We’ve been running letters to the editor favoring one candidate or another for a few weeks now. Many of these will be online only – especially when we get the sense that an aggressive letter-writing campaign is under way, which has already happened this election cycle.
We try to run a representative sample, and when possible run letters together in print when they are about different candidates in the same race. That’s not always possible due to space and letter flow, but we do try.
One rule: We don’t run letters from candidates themselves. Sometimes one slips through if the candidate is running in a more obscure race, but we usually catch them.
Every year we hear from a handful of readers who say they don’t want to read these pro-candidate letters, that they consider them fluff. I’d be interested in what commenters think about them. Would you prefer to see them all online-only?
What about letters regarding ballot measures? Several will be decided in the Nov. 6 general election, and letters both pro and con start sounding a lot alike pretty quickly – especially when the issue has been on the ballot before (think fire and school levies, Tim Eyman’s two-thirds tax requirement initiatives, etc.)
We already ration the number of election letters in the print edition. But I can see us getting more stringent with online letters as well if they’re not saying something different from what we’ve already published.