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Midday: Ray Suarez
Posted at 9:22 AM on October 27, 2006 by Bill Wareham (4 Comments)
On Midday at 11 a.m.: A Chautauqua Lecture by former NPR Talk of the Nation host Ray Suarez.....he's now host of our documentary unit, American RadioWorks.....and a correspondent for the Newshour with Jim Lehrer on public television. Suarez has a new book out titled, "The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America."
I am an independent candidate for State Representative in district 58A. I am not writing to protest my own lack of coverage, although as I discussed on Polinaut today, coverage of state house and senate races has been very poor at MPR and elsewhere in the MSM, and I hope you could do better at it.
I am writing to protest the exclusion of Mr. Berger from the state Auditor debate. I am not a Green Party candidate, but as someone who has donated my time and energy to get on the ballot and to wage a campaign, I find the exclusion of minor party candidates from debates and news coverage highly offensive and disrespectful, not only to the candidates, but also to the regular citizens who nominated them.
I have decided not to renew my membership to MPR as a result of your continued "general policy" of only covering major party candidates, even after the primary contests have been settled. Mr. Mulcahy indicated in a polinaut post (concerning the AG race) that after the primaries, minor party candidates, specifically Mr. Calvan and Mr. Pentel, would be included in MPR coverage. This has not come to pass.
Minor party and independent candidates work every bit as hard, if not harder, than major party candidates to earn their positions on the ballot. Major party candidates need only convince a room full of people with whom they already agree to win endorsement. They earn their nominations through a tiny portion of the electorate who voted in their party's primary. Independents and minor party candidates, by contrast, must appeal to voters of varied ideological backgrounds, most often by going door to door.
These candidates are legitimate and serious in their efforts to improve our state. The message MPR's policy sends to these individuals is that their contributions don't matter. By refusing to cover these candidates, MPR has deprived voters of the tools they need to make an informed decision on election day.
As a result of the continuence of your policy and the failure of MPR to follow through on its promises to minor party candidates, I cannot continue to financially support this undemocratic institution.
When MPR decides to offer equal coverage to legitimate candidates for equal offices, i.e. candidates who qualify for the ballot in the general election for any given office, I will rejoin.
Until that time, I hope that you will reconsider your position on Mr. Berger's inclusion in the State Auditor's debate. Mr. Berger is an articulate and passionate former statistics teacher, and in my opinion, is by far the most qualified individual for the position. You will unfairly condemn his campaign by refusing to allow him to participate in the debate. I had the pleasure of participating in a Patrick Henry High public forum with Mr. Berger, who was the only State Auditor candidate who bothered to show up. He would be a delightful addition to your debate.
Justin C. Adams
I am a greatful NPR member who was listening to the fall fund drive on Friday, October 27 when Ray Suarez was featured reading commentary from his new book; "The Holy Vote". Impressive! How can I listen to a replay of the broaadcast on Friday? Or can I?
Posted by Don Smith | October 28, 2006 10:00 PM
The audio of Midday programs is available through the show's homepage: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/programs/midday/
That Ray Suarez show is here:
Posted by Bill Wareham | October 30, 2006 5:20 PM
I'm sorry you're disappointed with our coverage. With the number of races and candidates out there it's impossible to cover them all with equal depth. I think we've done a pretty good job of providing the broadest, richest possible coverage with the resources we have. As evidence I'd refer you to our Campaign 2006 site.
Today we began rotating the statements we solicited from all governor and U.S. Senate candidates, including Mr. Cavlan and Mr. Pentel.
Posted by Bill Wareham | October 30, 2006 5:31 PM