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Project News: On Election Coverage

June 19, 2011

Over the last week, much of our coverage here has been about developments in the Commonwealth’s Attorney race. This project was started with the intention of bringing greater light to public policy and politics in Shenandoah County. We do so with an eye on the goal of increasing public discussion and involvement in the political and governmental process. Elections and campaigns are an inevitable part of this–they’re the point where we every four (or two or eight, depending on the office) years decide which candidate has the best ideas on how to manage the office they’re seeking or what public policies they hope to push for, depending, again, on the nature of the office.

With that said, I don’t want this project to become consumed with the tit for tat of the campaign. Our sole goal in presenting the candidates running for office is to put the information out there for the public to decide–I don’t want to particularly report on the give and take on the issues between the candidates. Now you may be asking–isn’t that a contradiction? To report on the issues before governmental bodies but not in the election? Not in my view. Elections are fought on issues that are not only related directly to policy but also character and personality. The issues we present that are before public bodies, on the other hand, are the result of debate just within that body and dictated by factors such as state and local law. This is where I believe that the focus needs to be: on those issues.

Our campaign coverage was always intended as something of a sidenote-we want to put the information out there but then let the people decide and the press to set the tone of the race. It is in the public policy sphere that we come in–to bring light to information that the press simply does not have the wherewithal to cover in full. We’re needed there most–with campaigns, we just want the information about who the candidates are to be present, and then let the people decide. Even our our first article on the election for Commonwealth’s Attorney was on the process, qualifications and history of constitutional offices and county elections.

So with all that said, I want to announce that I’m launching a moratorium on coverage of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s race. Well, not so much a moratorium, but a clarification of what we do here. With the field set, from this point on we won’t be talking about the jockeying back and forth on the nod, be it in regards to delegate views, the flow of the race, or the issues or personalities at hand. I feel I’ve done a good job of just setting the ground floor–at this point, though, this website will be neither a participant nor judge. We’ll report on the outcome when the race is over, but until then, we’re going back to our primary focus on public policy.

We’re sorry if you’re disappointed, coming to rely on this site for “the scoop” on the race, but if you read our mission page, that’s not what I’m here for. Still, please, participate, get involved with this race. The simple fact of the matter, though, is given where I want to go with this website and my personal position within the Republican committee, I don’t want to be nor do I think that I can justify or even attempt to be unbiased and objective in my reporting on it.

So with that, let the games begin–just not with us. Feel free to poo poo us if you see fit, but that’s where I stand on this.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 20, 2011 5:50 am

    Craig, You are on point concerning this subject. The issues are mandatory. The county government spending,sludge and EPA regulations to affect our farming, the potential 6 million dollor price tag on the Edinburg School project—how can we pay for it all? Senior citizen issues should be at the fore front.Why cut any county services? Should Education always take a hit?
    I can not speak highly enough of your new web site. Did you have any young people interested in your job post? Please let people know what kind of help you need as you move along with this wonderful site. Marsha Shruntz

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