Some East Bay voters received an eight-page
booklet from Nancy Skinner that looked like
a children’s book.

Once upon a time there was a state Senate candidate with too much money to spend…

Some voters in the East Bay’s Ninth State Senate District received a direct-mail piece from candidate Nancy Skinner this week designed as an eight-page children’s book that ells the story of her life and career in politics.

It’s one of the strangest political mailers you’re ever going to see.

Titled, “Nancy Skinner. A lifetime fighting for change,” the mailer is a collection of water color-style drawings depicting the former East Bay assemblymember’s life.

It also includes stilted text and a simple font similar to a children’s book. “She is endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Planned Parenthood,” the ad says of Skinner, “and by our local teachers and firefighters! We thought you might want to know a little bit more about who she is—and what she has done.”

The cover of the mailer Skinner’s campaign sent this 
week to voters in the Ninth State Senate District

Later the mailer describes Skinner’s accomplishments during six years in the state Assembly, including, “She led efforts to combat climate change, reform the criminal justice system, improve rape prosecution and crack down on gun violence.”

Skinner’s campaign coffers have long been a story in this race and her campaign appears willing to spend heavily on direct-mail down the stretch to the Nov. 8 election. The campaign reported $616,299 in cash on hand through Oct. 22—the final reporting period before Election Day.

The campaign’s deep pockets have allowed Skinner to not only blanket the state Senate District that reaches into Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro, with mailers, but also to target specific issues and areas. For instance, one mailer aims to vie for Alameda, an area once considered a stronghold for her opponent, Sandre Swanson, who lives on the island.

Another illustrates the need to vote more women into the state Legislature, along with Skinner’s Sierra Club endorsement. Yet, another large 8 by 11 inch piece features a jarring photo of an assault weapon, with the tagline, “Who can we trust to lead the fight to prevent gun violence?” Skinner has authored legislation in the past to enact stronger gun control measures in the state.

The amount of spending by Skinner has greatly dwarfed Swanson’s effort. From late September to the end of October, Skinner’s spent roughly $500,000 during the period–five times more than Swanson—who also reported just $8,404 in cash for the final weeks of the campaign.