Incorrect mailer brews confusion for Gaspar mayoral campaign
A glossy campaign mailer inviting Encinitas residents to coffee meet-ups at nonexistent addresses had some scratching their heads recently.
The mailer, which was promoting mayoral candidate Kristin Gaspar’s campaign, arrived in mailboxes several weeks ago across the city. It invited residents to neighborhood meet-ups throughout September to discuss city happenings and Gaspar’s vision for the city.
“Early on, I decided a neighborhood coffee program would be central to my campaign,” Gaspar said. “I found eight people in the community who were willing to open up their homes and provide coffee and have a place where people could come and ask me questions.”
But the mailers listed erroneous meet-up addresses.
When the mailing company screen-printed the pieces, a technical error incorrectly added digits to the house numbers and ZIP codes, Gaspar stated.
She said the mailers were supposed to display the meet-up closest to residents’ homes. She added that the information was correct when she turned it over to the mailing company.
Gaspar discovered the glitch when she opened up her mailbox.
“I called the mail house immediately and was informed there was indeed a technical error,” she said.
Two residents contacted the Encinitas Advocate last week regarding the faulty addresses.
Nan Sterman questioned whether Gaspar actually held the coffee meet-ups. She also raised concerns over who was financing the mailers.
“Too often, local campaigns have been funded by outside interests,” Sterman said.
Gaspar said she had nothing to gain from the error.
“I’ve heard loud and clear from residents, they want people to run positive campaigns,” she said. “This was a very positive program intended to further outreach. It’s unfortunate some have twisted this error into something it’s not.”
She also provided month-old emails from homeowners confirming that they would host the meet-ups on the given dates.
Gaspar said contributions to her campaign are funding the mailers.
The next round of campaign finance disclosures, which list who donated to candidates’ campaigns, will become public Oct. 6.
As a result of the error, Gaspar said a follow-up postcard with the correct addresses reached homes before most of the meet-ups.
Gaspar said the mailing company has offered to pay for the follow-up. But she had yet to confirm whether campaign finance law would allow this.
She added residents also received a “robocall,” which was planned before the error, stating the nearest meet-up. Her campaign website, kristingasparformayor.com, also lists the correct addresses.
Gaspar declined to state the mailing company’s name.
“I know they’re a reputable company and mistakes happen,” she said. “I would hate for their business to be harmed as a result.”
The final coffee event will be held Friday, Sept. 26.