By Donna Westfall – November 5, 2016 – In a last minute to boost the sagging campaigns of both Finigan and Murray, the Triplicate has pulled out all of the stops. On the last publication day before election they accuse both Gitlin and Berkowitz of using a targeted voter mailer to certain groups of voters and then the newspaper tries to imply that this was some underhanded technique.
The fact is that these targeted mailers have been utilized by many of those who seek elective office in Del Norte County. In past campaigns of those running for county supervisor, judge and district attorney have utilized the mailers. Even David Finigan, who professes outrage about the Berkowitz mailer and calls it deceitful, is a former client of the mailing company.
So, how is it that both Berkowitz and Gitlin wound up in a mailer that was sent to mainly Democrats? According to Berkowitz, “I want to reach as many people as possible with my message. It is a message of action now, and I want to make sure it gets to a wide audience and Democrats are a significant part of those who will be voting in this election.”
Well, what did they do wrong? They bought and paid for an ad in a publication that normally is sent to Democrats but only after both Finigan and Murray declined to purchase an ad in that publication.
Just to make sure that the voter is not deceived into thinking that because their ad is included in the publication does not imply that they support others whose ad may be included in the same publication, there is a disclaimer. It reads in part in capital letters “NOT AN OFFICIAL POLITICAL PARTY ORGANIZATION. Appearance in this mailer does not necessarily imply endorsement of others appearing in this mailer…”
The fact is that inclusion in any one of these mailers is mutually exclusive, in other words only one side of a proposition or only one candidate running for the office can be included in the mailer. According to a spokesperson at the Election Digest, the company that produces the mailer, both Finigan and Berkowitz in District Five had the opportunity to purchase ads in the Republican and Democrat mailers, also Gitlin and Murray had the same opportunity to purchase ad space in District One. Only Berkowitz and Gitlin took advantage of the offer.
Why didn’t either Gitlin or Berkowitz respond to questions posed by the Triplicate reporter? Both candidates said that any response they gave to the paper would be taken out of context and used against them. This is an ongoing problem with the paper where they have blinders on and will not tolerate any opinion that differs from theirs. In addition to the obvious bias on the part of the Triplicate, both Berkowitz and Gitlin have been banned from writing a letter to the editor to the Triplicate because they are candidates for office, therefore they would have no opportunity to get the truth out in that paper before election day on Tuesday. However that has not stopped the Triplicate editor from allowing candidates that he favors to place articles in the newspaper like Congressman Huffman who is also running for election. The editor has one standard for candidates he favors and another standard for those he would like to see defeated.
So you now have the truth. The Triplicate has taken an advertising platform that has been used by many local Democrats and Republicans alike, for the last 20 years, and tried to make an issue of its use for purely political purposes.
Shame on you, Triplicate, for stooping so low for this non -story, just to help your favored candidates and to sell newspapers.