Nancy Bostock, Pinellas County Commissioner, recently found herself in a quandary that only the U.S. Postal Service and an election season could devise.
To gin up voters and beat her opponent Charlie Justice, she planned to send out hundreds of campaign mailers. And so she would need hundreds of stamps. But when Bostock went to the post office and picked out the most patriotic stamps — a set of four American flags — it did not take her long to realize she had a problem.
Beneath each American flag was one of four American tenets: Liberty, Equality, Freedom, and…Justice.
As in, Charlie Justice.
"What are the chances of this happening?" Bostock said. "There's no other first-class stamp you can buy right now. I think there's baseball players and '50s movie stars, just odd things you wouldn't want to use."
But one of the cardinal rules of campaigning is you must not remind voters of your opponent's name, especially if it was never firmly planted in their minds to begin with. The Justice stamps were unusable, she decided, imagining her home filled with reams of worthless postage.
She didn't toss them out. Instead, Bostock used her own money to reimburse her campaign, eating the cost of a quarter of the stamps she'd bought. She stuck them on bills and other mail not voter-bound. And when her two daughters left home — one for college, another for boarding school — she made them stationary kits. In went the Justice stamps.
Since then, she has solved the stamp problem by printing her own — ones without her opponent's name.