Political writer should reveal party

Regarding Jerry Cornfield’s Thursday column, “44th District candidate downplays GOP affiliation”: I’m curious to know how important it is for Jerry Cornfield to tell his readers what his political party affiliation is when he writes his articles/columns. If he writes about political issues, and he usually does, but doesn’t reveal what party he supports personally, can readers be sure he isn’t tainting his articles?

It is obvious from his article today that he feels that if a candidate for office announces his candidacy by providing a comprehensive description of his priorities, his professional accomplishments and his personal relationships but doesn’t say what party he belongs to that is somehow being misleading or deceitful. Jerry fills in his readers on the activities the announcement left out and also makes sure he informs the readers that Jim Kellett’s opponent is a “moderate” and a centrist.

If the Herald thinks it is important enough to print the disparaging column about Mr. Kellett’s announcement, why not at least have a semblance of balance by printing the actual announcement itself to let readers see how misleading it really is?

To get back to my opening paragraph, when voters make choices on their ballots they clearly see the party designation of the candidates and, unfortunately, that is often the only thing they know about the candidate and make their selection solely on the party. I, for one, would much prefer that voters knew what the candidates priorities and accomplishments were and based the vote on that. When it comes to political writers I suspect the opposite is more often the case, in that most readers believe when they read it “in the paper,” the writer isn’t presenting “opinion” as “news.” Having reporters who are giving us political news let us know their political party seems just as essential as knowing the party of a candidate for office.

Tom Balt


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