When Politics Comes Home could have been a break-through story exposing so-called taxpayer watchdogs, chambers of commerce, local newspapers and churches as GOP partisan front-houses, but that was not to be. The newspaper in that case would have had to do a massive internal philosophical investigation of itself.Two days before Tuesday’s election, the Janesville Gazette ran a front-page story redirecting the focus away from the local candidates, their positions and issues and instead chose to accuse their support groups of partisan politics. The premise of the article titled
The Gazette article primarily focused on labor support groups who have publicly endorsed a few candidates for local offices such as the Janesville city council. The newspaper was able to reroute the election discussion and question the candidates who by the luck of having democratic values and guiding principles earned endorsements and help from like-minded individuals. For this the candidates were placed in the newspaper's public square and forced to defend themselves as if accused of wrongdoing.
In doing so, the newspaper was able to beat up on the candidates strengths like a school yard bully and played up their supporters as having ulterior motives, all just two days before election. It was equivalent to their version of an October surprise in March.
This article was followed up by an editorial in Wednesday's paper as a support piece re-enforcing their own interests that open politics and pro-active citizen participation is something to be ashamed of in Janesville.
In addition, the newspaper was able to take advantage of the public outcry against the vicious negativity displayed in national and statewide elections and associate the positive intentions and endorsements of these local groups and individuals with that publicity.
Of course I find the above-board support, open endorsements and campaign help displayed by local citizens, labor and other individuals very refreshing, and a welcome reverse from the below-the-belt partisan politics newspapers wield along with the hidden partisans running the local chamber of commerce.
But more seriously, and this is at the heart of the matter, is the question: What truly genuine non-partisan voter cares about who is supporting whom anyways? Non-partisans do not vote for candidates based on party affiliations...at all. Non-partisans claim to look for qualities such as the candidate's education, community volunteerism, prior experience, church-going and other non-essential information for public office. Whether the candidate is Republican or Democrat is pointless, they just don't care.......or do they?
Those complaining about the help and positive support candidates receive (I’m not including negative ads and attacks) from openly partisan individuals and their friends are truly the real phonies.