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EDITORIAL: Sandpiper’s First Amendment Right

Channel 10 was asked by an anonymous group and City Council Candidate T. Pat Stubbs to investigate the Del Mar Sandpiper for campaign violations, apparently because the Sandpiper did not endorse his candidacy.

As a 501{c}{4} organization it is fully within the rights of the Sandpiper to advocate political positions. The Sandpiper has existed as a monthly journal for almost 20 years with the mission of promoting the values of Del Mar that have made it such a desirable place to live. The Sandpiper covers many aspects of the city and its residents, a small percentage of which are editorials and opinion pieces which promote positions on issues that the editors feel are in line with community values. Not everyone may agree with these positions, so we solicit opposing views, including a “Pipe-up” feature to air differences.

In the current election, the Sandpiper offered space to all candidates to present their qualifications and to answer a set of questions about current issues. The editors decided it would be in the community’s interest to voice the Sandpiper’s views about the six candidates who are running. Of course, under the First Amendment, the Sandpiper has the right to express its views, just as many others in the community are doing.

This is the first contested election for Council in 10 years, and a lot is at stake for the community in who next serves. The editors came to a consensus about which candidates would do the most for Del Mar to promote the Community Plan and keep Del Mar from losing its unique character. The rationale for those choices is given in the paper. Perhaps Stubbs and two other candidates were disappointed not to be endorsed. But making an unfounded accusation against the press, whether in Del Mar or nationally, is a political ploy that gets air time but does not advance civic discourse.

We are encouraged that most of the candidates are focusing on issues important to citizens of Del Mar.



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