More Embarrassment: Pioneer Press Endorsement Guidelines Cite Kline As Bad Example
I found it particularly strange that Kline's negative mailers were specifically mentioned in the Pioneer Press' guidelines as an example of what they consider disrespectful. In other words, if you look up negative campaigning or disrespect in the Pioneer Press' dictionary you'll find John Kline's picture.
Respect. We like vigorous debate. We are in the free-speech business and are loath to tone things down. Sometimes, personal issues are important. Candidates have to fight — otherwise, why would they be running against each other? But as with partisanship, there is a line. Candidates who flood the airwaves with incessant personal attacks or lame, emotional appeals disrespect the voters.
How much, for example, did 2nd district U.S. Rep. John Kline spend on mailings designed to link his opponent, FBI whistleblower Colleen Rowley, to an unpaid advisor's personal views on illegal drugs — views that Rowley does not agree with?
Listener/Reader Chad P. has a similar assessment:
"... consider the paper's own endorsement guidelines - independence, integrity, respect, creativity, fiscal responsibility, discernment, and unity. I honestly can't see how they can rate Kline ahead of Rowley on ANY of those factors, yet he still wins the overall endorsement?"Chad P. has a few other good points about Republican blogger Craig Westover's involvement in authoring the endorsement without having the Editorial Board check his facts:
One additional confusing aspect of the endorsement is the level of credence given to Kline's "behind-the-scenes" work. Does Mr. Westover have a basis for this claim? It sounds more like an apologist talking-point to deflect criticisms about his actual record.Upset? Outraged? Want to see more transparancy and verification in the Pioneer Press endorsement process? Then contact Pioneer Press Editorial Editor Mike Burbach email@example.com or 651-228-5544. I've written responses for publication but they have yet to be published. You can submit your own at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or mail them to:
They claim consensus was reached before the video was introduced, but certainly Mr. Westover was in those discusions and no doubt lobbied for endorsing Kline using similar claims to those that ended up in the writeup. How much influence did his false claims of Rowley campaign nastiness (or any other issues, for that matter) have on the other board members? Would they reach the same consensus if they had more accurate information?
I truly believe this endorsement deserves a "do-over", although I doubt such a radical step would ever be taken. Still, I plan to write the editor and bring up these issues and others, as you and others have doubtless already done.
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