If you are a registered voter, there is a good chance you have had a full mailbox lately.

During elections, the mailbox gets filled with mailers — lots and lots of mailers. They usually attack a candidate for one reason or another. And it feels like these mailers come from about everywhere.

Because they do. In this area one of the places we see "dark money" the most in the mailbox and on television screens. Political Action Committees - which are not funded or tied to candidates — flood our mailboxes and screens with ads. And those ads almost always (we refuse to speak in absolutes) have screaming headlines designed to grab attention as they attack the opposition.

It feels pretty disgusting. They do not reflect what the candidate they support stands for, only what the organization publishing the material stands against. One local leader, now deceased, used to say of these tactics that "it says more about your candidate and their chance to win than it does about the other candidate."

As you return from your mailbox with your stack of mailers, if you choose to read them rather than tossing them in the trash, we would encourage you to look first at the lines stating who paid for them. Those lines are required by law. If they come from a political action committee, or from a party, or any organization that does not bear a candidate's endorsement please take the mailer with a grain of salt. And make that kosher, big grain salt. 

The candidates can speak for themselves. Let them do so. Evaluate each candidate for what you hear from them — not some mailer or borderline slanderous ad that claims to support them.

— Kansan Editorial Board