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This is a local environmental issue as it relates to the
candidates’ record/platform on environmental protection…
From Michigan Liberal blog:
Despite the fact that 5 of 6 members of
the LSJ edit board decided to endorse Jim Marcinkowski for the U.S. House, new
Gannett Corporation-appointed publisher Leslie Hurst unilaterally opted to
quash the editorial, and instead endorse
The following is a letter from LSJ edit board member Karen
Twyman. It was to appear in today's Lansing City Pulse
(but isn't online yet):
have had the remarkable privilege of serving on the Lansing State Journal
Editorial Board this year. My admiration for the newspaper has only grown as I
have gotten to know the men and women who guide the editorial viewpoint of the
paper. It was therefore a dismaying blow to discover that the decision of that
board could be vetoed by the paper’s president and publisher. On October
8, after interviewing both candidates for the 8th Congressional seat the board
voted five to one to endorse Jim Marcinkowski. Leslie Hurst, the publisher, sat
in on the interviews but was not present when the discussion took place or when
the decision was made. On Monday afternoon, October 23, board members were sent
an e-mail with Tuesday’s editorial. It proclaimed that both candidates
were “too flawed” for the paper to endorse. Marcinkowski was
attacked for having “too little experience” and for appearing
“glib” and dismissive. While the e-mail added the following
explanation: the publisher felt strongly that Marcinkowski “did not rise
to the level of a congressman”, a later e-mail explained that Leslie
Hurst had wanted the LSJ to endorse Rep. Mike Rogers but had been persuaded to
accept the non-endorsement of both candidates, as a compromise.
It has since been explained to me that the publisher always maintains the right
to veto an editorial board’s decision, even when it is unanimous or
nearly so, as in this case. However, there was no discussion with the editorial
board about Leslie Hurst’s misgivings. An editorial was presented to us
that did not reflect the board’s views. We were not given an opportunity
to modify it. The editorial claimed that “the board in good conscience
cannot recommend the candidacy of either man”. This is patently not true.
We did, with a clear conscience, decide to endorse Marcinkowski, and our decision
was then vetoed by one member of the board, the publisher.
In refusing to pick between Jim Marcinkowski and Mike Rogers, the Lansing State
Journal did not provide the leadership that the community expects of it. It
left the misleading impression that the candidates were found equally lacking.
In fact, the editorial board was very disturbed by Roger’s lock-step
support for the Bush administration’s positions on the war, torture and
the treatment of detainees. Marcinkowski’s lack of legislative experience
was noted, along with the fact that he gave some general answers to specific
questions. These concerns were insufficient to deter us from easily picking
As a community board member, I have volunteered many hours to the job of
interviewing candidates for possible endorsement. I did so under the impression
that every staff and community member on the board had a chance to ask
questions and to vote. I also believed that our collective decision would be
offered to the readers. I expected disagreements from time to time, compromises
when we could not all agree, and the publisher perhaps getting the final word.
But I did not expect that, without any discussion, the publisher would turn the
board’s decision on its head.
I requested that the publisher permit me to write a short letter expressing my
dissent. I wanted this to appear on the editorial page of the LSJ before the
election. I wanted readers to know that the board had chosen to endorse
Marcinkowski. The publisher declined, and I have therefore asked the City Pulse
to set the record straight. I have regretfully resigned from the editorial
board of the Lansing State Journal.
So who is Leslie Hurst
- this new wingnut publisher of the LSJ? Here's what the LSJ said when Gannett Corporation appointed her last
Hurst, president and publisher of The Idaho Statesman, was named president and
publisher of the Lansing State Journal Wednesday.
Hurst succeeds Michael G. Kane, who had been publisher since January 2000. Kane
was named president and publisher of the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle.
Senior Group President of the Gannett Midwest Newspaper Group Mary Stier
praised both publishers and said Hurst will be an asset to the newspaper and
"We fully expect Leslie to bring the same level of quality customer
relations to Lansing that she has in all her previous roles," Stier said.
"Leslie is very visible within her newspaper and within the community, and
I would fully expect both the newspaper and the community will be seeing a lot
of her when she arrives in Lansing."
Chapter of the Sierra Club