Thursday, November 01, 2007

Coming up for air...

I've been covering elections for more than 30 years. This year's municipal election - because we hold elections every year in Connecticut - will be my 20th since joining the Norwich Bulletin. So I'm kind of use to the routine. I always joke that at this time of year I usually take more garbage out of my car than I do my condo.

But this year is different. Sitting here as the acting Editorial Page editor, I'm not out on the road with garbage building up inside the car. I'm inside the office dealing with an onslught of letters to the editor that need to run by Sunday, sitting in lengthy meetings stretched out over days discussing endorsements, planning and then hosting debates, editing columns and still searching for an editorial cartoon that makes sense - and might actually be funny.

The endorsement process has been most interesting. Like I said, hours stretched over days - with lots of discussion in trying to come to a consensus as to which candidates would earn our nod of approval. Some went quickly while others took a lot of time before a consensus was reached.

The worse part...the letters to the editor. Let's face it, the vast majority of these letters are driven by the individual campaigns supporting the candidate -- or attacking the opponent. The attacks are pretty bad...vicious in some cases...and bring no real value to the discussion about the issues communities are facing. The "support" letters also lend little value to the debate, since they are "feel good, vote for my friend, a really great guy/girl."

It's interesting....but there are moment where I'd rather be in my car, letting the garbage pile up while chasing the candidates as they campaign.

2 Comments:

Blogger dweeb said...

If it were only as easy to empty the 'trash' out of the Norwich City Council election campaign as it is to get the garbage out of your car, all of us would be the better for it.

Democracy is a contact sport.
Tuesday, each of us should put on our game face and vote. If not early and often, then thoughtfully and carefully.
-bill kenny

7:40 AM  
Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

I hope most of those letters to the editor run. For local elections, there is little outlet to get the word out on a candidate and impossible to knock on every door unless you start in May when no one is listening. Local candidates, especially the underticket, rely on letters to the editor to help get their name in front of the voters. Please don't deny them that opportunity.

10:59 AM  

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