Attack letters not allowed in last pre-election issue

Tom West, West Words

The election campaign is coming down to the last few weeks. I’d like to remind readers of the guidelines we follow just before an election.

The last issue in which we will allow letters critical of candidates will be the issue of Oct. 28. That is the only way we know to allow for candidates to respond if they believe a falsehood has been published.

There is an old saying in politics, attributed to Confucius, probably falsely, that goes, “He who throws mud get some on self.”

We will still run letters in the Nov. 4 issue, the last issue before the election, but we won’t allow new information to be brought forward nor criticism of candidates of any kind.

Most people are respectful of the guidelines, but we always seem to deal with one or two who don’t want to play fair and then get angry at the paper about it.

We understand that when the fate of the western world is at stake, people can become passionate about their beliefs. Experience tells us, however, that when the sun comes up on Nov. 7, life will go on.

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In my rush to finish last week’s column, I miscounted. Sixteen presidents have been re-elected, not 15. Fifteen have been re-elected to consecutive terms, but Grover Cleveland was elected to non-consecutive terms — in 1884 and 1892.

This year is the United States’ 57th consecutive regularly-scheduled presidential election. That is an unprecedented feat in recorded history. Forty different Americans have been elected president, and four, John Tyler, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur and Gerald Ford, were elevated from the vice presidency but never elected president in their own right.

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We have been making a number of changes at the Record office in recent months. The one most noticeable to Morrison County residents is that we have partnered with our sister publications in Princeton and Milaca to produce a new monthly publication, My Generation.

My Generation is what we call in the publishing industry a “niche product.” It is designed for people age 50 and over who are still “young at heart.”

While the Record is targeted for readership by everyone who lives in Morrison County, My Generation is aimed at people who may be empty nesters but who have disposable income and are still living life to the fullest.

While we may occasionally have articles on estate planning or health issues, the primary focus is on interesting hobbies, volunteer contributions or vacations that people in that age group are enjoying.

The third issue will be coming out the first week in November.

The paper is distributed at more than 100 drop spots throughout Mille Lacs and Morrison counties plus several locations in Brainerd and St. Cloud.

Demand seems to be strong, as copies fly off the shelves soon after we deliver. Readers like reading about people they know.

If you can’t find a copy, stop by the Record and pick one up — at least while supply lasts. We are rapidly increasing the number of copies printed in an attempt to meet demand.

My Generation is free at the drop spots. If you would like to receive a copy delivered to your home in the mail, the introductory subscription price is only $24 per year.

You can subscribe at any of our three offices, the Record, the Princeton Union-Eagle and the Mille Lacs County Times in Milaca.

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Finally, I want to mention that our parent company, ECM Publishers, Inc., now has the largest circulation of any newspaper company in Minnesota. Earlier this year, ECM purchased the Sun newspaper group in the Twin City suburbs.

The company now has 51 newspapers in Minnesota with a total weekly circulation of more than 650,000.

Not every advertiser needs to reach 650,000 homes, but for those that do, we are here to help them get their message out.

Tom West is the general manager of the Record. He may be reached at (320) 632-2345 or e-mail tom.west@mcrecord.com.

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