EDITORIAL: You call this news?

A NEWSPAPER EDITOR ASKED me if I support the policy adopted by other papers that no longer endorse political candidates. I said, No. If newspapers expect the First Amendment of the Constitution to protect us, we ought to test that theory… frequently. And what better way than to recommend how others should vote.

The contemporary bargain between readers and newspapers is that readers should expect to find fair and accurate reporting on news pages. On the editorial page you get opinion. Editorials at larger papers can be a team effort that reflects the views of the owners. At smaller papers it’s more likely that the owner also serves as the editor and janitor. Here, for instance. So if you’re serious about delivering news to your neighbors, you have to enforce the separation between news and opinion. It’s an evolving challenge with no certain outcome.

Here a few more opinions for this election cycle. You’ll know where I stand.

Hochul for governor

VOTER SURVEYS SAY the race for governor of New York is now very close between Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin from Long Island and incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat from the Buffalo area. Gov. Hochul who was lieutenant governor became governor with the resignation of Andrew Cuomo in the summer of 2021.

For someone with relatively little administrative experience, she has displayed poise and a grasp of how government works in this politically loopy state.

From the time she took office she has promised to preserve the right of all women in this state to receive the healthcare they require. That includes the right to abortions. Rep. Zeldin’s position on the topic offers no such protections. That alone should disqualify the congressman from representing such a lopsided pro-choice electorate.

In their one debate Rep. Zeldin badgered the governor about public safety. She reminded him and the audience of his poor voting record in Congress on the matter.

In her short time as governor, Kathy Hochul has established herself as forceful voice whose views are aligned with the people of this state.

Please vote for Kathy Hochul as governor.

Hinchey for State Senate

ALL OF COLUMBIA COUNTY will have a single state senator no matter who wins the contest next week for the 41st State Senatorial District. The district right now is represented by Democratic Senator Michelle Hinchey. She faces Republican Senator Sue Serino.

In the “postcard wars” Sen. Serino’s party is blaming Sen. Hinchey for winter heating bills and claims “Hinchey Isn’t Helping.”

The Democratic Party backers of Sen. Hinchey charge Sen. Serino has not protected ratepayers from price gouging by the Central Hudson power company. Sen. Serino’s current district is south of Columbia County and I haven’t spoken to her.

On the other hand, Sen. Hinchey has been a regular presence in this county in particular at events that seek ways to assure access to abortions and other women’s healthcare. On that basis and with her obvious readiness to serve, I urge you to vote for Michelle Hinchey for state senator.

Barrett for Assembly

ASSEMBLYMEMBER DIDI BARRETT (D-106th) is challenged by Republican Brandon Craig Gaylord of Chatham. Mr. Gaylord is from Arizona. He’s the interim chair of the Village of Chatham Planning Board and is a firefighter.

Assemblymember Barrett is chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and she sits on seven other committees. The 106th Assembly District now stretches from the northeast tip of Columbia County to the southern suburbs of Poughkeepsie; but you would be hard pressed to find a Columbia County gathering or hearing or project that deserves state support where her presence has been requested and she has not obliged. She works hard for her constituents and for the state.

Please vote for Didi Barrett.

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