The CD8 special election was just the tip of the iceberg as election season pulls into full swing. Now we have new districts, a lot of races and plenty of candidates working to gain the advantage. It’s no secret that with every press release and every request, politicians are nothing short of self-serving. Candidates and their campaign managers are all about helping their cause, promoting a platform and working to outdo their opponents. Through this strategy, they have no problem using the media.
Look at advertising. Candidates seem to have no problem sending press releases about the most recent negative advertisement they purchased for television to the local newspaper. We get a detailed description of the purchased television spot. I think this is one of the most annoying aspects that can come from these campaigns. Really, do you believe a newspaper wants to hear about another obnoxious television ad?
It has come up a lot recently about The Explorer’s position in several key races. Where do we stand on some issues? Which candidates will we endorse? Do we slant the news to the left or the right?
We recently received two separate emails over a two-day period that had me scratching my head. The first email was from a reader saying they would no longer pick up The Explorer because we lean too far to the left. The following day, I received an email from a reader saying The Explorer leans too far to the right, and they’ve had enough.
These emails left me wondering, what are we doing that makes one reader say we are too far left, and another saying we are too far right? Taking on the principle we are taught as journalists, I called it a wash. Apparently both sides are annoyed, and to some degree that is a good thing.
The Explorer is not going to endorse any candidates in the upcoming elections. Like we’ve done before, we will write editorials about candidates that are really bad, we may even write editorials calling decisions made by some candidates to task, or even applaud good decisions, but we will not be telling voters who to vote for.
We are going to cover the races, and work hard to stay in the center of the aisle. Given today’s political climate, I will say that’s not always easy. We always have someone who believes we are too liberal, or someone else saying we are giving too much credit to the right wing candidates.
The Explorer is very aware that with each candidate’s request for an endorsement, they are simply looking to help themselves. A candidate running for John Kyl’s seat in the Senate recently asked us for an endorsement. It’s fine to ask, but this is a candidate I have never met or talked to personally. It would be irresponsible to even think about endorsing in a race where we have not met every candidate.
In the end, it’s not The Explorer’s responsibility to endorse a candidate. It’s our responsibility to dig through the nonsense (meaning the pointless email after email from the campaigns), and tell the public who the candidates are.
We will send questionnaires to all candidates starting this week. The candidate’s exact answers will be posted under the “Elections” tab on our website. The questions will get personal with candidates, and show where they stand on the issues. By posting these, The Explorer is allowing the candidate to earn your vote, your endorsement.
All candidates will also be given a copy of our advertising rates, and will be asked to tell our readers where they stand through a less obnoxious form of communication.