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Our View: Looking forward to campaign

Posted: January 26, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 26, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

The campaigns for the Santa Clarita City Council and the 25th Congressional District are kicking into a higher gear.

Public debate should be interesting and lively, as there are many issues to discuss, and we hope that everybody sticks to the issues.

Thirteen candidates are running for Santa Clarita City Council in the April 8 election. It’s good to see such interest.

There are two incumbents up for re-election and there is one open seat.

All of the candidates will participate in a forum Feb. 6 sponsored by The Signal and held at our offices.

A panel of reporters, as well as an audience made up of Signal subscribers, will be asking questions of the candidates. We will be reporting on what is said there, and a video of the event will be posted on our website, www.signalscv.com.

As always, The Signal encourages discussion of the issues on its opinion page. But there are some ground rules we adhere to during an election season.

While open discussion of issues is encouraged, letters or columns that are pure candidate endorsements are published only at a 10-cents-per-word charge.

This is to prevent candidates from turning The Signal’s opinion pages into their primary campaign strategies, as has happened in past elections.

Such candidate hijacking of what is designed as a public forum for open discussion turns our opinion pages into virtual campaign posters with “Vote for me” messages.

This is not the purpose of opinion pages. We believe promoting candidates is best done in paid advertisements.

Candidates can submit issue-based columns free of charge like any other member of the community, but there’s a fine line here. The candidate can’t make a campaign speech, slam other candidates or say other things that will make us classify a column as a candidate endorsement. Our editors will make that determination.

As for deadlines for columns and letters during the City Council election season, we’ll cease publishing new non-paid, issue-based columns or letters from candidates and the public related to the election after Sunday, March 30, to allow a week for any rebuttals before the April 8 election.

As for news pages, our aim as always is to cover candidates in a fair and balanced manner.

Readers will disagree with letters and columns in our opinion pages. That’s their right. We just ask that the tone of responses from candidates and readers be respectful. We won’t print or post anything that isn’t.

We’re looking forward to interesting and vigorous discussion of the issues in our community — and as always, thanks for reading and contributing to our products.

 

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