By Tracy Dingmann
The Journal made a spectacular error today.
A story, “Businesses ‘Slept’ in Last Election,” by staff writer Win Quigley, detailed some of the comments made by speakers at a recent Economic Forum.
From the story:
New Mexico business people were asleep at the wheel in the last election cycle, allowing a free flow of out-of-state political money to propel progressive and anti-business candidates into the state Legislature, the president of the Association of Commerce and Industry told the Economic Forum on Wednesday.
ACI is working to make sure that does not happen again, Beverlee McClure said.
McClure said ACI, Economic Forum, NAIOP and other business groups will back conservative and business-friendly candidates in the next election cycle and challenge candidates supported by Better Choices, which she said helped several progressive candidates oust more conservative incumbent legislators in the 2008 elections. (Emphasis mine.)
Just one problem. Better Choices New Mexico didn’t exist until the fall of 2009.
The story goes on to properly identify the members of the broad-based coalition of faith-based groups, unions, education advocates and more (including our organization, the Center for Civic Policy), but fails to identify the essential fact that Better Choices did not exist until a year after the 2008 elections.
That’s the embarrassing factual error for which the coalition should rightfully demand a full correction.
But there’s more. In his story, Quigley let a number of McClure’s unfounded assertions stand, including those about a “free flow of out-of-state political money” was used to propel progressive and anti-business candidates into the state legislature in 2008.
In fact, the whole ostensible “news” story was essentially nothing but a fact-free rant by McClure against progressives and the “new, more left-leaning Legislature.”
Was there no editing of this story? Or worse – was it edited… and allowed to go?
I’ll be interested to see how the Journal handles the glaring factual error in this story – and intrigued about whether it will ever deign to explain how it chose to stand by the rest of it.