Election season is right around the corner and already the political letters are coming in. This year promises to be particularly contentious, so the Pilot will pay extra attention to the tone and content of these letters.
The main purpose of the letters section is to provide a forum for any and all community perspectives. We believe that such views can and should be presented in a civil manner, with the focus on the issues, not individual letter writers. We are not interested in letters that only incite and antagonize rather than debate the issues. Readers tell us they feel the same.
Inevitably, each election season, the Pilot is accused of publishing letters mostly favoring one side or the other. We don't play favorites. The Pilot has long prided itself on publishing nearly every letter to the editor it receives. If it seems, from one issue to another, that there are more letters from Democrats or Republicans, than that is a reflection of the writers, not the Pilot.
With that in mind, here are some basic rules regarding political letters:
andbull;No letters or guest commentaries from the candidates themselves. Such letters are rarely candid discussions of important issues and they usually read like the campaign advertisements they are.
andbull;Any letters, political or not, that exceed the 250-word limit will be edited by us or returned to the writer for editing.
andbull;We will not publish letters linked to an organized campaign to flood the paper with letters for a particular candidate or issue.
andbull;We will not publish letters that make serious charges against a candidate, especially close to election time, when there is limited opportunity for the Pilot to investigate the claims or for the candidate to respond.
So please, when writing a letter, approach your topic, your argument, your response with civility and an understanding that there are other legitimate, rational views on an issue.