Wisconsin State Journal endorsements

WSJ EndorsesIs it puzzling that the Wisconsin State Journal is endorsing candidates for the November election?

It is if you recall the State Journal’s multi-part editorial war against Wisconsin’s rigged voting districts. That little war — we think of it as a little jihad, but a “jihad” in the good sense, a holy crusade, well-intended — was quite clearly the best thing the State Journal editorial page crusaded for in recent memory. They even enlisted other Wisconsin newspapers as allies. Nice!

Still, it was far too timid: all they did was ask for an old-fashioned public hearing.

Asking the Republican leaders of the legislature to put aside their own interests to do the right thing was thoroughly destined to fail. And fail it did. Those self-same leaders had worked very hard and spent plenty of [taxpayer] money to accomplish the intended goal of safely-rigged voting districts, and they weren’t going to abandon that lovely self-serving project just because some editorial board(s) asked them politely to do so.

So, whadaya know? It wasn’t a real jihad. It wasn’t serious. It never escalated.

In fact, here, with these candidate endorsements, we see that the State Journal editors have lost the thread of their own thinking. The voting districts are all safely pre-allocated for either Republican or Democratic victory. (Mostly Republican, of course, because Republicans drew the districts.) It’s too late to jump in with endorsements. It honestly makes no sense.

It would make more sense for the Wisconsin State Journal to publish, in advance, the easily-predicted voting results based on the gerrymandered districts. Instead they’re endorsing general election candidates as if their endorsements matter. They don’t.


One thought on “Wisconsin State Journal endorsements

  1. Mike Bertrand

    The State Journal has been a horrid incubus on Madison for way too long. Now they’re flailing as revenues, profits, and circulation crater. They were lords of their little universe short years ago; now it’s hard to imagine how they survive for five years.

    Two years ago Editor John Smalley publicly castigated some of their workers for signing the recall – a photographer and a few other non-editorial workers if I remember. He thought that was highly inappropriate if not unethical – everyone who works for the State Journal must be rigidly apolitical, how can the public trust them otherwise. But the captains of that organization feel no compunction about putting their fingers on the scale, just like they never have. Not that it matters anymore.

    Mike Bertrand