The election season is upon us, and although there are only a few political signs in yards, campaigns are beginning to gear up. Along with those will come people submitting letters to the editor.
The May 18 primary is only six weeks away, but it’s only a little more than three weeks until ballots arrive in voters’ mailboxes. The time has come to announce The Observer’s letters policy for the primary season. It will be basically the same as the one announced two months prior to the November 2008 election, except that the number of letters per candidate has been scaled back to 10:
• Letters endorsing candidates for the May 18 primary will be accepted through May 12.
• Letters are limited to no more than 300 words.
• Endorsement letters will be limited to 10 per candidate, not necessarily determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Each candidate can submit one letter (not counted as part of the 10-letter limit).
• Letters pertaining to the election must include an endorsement. Letters attacking one candidate without endorsing the other candidate will not be published.
• Accusations made against candidates require documentation.
• Paid advertisement space is also available for endorsements, but the same documentation standards will apply.
The letters policy was necessitated by the mean-spirited types of attacks that have become commonplace in many campaigns. Some people seem more inclined to throw out barbs against candidates rather than speak to the reasons they support a candidate. And often, it seems, information presented as fact is nothing more than hearsay.
The Observer hopes that in this campaign season letter writers — and candidates — will stick to the issues.
Endorsement letters can be submitted through e-mail to
, by mail or drop-off
to 1406 Fifth St., La Grande 97850, or by fax to
541-963-7804. Please include a phone number for verification purposes.