1. The newspaper does not publish letters that endorse local political candidates based on their record, reputation and qualifications. (This constitutes paid political advertising.)
2. Election-related letters must deal with pertinent issues.
3. The newspaper strongly encourages writers to limit election-related letters to 250 words. A letter to the editor from a candidate explaining that candidate’s platform will be accepted. Declared candidates for contested positions will be solicited by the editor to provide their platforms as well.
4. All letters to the editor of a political nature must be received at the newspaper office at least 10 days before the election. (Two Saturdays prior to Election Day.)
5. The exception to the 10-day rule is a response to a previous letter of an attacking or derogatory nature. In the name of fairness, the newspaper will accept such a response after the deadline, provided it is written and delivered promptly to the editor’s desk (See No. 6). Responses may rebut charges, innuendos or misstatements of fact from the initial letter, but may not present new charges or level inflammatory counterattacks on the opposing political camp.
6. Under no circumstances will any election-related letter be published after the Friday immediately prior to Election Day.
7. In the case of questionable content (e.g. statements of fact that are suspect, assaults on a candidate’s character or moral standards, etc.), the newspaper will follow its established letters policy to satisfy its ethical and legal concerns. Any suggested changes to letters will be cleared with their authors.
8. All letters must be signed and include an address and telephone number. (Phone numbers are for questions and verification purposes only and will not be published).