Earlier today, Steve Kraske wrote an editorial about the quality of candidates in this year's version of the mayor's race?
But it was interesting that his column essentially eliminated two candidates from the start.
While his column features nice words to say about candidates Deb Hermann, Mike Burke, Jim Rowland and Sly James (along with current mayor Mark Funkhouser), he essentially never mentioned two other candidates in the mayor's race, Henry Klein and Charles Wheeler.
But what makes these two candidates lesser candidates than the ones who are getting the press?
The simple answer: Money.
While the 5 candidates mentioned by Kraske have higher overall donations, neither Klein nor Wheeler had earned major donations as of a month ago.
Sadly, it's not experience, smarts, or ideas that is keeping them from being mentioned by the city's leading news outlet as being legitimate contenders, it's simple money. Both have been regulars at the forums. Wheeler is the only candidate other than our current mayor who actually has experience being the mayor of this city. Klein lacks the political experience, but certainly doesn't have less political experience than Burke or James. Both have been active in all of the forums -- and Klein has brought a lot of unique thinking to the table with talk of improving public transit by partnering with private entities such as Zip Cars and in pushing green initiatives.
Sadly, it doesn't matter. Apparently only money matters to the city's newspaper of record...allowing the city's political insiders who collected early donations to continue to rule the roost in city politics. The Star should report on the issues, and the ideas the candidates bring to the table to address the issues, and let the people decide who is worthy to be our mayor based on those ideas; instead of letting money decide who's viable and who's not.
It's unfortunate that not being part of the political elite in the city doesn't warrant even consideration from the Star -- our citizens deserve better, and the city needs better than that.