The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has written many times that newspaper endorsements don't count for much these days.
The reason is that newspapers, historically, have aligned themselves with either the Republican or Democratic parties. Voters figured this out a long time ago and have been discounting endorsements ever since.
So when The Rep registered recently with Editor & Publisher that it was no longer a Republican paper but an independent paper, it remains saddled with its Republican legacy in the minds of many Stark Countians.
There is another reason why newspaper endorsements are not heeded much anymore. The editors do a sloppy job of vetting the candidates and it becomes apparent, to readers with critical faculties, when a given endorsement is whimsical.
The endorsement process in the Swanson/Dordea determination was, perhaps, one of the finest pieces of work that The Rep editors have done in the memory of The Report. It is obvious that in interviewing Swanson and Dordea, the editors were prepared and asked the important questions. And, the editors go to great length in their reasoning to explain why they are for Swanson.
The Report was amazed to read from the endorsing editorial the following:
Meeting with the editorial board, with Swanson across the table, Dordea was asked about the Steffey incident. He responded, "I don't know enough to say ... right or wrong. ..."Why amazed? At the Stark County Fair in a conversation with Swanson's challenger, Dordea chastised The Report for not mentioning the Steffey case one time in all the articles on his race against Swanson.
So the last week of August/early September Dordea did know enough that the handling of Steffey by Swanson's staff was problematical, if not worse. But at The Rep interview he didn't?
Larry Dordea was the first person to post a comment on this blog. He complained about The Report's article that, perhaps, he was "too provincial to be sheriff." The "too provincial" suggestion was grounded in his seeming "turfism" position on the countywide 9-1-1 issue when he appeared before Alliance City Council.
He said in his comment - "when The Report gets to know him." Well, The Report has tried to get to know him but he has refused all requests for interviews. He even broke a promise to contact The Report by the end of September to arrange for an interview. A promise he made at the fair.
It appears that Dordea is a "whipsaw" type person. This comes through in The Rep endorsement interview too. He tried to play The Rep editors for the fool on Swanson's use of prisoners at the county fair. He did the same thing to an Alliance Review reporter.
The "wise one" (a characteristic he attributed to himself to The Rep editors - a real modest man, huh?) - seems to think everybody else in Stark County can't see through his veneer.
The Report was told by Sheriff Swanson in an interview, that Dordea would be a return to the days of Berens. Swanson's reasoning? Berens was not prepared to be sheriff and neither is Dordea ready to step up from being Alliance police chief to being sheriff.
The Report did not buy Swanson's theory when made. But every time Dordea opens his mouth, Swanson's evaluation becomes more plausible.
Question: Shouldn't the Dordea/Swanson endorsement process and publication become the standard for future Repository editorial work?