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Kent Carper's mailers a cheeky approach

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Kent Carper, the ever-quotable president of the Kanawha County Commission, recently sent out a fundraising plea.

But don't take it too seriously (except for the part where he's asking for money).

Carper said he discussed the idea with campaign consultant Larry LaCorte and "based it on Letterman's Top 10, but made it kind of local."

Carper's mail piece encourages his supporters to send a check in the mail. That's better, Carper suggests, than having to later attend an actual fundraising event.

It may be worth reprinting the whole thing, with some notations (in parenthesis), because it offers an accurate sendup of the catered fundraiser culture.

The mailing is titled, "The Top 10 Reasons To Give To Kent Carper's Campaign Now."

Reason No. 10. "No one wants to fight Delegate Danny Wells for the cheese and veggie tray."

(Wells, D-Kanawha, is famous around town for enjoying a free buffet line).

Reason No. 9: "Who likes rot gut wine anyway?"

(The goal of fundraisers is to raise money, not spend it. A couple of decent bottles might mean less money for direct mail pieces. Sommeliers are generally out of the question).

Reason No. 8: "One less time you have to kiss Kent Carper's ring."

Reason No. 7: "You won't have to listen to one of Kent's long-winded speeches."

Reason No. 6: "Don't you get tired of seeing the same people at every other political fundraiser?"

(The group of people who attend fundraisers tends to be relatively small - the usual suspects with disposable income and an interest in influencing the outcome of an election).

Reason No. 5: "There will be one less political cattle call at Appalachian Power Park between now and November."

(The ballpark's bar and grill is a frequent stop on the fundraising circuit).

Reason No. 4: "Bronson doesn't like for Hoppy Shores to stay up that late."

(Bronson is wife to Commissioner Hoppy Shores, the commission's elder statesman).

Reason No. 3: "You won't have to decide which is bigger: Dave Hardy's hair or Kent's ego?"

Reason No. 2: "You won't have to make an excuse to stay home and watch Monday Night Football."

Reason No. 1: "You can let Kent know you think he does a great job by mailing him a check and you won't have to hear him tell you himself."

Contact writer Ry Rivard at or 304-348-1796. Follow him at



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