Weatherford Democrat

February 18, 2014

FROM THE EDITOR: Concerning candidate support letters

Weatherford Democrat

— Readers of Viewpoints know that in recent days a number of letters related to the March 4 primary elections have been published. We expect more letters to arrive in the days leading up to Election Day.

We welcome letters that conform to our published standards without regard or bias to any one side, or toward any single viewpoint. Diverse opinions make for a strong, independent community and nation.

There are two things we are going to do in regards to publishing election letters. One, we will publish no election-related letters to the editor the day of the election, Tuesday, March 4. Aside from a candidate’s paid political advertising, an Election Day publication should otherwise be neutral. We will, from an editorial standpoint, feature in the March 4 edition no more than the candidates’ names, the races and when and where to vote.

Two, we will publish election-related letters to the editor up to the Sunday before Election Day, March 2, but only if the letter contains no allegations or issues that have not been previously published or made public. That is because if published in the last edition before Election Day, the candidate would not have a fair chance to respond to any controversial and previously non-public claims. In other words, we won’t be party to someone trying to unfairly drop a last-minute bombshell on someone.

Besides, depending on the issue raised, it could require the newspaper to investigate and look into the matter before publication of the letter, which would delay its publication until after the election.

We just want to make these things known to our readers as we move toward the March 4 election date and invite you to keep those letters coming, election-related or otherwise.