the false claim of an endorsement by Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

As with the first one, this also was a “slate mailer” touting Republicans, but also included Perea, who is a Democrat. Such mailers are always sent out during election season and usually represent a certain political viewpoint.

This one, which landed in mailboxes Thursday, was titled “Budget Watchdogs Newsletter.” The one earlier this week – which arrived Tuesday – was the “California Voter Guide.” Both originate from the same address in the Southern California city of Torrance, and Perea paid to be on both. For the first mailer, Perea paid $2,977 on May 12. For this latest one, he paid $6,842 on the same day.

Both slate mailers take a definite conservative viewpoint, and as such are likely targeted to Republican voters. But the mailers are almost always money making enterprises to generate profit for the company that sends them out, and anyone – conservative, moderate or liberal – can pay to be on them.

Perea said he got word on Thursday from his campaign team that a second mail piece was also coming with the incorrect information. He said both slate mailers were purchased at the same time, as was a third one with the false claim. Perea said he successfully stopped the third mail piece from going out. He said he’s added a line to a mail piece that is going out Monday saying Mims has not endorsed him, and added that he’s adding a similar message to campaign cards that he hangs on door handles.

In addition, Perea said he’s canceled all slate mail ahead of the June 7 election.

“I’m trying to see if there’s anything else I can do” to correct the situation, Perea said.

Both mailers this week with the false claim of a Mims endorsement feature the same candidates and issues. The back features U.S. Senate candidate Duf Sundheim and Fresno Assemblyman Jim Patterson, both Republicans, as well as Perea. Under his name is a listing of supporters. Mims is the first name on the list. Mims has not endorsed anyone in the race.

The election is June 7, and voters have been able to cast mail ballots for close to two weeks. Perea is facing off against Fresno City Councilman Lee Brand, businessman Richard Renteria, community leader H. Spees and former Fresno County Supervisor Doug Vagim for the post. Current Mayor Ashley Swearengin reaches her term limit at the end of this year.

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