Archived Story

We hope our work may help you

Published 12:24am Sunday, April 22, 2012

In approximately one week, this newspaper’s editorial board will publish its endorsements for the City of Natchez’s municipal primary elections.

Perhaps today is as good a time as any to explain why we feel it’s a good idea for the newspaper to endorse candidates in the first place.

Critics of endorsements — particularly candidates who aren’t endorsed — suggest the practice is simply about the newspaper staff’s collective ego or a feeling that our opinions are somehow “better” than someone else’s opinion.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

The goal of endorsing is simply to provide another avenue of information and provide a service for readers in our community.

The newspaper’s staff is able to do something that many voters may be unable to do — dedicate a great deal of time to meeting with each and every candidate to learn their beliefs, personalities and goals for public office.

Over the past two weeks, our editorial board — Ben Hillyer, Julie Cooper and me — have spent approximately 20 hours sitting face to face with each of the primary race candidates for mayor, aldermen and city clerk.

Candidates are willing to spend their time with us because they’re interested in getting their message out to as many potential voters as possible.

A recent independent survey showed more than 80 percent of local residents read The Democrat in print or online each week.

Clearly, candidates try to get in front of potential voters in a myriad of ways.

They use advertising, word of mouth, telephone calls, face-to-face meetings, public appearances, mail-outs and lately social media.

But in almost all of those avenues, the candidates are controlling the message — and clearly they want to only focus on their positive traits and avoid tougher questions.

Our staff asks candidates the tough questions and challenges them on their records.

The Democrat has endorsed in most local elections for years and years.

Through the years we’ve learned some interesting things in the process — often details about a candidate’s character through things that may not be public knowledge.

For example, years ago, we learned that a candidate was bouncing checks all over town, all while running for a public office with the responsibility of accounting for taxpayer funds.

The man’s personal financial record wasn’t public knowledge. Our staff confirmed the bad check track record through multiple sources and thus it became a factor in our decision not to endorse him.

Similarly, each year the endorsement interviews wind up revealing interesting things about candidates.

While political campaign advertising often focuses only on a portion of the truth — whether about the candidate or, in the case of mudslinging, their opponents — we’re able to address all angles of the issues.

Hopefully, at the end of the day, our endorsements may help people a little bit, particularly if readers realize that despite the political differences that nearly everyone has, we ultimately all want what’s best for Natchez.

We believe the slate of candidates we endorse are the best options to lead the city in a positive, progressive and cooperative manner.

 

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.

 

  • Anonymous

     Please weigh your decisions wisely since those decisions may sway some votes that will determine the near term fate of Natchez.

    My endorsement is for Middleton since I do not want another round of Brown building monuments and leaving us with future maintenance debt, West has shown in his responses to the 20 questions to be puzzled by many things, Buie does not seem to be really prepared for anything political, and Furlow is out of touch with this community’s heritage.  The few things Middleton cites in his record as reducing debt, reducing the payday loan requirements, and participating in bringing the new jobs to town are factual and I feel he can further improve performance with better economic times than he has suffered during the first four years.

  • Anonymous

     if you’re worried about debt, what do you think the O&M costs would be on a “rec complex”?

  • Anonymous

    I KNOW ONE THING FOR SURE; JUST BECAUSE THE ND ENDORSE CANDIDATES; IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT EACH AND EVERY STAFF MEMBER ENDORSE THE SAME CANDIDATE. THE OWNER OF ANY BUSINESS CAN NOT MAKE THERE EMPLOYEES VOTE FOR WHO THEY WANT. THE ND IS NO MORE THAN A NEWS PAPER, THE OWNER IS IN CHARGE OF WHAT GOES IN IT. I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY ABOUT SOME OF THESE ARTICLES.  

  • Anonymous

    Don’t say anything, just go away!

  • Anonymous

     WOULDREALLYHELPIFYOUTRIEDTOUSETHEENGLISHLANGUAGE

  • Anonymous

     NONEEDTOSHOUTALLOFYOUROPINIONS

  • Anonymous

    I have commented many times about the time not being right to build this proposed complex.  No specific plan has been provided for funding, no spreadsheet on O&M costs, and no way the taxpayers are going to swallow this pill at this time.  While a couple of candidates take a similar hesitant approach in their platform, I do not feel we should elect someone solely on this item in their platform. 
    The other experienced candidates will come to realize during review of the aforementioned missing documents and plans, that it is not really feasible.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    I really doudt the ND endorseing Middleton huh”?? It will probably be Brown if I say so for the politics or thick!! All you know my prediction and I hate it but the odds say so!!!!

  • Wiley Jones

    Ypu must live with your head in the ground!  Middleton reduce debt??  Well of course.  the repayment of all the loans that were out there were already set up before he took office!!  He only way he could reduce debt was to default on the obligations he inherited! Are you eductated?  Also, ALL   of the money he used for repaving streets and for the “trails” that were built came from MDOT and Butch….Jake hasn;t pinched a loaf! Are you deaf dumb and blind?  Or, just uneducated???  PLEASE…you people make me sick…go back to school! it’s free!!

  • Wiley Jones

    Vote Brown 2012!!  IF you’ve got one half of a brain in your uneducated skull! 

  • Anonymous

    If it is free, you should have taken advantage of it.  Just look at your spelling, and, by the way, your intimidation isn’t working either.

  • Anonymous

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t particular care who the paper endorses. I am going to write in the best choice, former Senator Bob Dearing. I hear he would entertain such a campaign. I believe his experience would be a great asset to Natchez. Come folks write him in. Bob Dearing for Mayor.

  • Anonymous

    Now that IS interesting.  It seems he left the legislature with a reputation much more intact than others in similar circumstances.  Sure hope he has resided IN the city more than 30 consecutive days.

  • Anonymous

    I have been told he lives in the city limits.

  • Anonymous

    And probably owns only one house which escapes some other candidates who either they or their immediate family own other homes which is where the pillow lies.