Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Washington Post Gets Out the Vote for Kramer (Updated)

Lost in the aftermath of yesterday's intense finish was an amazing event: the Washington Post actually re-endorsed Ben Kramer on the day of the election.

Here's the money statement from an editorial that reads almost like a public service announcement in other paragraphs:

Ms. Navarro has been effective on the school board, but on tough fiscal calls she might offer little resistance to the labor leaders who have funneled contributions to her campaign. Mr. Kramer, whom we have endorsed, displayed an independent streak in Annapolis that would infuse the County Council with needed pragmatism.
"Funneled contributions?" Labor unions legally contributed to Navarro's campaign just as millionaire developer Josh Rales legally contributed to Kramer. When the Post uses a term like "funneled contributions," they are implying that labor is somehow behaving unethically, or even breaking the law, merely by contributing to a candidate.

We have examined the Post's anti-union editorials before. But the real truth behind their editorials will shock all of you regardless of whom you supported in the special election. And we will be exposing it soon enough.

Update: In last year's special election, the Post endorsed Navarro on Friday, April 11. The language of that endorsement contained no disparagement of Don Praisner and there was no "re-endorsement" prior to the April 15 election. This year, the Post endorsed Ben Kramer on Sunday, April 12, its biggest circulation day of the week and repeated it the day of the April 21 election. Both of the pro-Kramer editorials criticized Navarro and her labor support. Why did the Post treat Kramer and Navarro so differently between the two cycles?

Update 2: In 2006, the Post endorsed Ike Leggett for County Executive on 8/13/06. It never "re-endorsed" him. But on election day, 9/12/06, the Post issued a simple list of its endorsed candidates with no elaboration and no disparagement of opponents. Given that fact, the Post's re-endorsement of Kramer is not totally unprecedented. But that does not explain its disparate treatment of Kramer and Navarro in the 2008 and 2009 special elections.