Goodness gracious! The May 4 cover of Eugene Weekly featuring a giant photo of 4J School Board candidate Rick Hamilton, accompanied by a super-sized banner extolling EW’s endorsement, was certainly a huge campaign gift. Perhaps a huge campaign contribution would be a more accurate way to phrase it, don’t you think?
EW’s tight connection with the Stand for Children/Chamber of Commerce alliance that has dominated the 4J School Board for decades is certainly no surprise. EW has made that abundantly clear for years.
That said, the campaign billboard that doubled as a magazine cover is an egregious example of the trashing of previous political norms that has happened in the U.S. in the Trump Era. What was once considered beyond the pale is no longer out of bounds.
One would reasonably assume that EW should declare its Hamilton campaign billboard cover to be an in-kind campaign donation. Don’t you think?
Editor’s note: See our Slant item in this week’s issue for the distinction, which Caron has missed, between a newspaper’s endorsement and a campaign contribution. The Chamber of Commerce will probably be aghast at being lumped in with liberal EW, and Editor Camilla Mortensen met the state organizing director for Stand for Children for the first time the day after endorsements came out. EW has, however, met repeatedly with Caron and his Community Alliance for Public Education group, and we ran a column by them for several years. By the way, Roscoe, we’ve featured candidates we have endorsed on our cover for years, and you’ve never complained!