Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Comments in trouble again

I note that over the recent past something has changed in how the Courier editors are dealing with online comments.

Updates are infrequent, down to what appears to be about twice a day.  This substantially reduces the capacity for dialogue, and probably frustrates many commenters, seen in the higher frequency of repeat comments.

I can't know much about the sort of comment editing I note below, but it has been out of sight for a long time, and its return is worrying. Maybe it was one weekend substitute that really didn't know the drill. We'll see.

Editorial: Editor takes the bait

In today's column the unnamed Courier editor looks at the Legislature's latest attack on the Clean Elections system, and follows its seductive billboards into what amounts to a roadside clip joint.

Even after the editor acknowledges that the proposed initiative sets up a cynical and false conflict between funding for elections and funding for education, at the end of the piece he falls right in line with it. This is of course because the paper has never favored our system of public funding for election candidates anyway.

Along the way I find it telling that the editor believes our legislative representatives only work during "much of their winter and spring." This shows that he doesn't follow the real action any better than the public at large.

Legislative sniping and court reversals have already robbed the Clean Elections system of much of its power to assist regular, not-rich people in running for state offices. There may be better ways to accomplish this noble goal, but regardless of how you feel about the system, you have to be able to see that setting it up in a false priority comparison with school kids is unfair, particularly since the same people who are calling for diverting Clean Elections funds to the schools have been entirely responsible for defunding those schools over the past five years.

Make no mistake, this initiative will not be about improving the schools, rather it's about starving political competitors, exactly as the editor lays out.

The best way to fund the schools is to go ahead and fund the damn schools. Cynically using a self-inflicted crisis in education to kill off a program that well-heeled Republicans have always hated is despicable, and voters should reject it out of hand.