No Love for the third party?
I was disappointed to see that your election coverage (cover story, "Clash of the titans," Oct. 26) glossed over third-party candidates yet again. You characterize your choice of Mark Taylor as "ever so slightly the lesser of two evils" and only feature the, um, heavyweights on the front cover. It is not until the second-to-last paragraph (and after the jump) that you even mention Garrett Hayes. Even then, while acknowledging a swell of support, you dismiss his candidacy without any examination of his ideas or background. You claim that a "protest vote" would send the wrong message but don't elaborate on what that message might be or why it would be "wrong." Instead you choose to focus on which of the main candidates is less of a criminal.
In 2002 I e-mailed John Sugg, criticizing the paper's complete lack of coverage for Green Party candidate Nan Garrett. Back then, 40,000 write-in votes would have secured ballot access for the Green Party -- a goal which might have been possible if Creative Loafing had thrown some editorial muscle behind the campaign. Although he didn't respond directly, his next column noted the omission and commended Flagpole editor Brad Aaron for endorsing Nan. At the end of his mea culpa Sugg wrote, "Damn, after having participated in editorial self-flagellation in helping pick a lesser evil, I wish I had had Aaron's epiphany."
So here we are, four years later, and CL has endorsed the lesser evil once again. Ken Edelstein commends your coverage as more complete than the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, yet your treatment of the political landscape is as silent on third-party challengers as theirs. Critics often defend this bias by saying third-party candidates aren't realistically contenders, but this is just a self-fulfilling prophecy. Until politicians outside of the current political duopoly are given ink to share their vision, they will be relegated to the sidelines. I hope you realize that despite your progressive take on certain issues, you are just as much of the problem as nearly every other media outlet.
Shelter from the mainstream indeed...
-- Jonathan Putnam, Atlanta
Give me libertarian or give me death
"Our most comprehensive endorsement issue ever," claims the preface to Creative Loafing's 2006 election endorsements (cover story, "Clash of the titans," Oct. 26). I can only assume that this was intended to suggest comprehensiveness with regard to races, because it was notably lacking with regard to candidates.
With only one exception, the endorsement issue completely ignored all candidates outside the Democratic and Republican parties. The Libertarian Party has seven candidates in endorsed races this year, but only gubernatorial candidate Garrett Michael Hayes was even referenced, and then only in the 22nd paragraph of a 23-paragraph piece. The other six candidates were ignored entirely.
I myself am an independent write-in candidate for Georgia's Fourth Congressional District, and these past few weeks I have participated in several candidate forums alongside Hank Johnson and Catherine Davis. Yet I too was not to be found in the article, nor was I ever contacted by Creative Loafing. Yet the endorsement of Johnson states nothing about his positions other than the fact that he's a Democrat who's not Cynthia McKinney, and it dismisses Davis on the grounds of GOP partisanship, which I too reject.
I had hoped that Creative Loafing's independent streak would evidence itself more in its endorsements, but it seems that it too prefers to focus on the two parties in power.
-- Loren Collins, Atlanta
Sonny needs to learn
While I disagree with your opinion that in the race for governor, Taylor is the lesser of two evils (cover story, "Clash of the titans," Oct. 26) -- Gov. Sonny Perdue has indeed lost his mind when it comes to education. Say it isn't so Sonny!
Perdue has proposed spending $40 million between the 2007/2008 state budget to fund what are being called either graduation coaches or dropout-prevention counselors. Either way you cut it, it's educational statism just the same. More politically correct coddling. It's quite insane. I don't know about you, but such a proposal is something I would expect out of a socialist or communist. I mean, what's $40 million to Republicans or Democrats? It's just our money.
The coaches/counselors are being proposed because of our pathetic state graduation rate. It's around 69 percent or 70 percent for high-school seniors. I guess too many students are falling through the proverbial "cracks." Sit there and blame Bush all you want for the No Child Left Behind Act, but isn't something seriously wrong with the attitude of a high-school senior and his parents if passing basic skills tests (GHSGT) cannot be done in FIVE attempts before the end of his senior year?
It's time to throw out the Ritalin and tune out any politician in our great state who wants to continue dumbing down the normal process of graduating from school on time. School boards across Georgia ought to refuse to put a graduation coach in every high school and middle school. A graduation coach/dropout-prevention counselor will never do anyone any good until what may seem impossible actually happens -- students and their parents start giving a damn.
-- Tony Zizza, Atlanta
Don't waste your ink
Slow news week at Creative Loafing (cover story, "Inside the secret world of white supremacy," Oct. 19)? Why would you ever give these assholes ANY media attention?
-- Lisa Thomas, Atlanta
Department of Corrections
We neglected to credit Staff Photographer Joeff Davis for the images that accompanied last week's endorsement articles. He took all those photos -- except for the sumo-wrestling image on the cover. We regret the error.