Journal Endorsement Raises Questions

June 10th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

By Tracy Dingmann

Now that all the election dust has cleared, I’ve got time to address something that’s intrigued me regarding an endorsement the Journal made for land commissioner.

On May 18, the Journal endorsed Bob Cornelius as its choice for land commissioner in the Republican primary (you can read the endorsement here.)

The Journal called Cornelius, a native of Tatum, N.M., a “fresh face” in the party and in New Mexico politics. The endorsement approvingly listed several other things about Cornelius, including that he is “currently is a partner in a group working to put together a biomass project in Clovis.”

On May 19, the Santa Fe Reporter published the story, “Cornelius Campaign: Inconsistencies Abound,” which examined several of the details Cornelius had given the Journal and other media outlets, included on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and on the candidate’ website.

The reporter who wrote the story sought to verify a number of details about the company Cornelius said he was working with, to no avail. The SFR story quoted language from Cornelius’s website regarding the company, Petro Verde:

“He is a partner in a company that works with the energy industry to help navigate the burdensome regulations our state has placed on the backs of our small businesses. Their current project is the Petro Verde project in Clovis, where a biogas plan will be built that will create hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in annual revenue for the city of Clovis.”

But the SFR reporter found the mayor of Clovis had never heard of the company and that the Public Regulation Commission shows no permits or investors for it. (There’s a bunch of other questionable stuff in the story about Cornelius, but nothing the Journal mentioned in its endorsement of him, so I’m not going to list it.)

Hmm. From the Journal, there was no acknowledgment of any of the controversy surrounding Cornelius on its news pages – much less on the opinion page, where the endorsement ran.

The Journal endorsed Cornelius again as part of its pre-election recap on Sunday, May 30.

Cornelius lost in the primary on June 2, so his candidacy is over.

But it got me wondering: Has the Journal – or any newspaper for that matter – ever pulled an endorsement before an election after negative facts emerged about the candidate? I’ve talked to people who might know…but nobody remembers for sure. Anyone out there have any details?

That question aside, here’s another: Surely the Journal knew about the irregularities in Cornelius’s campaign as broken by the Santa Fe Reporter and noted elsewhere.

Even though the details were (horrors!) broken by another news outlet, doesn’t the Journal owe it to its readers NOT to ignore the information, and to provide pertinent, current and relevant information about the candidates it endorses?

I’d say any paper that refers to itself as the “paper of record” surely bears that responsibility. What do you think?

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Bob Cornelius

    Tracy-

    The truth of the matter is the SFR story had several false and misleading accusations in it that were refuted by myself and others mentioned within the story.

    Had the SFR reporter actually done her job and asked questions to the people she was making “claims” about, the story probably would have never been written, at least in the manner it was written.

    The story the SFR reporter wrote was based off an attack email by my former opponent’s surrogates who continually spread half-truths throughout the campaign. I asked the SFR for an apology and a retraction because it was only used as a campaign hit piece and served as nothing more than an avenue to further my opponent’s campaign.

    I provided additional information discrediting the SFR story to any news media outlet that asked. That’s why the story was never carried by anyone other than liberal bloggers who had the same agenda as Matt Rush and his surrogates.

    Sincerely,

    Bob Cornelius

  • John

    Do you live in a crystal house? The ABQ Urinal almost exclusively supports the liberal cause in NM even tho that cause gains NM noteriety for being worst of the good things and worst of the bad things in society. How about you doing your homework on all the dishonest things done by King Bill and his band of thieves?

  • Tracy Dingmann

    Hi Bob –
    Can you send me that information?
    Thanks,
    Tracy

  • Julia Goldberg

    Mr. Cornelius seems to believe that disputing information is the same as disproving it. We had not intended to pursue this story following Mr. Cornelius’ loss during the Republican primary, but since he continues to publicly maintain that he is owed a retraction, an assertion with which we do not agree, we’ve decided to go ahead and post all the reporting we’ve done in response to Mr. Cornelius’ responses to us.
    This information will be available shortly at SFReeper.com

    Julia Goldberg
    Editor
    The Santa Fe Reporter

  • Tracy Dingmann

    Thanks for reading, Julia!
    And thanks for the heads-up about your story…here’s the link:
    http://www.sfreeper.com/2010/06/11/more-on-former-republican-land-commissioner-candidate-bob-cornelius/
    Tracy

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