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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,

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.



cj64: Posted: January 26, 2014 10:20 a.m.

Laurene Weste's "Community Center" letter is just an example of this type of "campaign freebee" that the Signal is mentioning.

In her letter the following campaign statements are obviously evident,
sounding like a campaign speech.....

I am deeply passionate
I’ve seen many of our dreams become a reality
I am such a supporter of our local Newhall and Canyon Country community centers
I’ve always believed that a healthy Santa Clarita is a happy Santa Clarita

The responsibility of the Signal on this matter applies to new candidates and also to the incumbants. A responsible paper would state whether the letter was paid for. Also the City should withhold any "Letters from City Hall" issued by either of the incumbant candidates. These can appear to give them an unfair advantage. This is only for about 60 days, so the City will not fall apart if no "Letters from City Hall" are issued to the media.

It is very strange that the City applys its rotating major scheme to always have an incumbant mayor who is up for reelection.

projalice11: Posted: January 27, 2014 8:08 p.m.

"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, and rightful so.

cj64: Posted: January 28, 2014 6:51 a.m.

The Signal Commentary says nothing about tone of responses to letters and columns. The Signal commentary says that is will not except FREE candidate endorsements. Westes letter mentioning her accomplishments and her passions supersedes the accompishments of the city as a whole, and makes reference to her as an individual.

She is clearly flaunting herself. If another candidates said the same, it would clearly violate the Signal's "Vote for Me" Commentary policy.

Watchdog: Posted: January 28, 2014 4:40 p.m.

I'll take the other side of this. cj what office are you running for? Have you been reading the Signal? If so, you would have seen paid endorsement letters clearly marked as such run before. Could you have been sending the paper a column to run in the past? Probably so. So why should they change their policy just for you? It will be interesting to see how candidates spar for freebie coverage of their little fund raisers in the media this election while they plant their illegal signs along the roads around town asking for votes. I would personally like to see a few new faces in city council. Think maybe bad-mouthing the paper might help get you elected?

cj64: Posted: January 28, 2014 7:18 p.m.

I am not "bad-mouthing" the paper. I totally agree with their policy.
To be fair to everyone, nobody should get free advertising, whether they are new to the election or an incumbant. The letter from Weste advocates personal achievements and desires, and sounds like a candidate's speech.

michael: Posted: February 8, 2014 11:31 p.m.

Waste needs all the help she she can find. In addition to the Signal, she has begun using the mayor assignment as a format to self promote. Just watch her in action on SCV TV. McLean has changed her TV style as well. They both find a way to give us a history lesson on their past performance on certain issues.

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