Are political ‘ads’ in letters section necessary

Are political ‘ads’ in letters section necessary


I must be intellectually honest when I write a newspaper: I cannot possibly complain about this newspaper’s “letters” policy when it comes to my own submission; I’m probably running at better than 95% publication.

But I must object to the use of this paper’s letters section as de facto advertising for the various candidates running for local positions in local towns and villages. 18 out of the last twenty.
Larry Penner has had opinion pieces published everywhere about the advantages of incumbency, including free publicity and free mailings to constituents. Jaws may drop when this is read: I agree with Mr. Penner 100%. When he hits a home run, it’s to dead center field and it clears the ballpark.
While I don’t claim to have an intimate knowledge of the positions or their compensation and doubt they pay as much as, say, US Senator or NYC Mayor, I’m sure they must come with some type of stipend. As Mr. Penner correctly observed I’m sure they have a budget to mail newsletters to their constituents.
The Island 360 is of course entitled to whatever letters policy it chooses. But the purpose of a newspaper’s letters section is not for politicians or their constituents to print endorsements. The letters section should be for “ordinary” citizens to express their views on the issues of the day (again I sound like Larry Penner).If something is said or written about a pol they feel is slanderous or libelous yes, they should be given every opportunity to respond. But (just a thought) could The Island 360 consider giving them a special supplementary section?

Nat Weiner

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