The Union botches big headline in Aanestad-LaMalfa flap — where’s the Editor when you need him/her?

The Union has done a good job of carrying water for local political gadfly Barry Pruett over the years, whether it is dutifully posting Tom McClintock press releases on its website, omitting key facts from the AtPac lawsuit or publishing uninformed columns by the editor/publisher about our judicial system that benefit candidates whom Pruett supports. Whether intentional or careless, it helpes fuel the perception by some citizens that The Union is the “Tea Party Gazette.”

This time, however, Pruett should have helped out with the rudimentary headline writing (a task the Editor oversees in a newsroom) — not just the story — on his latest campaign: “dirty tricks” allegations against LaMalfa involving a website.

“Aanestad files SEC complaint against rival,” said a big headline on page A3 of this morning’s newspaper.

Come on. As the first sentence reads, “Congressional candidate Sam Aanestad on Monday filed a formal complaint against his biggest rival with the Federal Election Commission, alleging several violations of election law.”

It’s the FEC, not SEC. These regulatory agencies have vastly different roles. At least correct it in the online “paywall” story ASAP.

My prediction: LaMalfa beats Aanestad (whom McClintock is supporting) handily. Negative campaigning is losing its luster, as I’ve been writing recently.

All this “high-brow” political ethics discussion brings to mind another local topic relating to campaign election laws: Do the anti-Nate Beason campaign signs that are being poked in the ground around Nevada City comply with the political sign ordinances? Will the electorate get to know who paid for them?

Funny how one case gets scrutiny and the other gets none. Small-towns, and their political machinations, are a hoot!

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

10 thoughts on “The Union botches big headline in Aanestad-LaMalfa flap — where’s the Editor when you need him/her?”

  1. I kind of like the monkey wrenching aspect of the anti-Nate posters. The posters are respectful and don’t really worsen the already visually polluted landscape that is part of the election season. Maybe they were put up by a super PAC. So, we may never know…

  2. The edition of The Union that landed on my driveway this morning–and there’s only one edition, as far as I know–said FEC, not SEC, in the headline. Perhaps somebody caught the error before the press run ended.

    The way you were getting wound up, I thought you were going to reveal a major screw-up, like the time an early edition of the Sunday Chronicle featured a lead story that jumped into infinity. Bill German must have been sleeping on the job that day.

    1. George Ackerman: I wonder if that copy was printed just for you. LOL! The many ones that I read, including the one that cost me 50 cents, said “SEC.” And so did the digital edition until after this blog item posted. Perhaps other readers of The Union could weigh in with what they experienced in the page A3 headline.

    2. Take a look at Town Talk May 22, 1230(am). Headline says SEC
      …TheUnion: Aanestad files SEC complaint against rival: Congressional candidate Sam Aanestad on Monday filed a form… #gvnc [via Twitter]
      When clicking on the link, it was changed to FEC.

      1. Yup, and the digital edition read “SEC” as well. What is The Union’s policy on corrections? To just quietly make a change and hope that nobody noticed? Here’s how the NYT handles it:
        I’ll keep my hard-copy edition with “SEC.” Perhaps I can recoup my 50 cents on eBay. LOL.
        BTW, “stopping the presses” to correct an error used to carry extreme cost:
        George’s defensive response is not uncommon, though. “We’re sorry,” is another option.

  3. I am a life long Democratic Union member and crime victim and am not happy about how many George Smyrnos signs have been stolen and damaged. At the same time that Tom claims George is the one who made it a party issue that is Tom’s theme. What a bunch of crap. Half of the bosses in the Smyrnos for Superior Court Judge are Progressive Democrats and advocates for Domestic Violence Victims or mental health pros. How is it OK that Anderson sponsers web pages that hype his world view and asks lawyers for MONEY? Yes all the judges are circling the wagons. Is Julie McManus in there. As Metroka said, she was on the bench with an undiagnoised brain damage. Tom was warned and told. He failed to protect us from her. Tom wants us to think he embraces Emily Gallup. Ask her, read the record of what he allowed. Be a free thinker and look at all the issues. Protect us Please.

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