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Our View: Transparency vital in 2012 campaigning

Posted: December 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: December 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Several potential City Council candidates have pulled papers to run in next year’s election. Four people to date are vying for the 38th Assembly District position and Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon so far faces two challengers in his bid for re-election. The unofficial campaigning has commenced, and soon the official campaigning will begin.

While there is sure to be plenty of phone-banking, glossy mailers and roadside signs, support for some candidates will pour onto the Opinion section of this publication in the form of letters to the editor and local columns.

We thoroughly encourage any and all support and non-malicious criticisms of candidates in the coming months, but we ask that letter writers and columnists be forthcoming about their intentions and affiliations when authoring support or otherwise for a candidate.

People are calling for greater transparency in government, and in the interest of truth, The Signal asks the same of its letter writers.

Facts help create context for readers when judging whether the letter or column is merely from a concerned local citizen or is being solicited by a candidate’s campaign. Transparency builds trust — and when readers trust the intent of the letter writer, opinions may be given more weight.

There are too many political pundits today. We believe readers want to hear from actual constituents with no particular agenda other than to express their views; or at least know if the views stem from a campaign effort.

It is this publication’s policy that candidates be as transparent as possible.

We expect the elections ahead for all offices will be extremely contentious and divisive for a number of reasons, but vindictive and personal attacks won’t be tolerated in the pages of the Opinion section.

We want to hear what you think of the races, the candidates and the issues, but just be honest about your motives.

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