We’re moving into the homestretch for the Nov. 3 General Election (some say “Praise the Lord”). It comes during a time when a lot of us have time to sit down and compose a letter to the editor, so time to review a few campaign season letter etiquette rules.
We love getting and printing letters from our readers. It’s easy to participate: Write up to 490 words on an issue that concerns you, as a local resident, and/or impacts our community. No personal or business vendettas; nothing malicious or libelous. One letter per person per calendar month.
-- In the past, we declined to print letters to the editor about candidates and ballot issues. That’s no longer quite the case, though there are some restrictions. They cannot be merely campaign pieces or endorsements. They need to be about issues that candidates should be considering. They mustn’t become a candidate endorsement or disapproval. Candidates themselves can also submit letters under the same rules -- treat the issue, but don’t campaign.
-- Go ahead and write about ballot issues and please make sure to note the relevancy to our readers.
-- We will stop accepting letters with any reference to candidates and ballot issues on Oct. 26.
-- We won’t accept long columns from candidates or their supporters.
-- In the past, the Appeal printed any endorsements that came in -- sometimes as brief news stories, sometimes as letters to the editor. Nowadays, generally, we only run them as paid advertising. We think it’s great if you want to endorse someone or if you’ve gotten someone’s endorsement, but we consider it marketing, not news.
-- Meet-and-greets, fundraisers and candidate rallies are considered marketing, so must be paid advertising. Simple announcements that a candidate(s) will be speaking at an event can run as calendar items.
-- Every once in a while we get calls from a candidate or campaign manager who wants to coordinate an announcement or news release or letter to the editor so it coincides with their media buys. That’s something the news department cannot accommodate.
-- We sent very simple three-question questionnaires to candidates in all contested races and have been printing responses. There are a few more to go over the next week or so. We had a little trouble making connections with some candidates, so if you are a candidate in a contested race and didn’t get a questionnaire (please check your spam), please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thumbs Up: We can say that we’re impressed by this year’s field of candidates, based on what we heard at candidate forums. We teamed up with the chamber of commerce and several others and hosted forums featuring supervisor candidates and city candidates for Yuba City, Marysville and Live Oak.
Voters in all those instances have good choices to make.
Thumbs Up: Our name may be up in lights, if nothing else.
In an Oct. 7 report in Variety magazine, called to our attention by intrepid public info officer Russ Brown, rights to Allison Janney’s drama-comedy “Breaking News in Yuba County” were scarfed up by MGM and the film is to be released Jan. 29.
Janney plays an “overlooked pencil pusher,” according to the article, who finds her husband in bed with another woman ... which causes him to die of a heart attack. She buries him and enjoys the celebrity of having a missing spouse. And the high-jinks take off from there.
It’s not at all clear if there are actual scenes from or references to Yuba County, outside the title. Brown some time ago texted an invitation to do a screening in the movie’s namesake county ... and was richly praised for “reaching out.”
We’re guessing the name “Yuba” just sounded cool to the creator. But so what? It might be a fun film and it puts our name in the spotlight ... anything else is gravy.
To read a little more, go to www.variety.com and type “Breaking News in Yuba County” in the search bar.
Ugh: Random thoughts courtesy of an old bowling buddy:
-- When one door closes and another door opens, you are probably in prison.
-- Age 60 might be the new 40, but 9 p.m. is the new midnight. The older I get, the earlier it gets late.
-- When I say, “The other day,” I could be referring to any time between yesterday and 15 years ago.
-- I had my patience tested. I’m negative.
-- If you lose a sock in the dryer, it comes back as a Tupperware lid that doesn’t fit any of your containers.