Update: Congratulations to the Troy Record for giving all sides equal time: Troy Record on 21st Congressional District.
The media bias in the Albany area continues with the 21st district race. First, the Times Union endorsed Jim Buhrmaster in the GOP primary. They slammed Vasquez in the process for not living in the district:
Moreover, Mr. Vasquez neither lives in the district nor plans to. Though that does not legally disqualify him from running, it suggests his heart is not truly in the place he seeks to represent.
I don’t know where they got that he doesn’t plan to live in the district, nor do I understand why it matters. Vasquez lives in Saratoga County, three miles from the border of the district. He graduated from RPI, which is in the district, and started up a company here. Most members of Congress live in Washington anyway.
Contrast this with the 2000 US Senate race, when the TU endorsed Hillary Clinton (October 29, 2000). While it is true that she bought a house in Westchester County, there has never been a bigger carpetbagger than Hillary, and the TU endorsed her. And they backed Kirsten Gillibrand even though she was a carpetbagger too.
But we turn now to today’s Gazette, from reporter Mike Lamendola. First there’s the overt bias for the Democrats that they share with the TU – the Democrats come first.
The most transparent bias is in the portion about the “GOP Side.” The quote is below, with comments. Compare the amount of information about Buhrmaster with the amount about Vasquez.
On the Republican side, Buhrmaster is waging a strong campaign against Vasquez. He has raised $167,000 and has the endorsements of every county Republican committee in the 21st District, and he has the Conservative Party ballot line. Vasquez has few endorsements and has raised little money.
Ahem. Vasquez is the only one with an endorsement from a presidential candidate (Ron Paul) and from a major PAC (The Republican Liberty Caucus). Then there’s the local blog endorsement from Upstream. Find a local blogger endorsing Buhrmaster – good luck with that. And what about Burhmaster’s spending? I sent a press release to the reporter and the paper detailing how he wasted nearly all of that money on consultants. No mention of that detail.
Buhrmaster spokesman Josh Hills said the campaign is taking the primary seriously, however. “We are confident we will win, but we are not taking any chances,” he said.
That’s quote #1 from the B campaign. Keep count now.
The Buhrmaster campaign is sending out a third and possibly a fourth mailer before Tuesday.
Um … what mailers? Just taking Hills at his word? These mailers weren’t disclosed in the FEC filing, were they? Oh, but that’s the other press release the Gazette ignored. The truth is that Buhrmaster has done almost no mailings and no voter outreach. His lawn signs just started appearing a few days ago. And for the Gazette, that’s another unquoted statement.
“We think it is important to show that the Republican base is strong and behind Jim,” Hills said. A strong turnout also sends a message to Democrats, Hills added. “We have an eye toward the future,” he said.
That’s quote #2 from Hills; and an unquoted statement for #2 of those. And another quote for #3.
Buhrmaster hopes to step up fundraising efforts after the primary for the general election. “After the primary, you will see an exchange of ideas and you will see some very sharp difference no matter who their candidate is,” Hills said.
That’d be quote #4 and unquoted statement #3. Hmm. Where’s the quotes and statements from the Vasquez campaign?
Republicans believe they have a chance in the district because of the large number of voters who do not belong to any party, Hills said. “There are 100,000 blanks. It is a whole different situation when it is an open seat,” he said.
Okay, so we have 5 quotes and 3 unquoted statements from Hills, the Buhrmaster campaign manager. And zero (ZERO) quotes or statements from the Vasquez campaign.
We sent three press releases this week directly to this reporter, Mike Lamendola. He ignored them. My cell phone number is on the press releases. No call.
That, my friends (ok, and my enemies too – and those in the middle) is a measurable bias. The subtitle shouldn’t have been “GOP Side” but instead “Buhrmaster Side”.