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AFGLogoMain.jpegWhen they discuss how a candidate or event is perceived, campaign consultants like to talk about "optics" -- what the public sees and how it shapes judgments.

There have been some interesting optics thus far in former Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado's not-yet-officially-declared quest to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown.

First there was the launch of Maldonado's crusade against prison realignment, the initiative to reduce prison overcrowding that the former lieutenant governor is using to bludgeon Brown for damaging public safety.

There are plenty of publicly visible places suitable to making a major announcement, but Maldonado's choice of a Sacramento parking garage seemed bizarre to some people. (Maldonado's campaign clarified that the choice of venue was not meant to underscore the perilous nature of parking garages; it was a last-minute scheduling choice).

And then there's Maldonado's campaign logo, featured above from his website. The use of bear imagery in a California gubernatorial campaign isn't exactly groundbreaking, but the bear seems more contemplative than ferocious, like he's a little too worried about conditions at county jails to go salmon hunting.

Jeff Corless, Maldonado's campaign manager, said the unconventional image goes with what he expects to be an unconventional run.

"It's going to be a campaign that you've never seen Republicans run before," Corless said. "Republicans need to catch up with the times and find ways to market themselves better, and it starts with logos and branding, frankly."


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