You’d think one of the endorsements actively coveted by the Tom Foley campaign for governor is Hearst Connecticut Media Group that includes four daily newspapers, Connecticut Post, Danbury News-Times, Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time with a combined print readership of roughly a few hundred thousand, and more factoring in web audiences. Nope.
According to an article by Hearst Connecticut political reporter Neil Vigdor, the Republican candidate for governor has given editorial boards around the state one bite of the apple in the election cycle: I’ll meet with you before primary or I’ll meet you before the general election, but only once. Efforts to meet with Foley in the general election have come up empty. Hearst Connecticut newspapers tend not to make primary endorsements. He met with Hearst pre-primary.
Foley defeated primary opponent Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, but now that he’s facing incumbent Democrat Dan Malloy in a tight general election he feels no need to share with editorial board members why he’s the better choice. Do newspaper endorsements matter? In close races battling at the margins they can, as voters filter information in the final days of a race.
Meeting with editorial boards is no walk in the park. Members generally include the editorial page editor, other senior editors and sometimes the paper’s publisher. Beat reporters are not members of editorial boards but they sometimes sit in and ask questions of the respective candidates for public office. Basically it’s a candidate’s time to shine, but it can be like facing a firing squad of questions. Editorial board members keep score of what’s said and often times measure it against past statements. But you said this then, what’s changed? “Well, gee, no, not really. Ugh!”
Foley is a guy who squirms at the thought of being pinned down on an issue. God forbid he take a stance. For instance here’s the type of thing Foley wants to avoid. His education agenda calls for stripping funds from underperforming schools. Mark Pazniokas, seasoned scribe for the Connecticut Mirror, asked Foley a few weeks back how do you expect to lift up failing schools if you don’t fund them? Foley’s response, gee, no one ever asked that question before. Duh.
That’s the kind of stuff Foley wants to avoid under the heat of questioning.
So if Foley does receive the endorsement from Hearst it will come despite himself.