A Major League Mistake by a Minor League Candidate

U.S. Amy Klobuchar was endorsed by the Star Tribune over Representative Kurt Bills for the U.S. Senate. I don’t think the decision by the Star Tribune to endorse Klobuchar was surprising to anyone and it certainly isn’t because Klobuchar’s father worked for the newspaper 16 years ago. As a proud Republican, what is most disappointing is that my party’s candidate wouldn’t even sit down with the Star Tribune Editorial Board and discuss his candidacy, his solutions and where he disagrees with Senator Klobuchar.

“Bills complains about media neglect. Yet he declined an invitation to meet with the Editorial Board. His unwillingness to spend an hour explaining his positions and critiquing Klobuchar with journalists at the state’s largest news organization should be both revealing and troubling to voters.” Source: Star Tribune, October 20, 2012

The Star Tribune has the largest circulation rate of any newspaper in Minnesota, with an average circulation of over 500,000 newspapers on Sunday.  Over a 500,000 Minnesotans received the message today on their doorstep that Bills couldn’t spare even one hour with the largest newspaper in the state to talk about his campaign.  I can’t find another example in recent memory of a Republican candidate running at the top of the statewide ticket declining to sit down with the Star Tribune Editorial Board.

The Star Tribune was going dedicate a certain amount of column space in their editorial discussing Bills’ campaign.  For a candidate who’s in desperate need of press coverage, a meeting with the editorial board represented a wonderful opportunity to talk about jobs and the economy and Bills’ message of fiscal responsibility. But instead of giving the Star Tribune Editorial Board one hour of his day, he blew off the meeting.  I agree with the Star Tribune when the wrote that Bills’ decision “…should be both revealing and troubling to voters.”  

Over the last two years, Republicans have endorsed candidates for the top of the statewide ticket in Minnesota with an openly hostile relationship with the media and this practice can’t continue.  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t agree with every story written by reporters covering Minnesota politics and I certainly don’t agree with most of anything written by the Star Tribune Editorial Board. But when you’re running for statewide office in Minnesota, you can’t refuse to meet with the editorial board of the largest media organization in the state. 

We need candidates running for office who aren’t afraid to sit-down with anyone to discuss their ideas for solving the problems facing our state and country.  We need candidates willing to visit any board room, community meeting, farmhouse, coffee shop and school, and sit at any kitchen table in any Minnesota home to discuss their candidacy.  We need candidates so brave, so fearless, they’ll even sit down with the Star Tribune Editorial Board

3 Comments

  1. This campaign has been a mess from the beginning. Bills finally decided to visit our area last week. With less than 24 hours notice, we were asked to secure a location and turn people out. 5 people showed up and two were press.

  2. As a former community journalist (Winthrop News), it always amuses me when someone believes that the Star Tribune endorses someone because a former employee (Jim Klobuchar) had any influence on the editorial process. It’s a bogus claim. For anyone who truly knows Jim, he was a a pain in the side of management. If you’re blogging, Mike, you still have to do your homework.

  3. I don’t believe Klobuchar received the endorsement because her father worked at the Strib…others may, but I don’t.

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