Programming Note: On my 2015 Election Coverage
This is taken from a comment written on Mike Lombardini’s Sterling Heights Local Politics Facebook page. I felt it important to post it here as well, since it directly concerns the coverage this blog will have during the upcoming election.
I have been commenting on city politics on this site for about 5 years now.
For much of that time I have made an attempt to be even handed. You can see that in my past campaign coverage. Although the first election year I chose to recommend for and against candidates, the next election year I chose not to, I came to regret recommending against some people in that first election who I later found out were actually very good at their jobs. Sometimes you learn new things if you stick around long enough and pay attention, and I was fortunate to do so. I felt that it was more my place to just make the public aware of who the candidates were, and allow them to decide for themselves.
When Paul Smith first ran for council, I declined to recommend him, because I had some concerns about his style and felt there were better candidates running. I didn’t recommend against him, mind you, but I specifically didn’t recommend for him, nor did I vote for him. You can check my Election 2011 coverage to see this is the case.
After Mr. Smith came into office, his behavior quickly became outrageous. There are few things that offend me in everyday circumstance. I am not put off by profanity, nor do many ideas upset me (much). But I was well and truly offended by his behavior, and I started writing about it. I gained a substantial portion of my audience writing about his antics.
When Mr. Smith decided to file for a run for the Mayor’s seat when Mayor Notte announced he was stricken with cancer, I was incensed. Not because I had a great love for Mayor Notte’s politics — quite the opposite, actually — but because I respected him as Mayor, and he reciprocated that respect to me. Mr. Smith’s actions were done in defiance of what I believe is the proper decorum for a candidate seeking election. It was reprehensible.
Since then, the more I have learned about the current crop of challenger candidates, the more I am unable to sit silently by and watch as they potentially become elected. I have become very “partisan” in this election.
However, this is not the way I would prefer it to be. I would much rather be impartial. I see a clear and present danger in these folks reaching office. Considering the opposition, the incumbents are by far and away the better choice for the city. Much better.
So…it is with some regret that I am going to go back to the approach I took during the first election year, and make recommendations for and against candidates. I believe it is the only responsible thing for me to do. In time, I hope we get past these folks, and that they do not leave an indelible mark on our city’s political environment. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, I publicly acknowledge that this year’s Election 2015 coverage is going to be biased heavily in favor of the incumbents. It’s only fair to tell you that. I will still present information on all who are running, but be advised that in the year or so that I’ve been watching the challengers, I am completely unimpressed.