The Battle for America 2010: Something Stinks in California's 47th Congressional District

California's most hotly contested House race, the contest between seven-term incumbent Democrat Loretta Sanchez and California Republican Assemblyman Van Tran, remains too close to call. The Orange County race made headlines last month when Congresswoman Sanchez claimed on Spanish-only Univision that "the Vietnamese (were) coming" for her seat. You can read my Pajamas Media article on the race as well as an interview with Van Tran here.

Now something smells as bad as trash-truck juice on a Death Valley summer day in California's 47th.

In search of the olfactory offense, I point the reader to a Van Tran mailer masquerading as a fragrance sampler, making its way to the mail boxes of likely voters in Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and Anaheim.

Don't judge this book by its cover; it's no ordinary fragrance sampler:

Note that the mailer says: "Open for a Free Sample Fragrance of: Loretta, The Scent of Washington."

The Loretta fragrance sampler mailer, opened:

Following the command to "scratch here" on the $100 medical mask-donning face of Benjamin Franklin, a constituent is greeted with the pungent odor of trash, garbage, or the just-plain-unidentified-stinky. Designed by former California Republican operative Ryan Clumpner, who now works for Missouri-based Axiom Strategies, the ad strikes a perfect blend between humor and visceral disdain for malodorous Washington corruption.

I can speak for myself to the simple brilliance of the mailer, as this one would have caught my eye and most likely would have evaded the wastebasket fate of dozens of political mailers jamming up my local postal box recently.

Some in the California political chattering class claim a subliminal sexist tone to the mailer, as it depicts a seductive Loretta Sanchez donning a red dress. Assemblyman Van Tran claims such as rubbish, telling Fox News, "Not at all, it basically addresses the corruption, the greed, and the ethics issues she's facing right now."