The final days of a campaign season flushes political hit pieces into mailboxes just as sure as heavy winter rains drive subway rats up into the streets.

Contra Costa is no exception:

Scurrilous dueling mailers hit voters' mailboxes in Concord's city council battle.

Ugly racism accusations surfaced in Hercules.

A Pinole resident wrongly says a sitting councilman broke the law when in fact, the challenger did.

A trio of anonymous emails chockablock with lies hit a Martinez council incumbent.

And a super-scary burglar adorns a campaign brochure sent out in Pleasant Hill.

View all the mailers mentioned here on PoliticswithLisaV.blogspot.com.

Let's begin in Concord, where the city's police union put candidate Ed Birsan in its cross hairs after he helped orchestrate a bizarre hit piece on their candidates Dan Helix and Tim McGallion.

The cops' flier absurdly implies that longtime local businessman Birsan secretly operates out of San Francisco (his bookkeeper's address) and strategically stripped his name of its ethnic (Italian) overtones when he listed it on the ballot as "Ed Birsan" rather than "Edi Ersalesi Birsan."

For his part, Birsan orchestrated an eight-page faux newspaper called the "Concord Democratic News." (It misspelled Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's name, for pity's sake.)

The mailer is labeled as an "Official publication and paid for by the Democratic Party of Contra Costa" and sent to Concord Democrats.

Indeed, the party endorsed Birsan and fellow council candidate Harmesh Kumar. But nowhere does the mailer disclose that the two men -- featured on six of the eight pages -- contributed a combined $8,700 to the county party expressly to fund the publication.

It's entirely appropriate for a party to inform members about its endorsements. Allowing candidates to use the committee as a vehicle to send out their own material disguised solely as a party publication is dishonest.

Over in Hercules, Councilwoman Myrna deVera's husband, Manny, sent out a ridiculous letter saying the three incumbents seeking re-election are insufficiently pro-Filipino and should be replaced. His wife isn't up for re-election but the couple is heavily promoting three challengers.

The letter triggered a robocall from Hercules Mayor Dan Romero, in which he counters "rumors of his prejudice" by telling voters that he has three Filipino nephews. Good grief.

Pinole needs a chill pill, too. At the same time the financially struggling city is asking voters to pay more utility taxes, it spent $4,000 for a legal opinion on whether council candidates should be shot or only sentenced to hard time for using incidental depictions of the city seal in campaign literature. (Now, that was an exaggeration.)

A cowardly anonymous operative is targeting incumbent Councilman Mark Ross with emails that contain easily disproved allegations and fake websites.

The most recent text says Ross brokered a lease for a long-gone downtown adult sex store. He didn't. On the contrary, it was his father who was brought in as a commercial broker in an attempt to persuade Frenchy's owner to relocate.

Pleasant Hill voters found in their mailboxes a mailer from the city's police union featuring a picture of a masked, gun-toting burglar and misleading crime statistics. The police are endorsing law enforcement officer Ken Carlson for city council.

The mailer says "criminals like this (scary stock photo guy) burglarized 401 Pleasant Hill residents."

In fact, the city reported 280 residential burglaries in 2010-11. The larger figure includes commercial burglaries such as bad checks and shoplifting, which rarely involve a gun.

Sadly, these homegrown tales of deceptions, exaggerations, distortions and fabrications often work. But over time, they further erode the public's confidence in their elected officials and discourage qualified people from running.

GOT POLITICS? Read Politics With LisaV at PoliticswithLisaV.blogspot.com:

N Why did several Contra Costa voters enclose 65 cents' worth of change in their vote by mail ballot envelopes?

N Check out Martinez artist Amelia Hunter's humorous "Obama dog" and "Romney dog" portraits at www.artofamelia.com. And while you're at it, check out how she uses her political art to help homeless cats.

AND FINALLY: Yep, I have a new blog. Check it out at www.PoliticswithLisaV.blogspot.com.

My esteemed colleague and Bay Area News Group political reporter Josh Richman will continue blogging at the Political Blotter (www.ibabuzz.com/politics) in his customary prolific and excellent fashion. Keep the Political Blotter bookmarked for all the latest political and campaign news from the president to congress to the state legislature.

Politics With LisaV will focus on local politics and politicians, which, as we know, is all politics.

Contact Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773, lvorderbrueggen@bayareanewsgroup.com, politicswithlisav.blogspot.com or Twitter.com/lvorderbrueggen.