Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Walker campaign responds to Gazette editorial controversy

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 5:35 PM

click to enlarge COURTESY COMMITTEE TO ELECT JARIAH WALKER
  • Courtesy Committee to Elect Jariah Walker
Yesterday, we wrote about the Gazette's recent county commissioner endorsements, where the paper backed incumbents Darryl Glenn and Peggy Littleton.

The only problem is that the paper's editorial-page editor, Wayne Laugesen, is married to Littleton's campaign manager, a fact the paper failed to disclose. Later, in a statement to the Indy, Gazette publisher Dan Steever said Laugesen "recused himself from the decision-making process and did not write the article. The decision to endorse Commissioner Littleton was made by four other members of the editorial board."

Today, Chet Hardin, the campaign manager for Jariah Walker, Littleton's opponent for a seat on the Board of County Commissioners representing District 5, took a look at Steever's statement, and issued the following dissent:

“As a former journalist, I was surprised by the Gazette's lack of transparency with its readers,” says Hardin, a former Indy reporter. “Furthermore, the paper failed to mention that Mr. Laugesen was allowed to sit in on our endorsement interview. That would be akin to the paper letting my wife sit in on their interview with our opponent.”

Hardin continues: “How did the paper reach its decision, when half of the people who decided weren't even there for the interview? From what the Gazette wrote in its endorsement about Jariah, it is clear to me that they did very little research.” 

With the November election looming, state records filed in late July show Walker's campaign with $12,124 on hand, with $5,000 coming from the candidate himself. Littleton's campaign reports a balance of $16,080, with $1,002 coming from her husband Don. Both campaigns paid penalties for late filings in June.

The next report is due Oct. 14.

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