NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Some newspapers are no longer doing political endorsements. I think that’s an unfortunate mistake.
The idea behind endorsements are that reporters and journalists – who get access and have background information on candidates that regular voters don’t – have valuable opinions that should be shared with their audience.
In 2006 when Herb Kohl was running for reelection, he visited the WSAU studios. I interviewed him. He was a tired, old man – clearly not mentally sharp. How effective he’d be in office at the end of his term (age 77) is absolutely an issue that voters should consider as they can’t their ballots. It’s also an issue that doesn’t lend itself to standard reporting. It would certainly be fair game for an editorial. Reporters also know about how organized candidates are, how they interact with voters, what their normal demeanor is, and how they respond to the unexpected twists and turns of a long campaign. That’s a picture that a voter will never get through regular news coverage, campaign commercials or lawn signs.
An endorsement is only a pursuasion piece about who to vote for. I’m not sure they have much political value. I enjoy reading them, even though I don’t think my vote has ever been swayed by them. I find the thought process interesting as an editorial board writes to justify their choice.
Reporters and editors spend years reporting on politics and gathering background information on issues our leaders will address. Their opinions are worth being heard. No one’s obligated to follow them.
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Mandy Wright (D-Wausau), a candidate for the 85th State Assembly seat, has lifted a quote from me that was in an earlier news blog.
It says “I worked with Pat Snyder for eight years. And I also don’t think he ever took a political position on-air that he didn’t personally believe.”
The quote is accurate, if out of context. You can read the entire blog that it came from here:
All material on wsau.com is © Midwest Communications. My quote was used without permission. If you live in the 85th, I’ll leave it up to you if you wish to support a candidate who uses unauthorized quotes. Ms. Wright’s opponent is Pat Snyder.