Well, here we are, smack in the middle of another election year with the Aug. 7 primary looming. Elections always stoke the editorial furnace here at the Tribune, and this year should be no different. With some candidate endorsement letters starting to trickle in and some campaigns starting to call and ask about how to make such submissions, it is a good time to offer a refresher course on out political campaign letter policy.
Current candidates running for office may not submit letters to the editor. This includes letters regarding the election, gardening or anything else.
The Friday before the Tuesday election (Aug. 3 this time around) is the last day political letters will be published. Remember, Friday’s paper is actually put together Thursday and the editorial page is one of the first pages to get done so letters must be submitted before Thursday.
Letters will be printed on a first-come-first-serve basis as space is available. We will not guarantee a specific day or page placement for a letter.
Endorsement letters will be accepted from non-candidates, but each submitter may only endorse a candidate once.
In addition, the regular policies continue to apply. Submissions may not exceed 600 words (if we are inundated with letters, this limit will be strictly enforced) and must include a name which will be printed. Although only name (affiliation if appropriate) and home town are printed, all letters must contain at least a daytime phone number and a current address including city of residence. E-mail addresses, although nice to have are not sufficient.
Letters must be from a specifically named individual, not a fictional name or alias. Initials are not acceptable unless that is how the community knows and address the submitter. The individual can be part of a group but there must always be an individual’s name(s) assigned to a letter. Anonymous letters will not run.
Letters must be in good taste and must be the author’s original work. Letters must (in our opinion) not be legally actionable and letters may not take a particular business or private individual to task. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity, content, and length. Profanity will be edited out. Available public forum space is designated on a first-come (approved)-first-served basis.
Even though our public forum policies are quite generous, it is ultimately our right to reject any letter or ban any author for any reason. We do our best to work with submitters and to this date, there are no authors on a permanent ban list.
Submissions can be made via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, via mail at PO Box 228, Great Bend or dropped off in person at 2012 Forest Ave. If you have concerns about whether or not we received your letter, contact us. Sometimes delivery systems fail.
We recognize the importance of this forum as a way to reach readers and voters. We want to print as many letters as we can, so we ask that those submitting them to just play nice.