Politics An Economic Stimulus For Some, Others Not So Much

RENO, NV - Talk about an economic stimulus. As the candidates debate the economy, they're boosting the bottom line of those bringing you the blow-by-blow account.

It's fair to say no matter who the voters choose election day, some in the media will be big winners.

Those campaign commercials you can't avoid. They've meant more than $20 million dollars to the local TV market.

And those mailers crowding your mailbox?

Well, for the moment, they may give your mailman an aching back, but they're also helping save his job.

The Post Office is facing financial difficulties, but for the moment it's been bailed out by the political campaigns.

The postal service is on track to rake in more than $285 million from the various campaigns and political action committees. Not enough to pull the post office from the brink of bankruptcy, but it's provided some timely relief.

Those yard and roadside signs seem also seem to be every where. And if your mailbox is full, the post office is happy. So, local print shops must be doing high fives as well too, right?

Not quite. "It's not necessarily our main thrust, but it does contribute to our revenues," says David Staley of Outdoor Plus Digital Photo Shop.

"The political work has been a little bit of help, but it hasn't impacted us very much," adds Alan Trimble of Dynagraphic Printing in Reno.

Translation: It's nice when it shows up, but it hasn't shown up a great deal.

There's reasons why the print shops have been left out of much of this largess.

First, it's easy to do much of this on the internet these days and political action committees aren't necessarily worried about supporting local businesses. They can print and mail from anywhere.

But there's an additional, very localized factor. Many campaigns, in particular Democrats, insist on hiring union shops to do this work and there are no union print shops in northern Nevada.

That's led some, even local candidates for non-partisan offices, having their mailers and signs printed in Las Vegas.

So, while the rest of the media is enjoying a big boost, the print guys are mostly watching from the sidelines.

"We're very envious," says Trimble. "We'd like to be much busier because of this. We just haven't been able to enjoy that. We'll take what we can get though."


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