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UPDATED: Mirror Backs Blake; Register Picks Joy

What exactly does this mean for Milford's mayoral candidates' campaigns? One professor says, not much.

Picking the candidate who they said has more political experience, greater fiscal restraint and a record of making informed decisions, the Milford Mirror has endorsed Ben Blake for mayor.

In making the decision, the newspaper wrote on Nov. 2:

"He loves the community, and certainly will do the best he can for Milford, relying on his education, intelligence, experience and the lessons he’s learned while making decisions as an alderman — decisions similar to those a mayor will be asked to make on a daily basis."

The original story follows:

Bob Joy was "very happy" yesterday when the New Haven Register endorsed him to be Milford's next mayor.

On his Facebook page for mayor, Joy's comment that he was "very happy" with the endorsement garnered 10 likes and 2 comments. The Republican candidate for mayor also posted this excerpt from the Register endorsement, which was published Nov. 1:

"Bernard 'Bob' F. Joy Jr., a first-term Republican alderman, knows budget specifics — the city’s bond rating, number of municipal layoffs — that escape his main opponent."

Milford Democrats are not reading too much into the endorsement. In fact, based on their experience in the last election, when the Register endorsed a Democrat for mayor who ended up losing, they said it could be a blessing in disguise. “Two years ago it did not help us any bit,” said Rich Smith, campaign manager for Ben Blake.

“The real endorsement that we care about is the endorsement of the voters of Milford on Nov. 8th,” Smith said.

According to Quinnipiac University Professor of Journalism Rich Hanley, an endorsement may not carry as much weight as it once did.

"Newspaper endorsements are artifacts of a period when voters received the majority of their information from print," Hanley said. "Today, newspaper endorsements are useful to a candidate only in that a candidate can use that information as a kicker for a television or online advertisement."

As for any correlation between endorsements and the winner on election day, Hanley added:

"The only study I'm aware of on the topic is one by Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania. She found no evidence of any impact of endorsements, a point raised in her book, "Everything You Think You Know About Politics and Why You're Wrong.'"

Michael Brown November 02, 2011 at 11:03 AM
Congrats on the endorsement from New Haven Register Political Editor Charles Kochakian who lives in Madison. Ben Blake was endorsed by the Milford Police Union - 110 men and women sworn to protect the citizens of the City of Milford.
Kathy Kobishyn November 02, 2011 at 12:50 PM
From the Register, Bob Joy is 'the candidate with the most clearly defined positions and knowledge of Milford Government " along with "sensitivity to popular concerns ". When questioned about the tough issues Blake said he did not have the facts to take a position on the subject .In fact the Register editorial said "Blake's positions are vague , if not evasive". I submit that those who see this will realize that Bob Joy is the clear choice on November 8th. Congratulations to Bob for earning the endorsement.
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 02, 2011 at 01:33 PM
Gary, I thought the Regional Editor was to remain neutral in local politics and yet even in this posting the first three statements was about Bob Joy and the rest (6) was about why the endorsement means nothing. Of cause the endorsement has meaning. Mike Brown immediately reverts to the union endorsement and claims the 110 union members really prefer Blake. I say if you are going to negotiate a contract, which new administration will you want to go up against. The harder or the easiest. This is not the Milford Police Dept. but just the union who get instructions from their Hartford HQ. Who else endorsed the Democrats Former Mayor Jepson who ran as a Democrat in all of his elections, and as City Clerk he also accepted the endorsement of the Republicans. Why are endorsements important, it is the head of the ticket that carries the underticket most of the time. Now I'm running for the PZB in the 2nd district and will be on the opposite end of the ballot from Bob Joy. Voters do not look from right to left except in Israel. So I'm the tail in the election on row B. RON GOLDWYN I’d love a 74th birthday present from you on Election day.
Rich Smith November 02, 2011 at 01:54 PM
The bottom line regarding endorsements, empirical evidence (without control of other impacting variables) does show no voter movement resulting from newspaper endorsements. We need not look further than our own local endorsements of the past several years to see this. The one exception is when large organizations make an endorsement and then ask their members to help on a campaign. With a single newspaper editor who doesn't live in Milford and interviews the candidates for all of 15 minutes, it is only fair to look at these askance.
Rich Smith November 02, 2011 at 01:54 PM
Who do these make a difference to? Thos of us involved in the campaigns. Just like the number of signs make a difference to us. But you know what? Most voters don't care about any of it. They will not decide their votes because some bureaucrat sitting in a cubicle in New Haven decides he likes Bob Joy. They will vote based upon their local knowledge. They will vote for Ben Blake because they have seen him on MGAT, taking on the issues, engaging is respectful and thoughtful debate. They will note that Bob Joy has said and done nothing on the Board of Aldermen until he decided to run for Mayor. They will question how engaged Bob Joy is based upon the fact that he rarely bothered to even vote in most elections. In other words, Milford voters will make their decision based upon facts and not based about what Charlie in New Haven thinks.
CuriousOrange November 02, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Ronald, since the Arab Spring, you need to amend your comment, "Voters do not look from right to left except in Israel," to include 'Arabia,' Judging from the number of Halal vendors I see, you may have a chance.
CuriousOrange November 02, 2011 at 02:07 PM
I canceled my Register subscription years ago. Most local news comes to me via WTNH and the Patch.
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 02, 2011 at 02:10 PM
Rich But just in case the endorsement does swing some votes I will write a rebuttal anyway. As for me, I say Mr Smiths message would be totally altered had it gone his way. Now he says it is all "sour grapes." RON GOLDWYN I’d love a 74th birthday present from you on Election day. Reply
Rich November 02, 2011 at 05:58 PM
Speaking of endorsements, what's with all these new campaign signs that say "REPUBLICANS FOR BEN BLAKE" and "INDEPENDENTS FOR BEN BLAKE"?????? Who is putting up these signs, the democrats?
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 02, 2011 at 06:19 PM
Rich, As far as I know the MRTC is not the ones who are doing that. I've been complaining that there are still many of my signs at HQ. I thought it was your team. Now I see red Democratic signs also. Ron Goldwyn
Michael Brown November 03, 2011 at 11:30 AM
The editors (plural) of the Milford Mirror coincidentally live in Milford. The Mr. Kochakian, the Political Editor (singular) of the New Haven Register and author of the recent their recent endorsement, lives in Madison, CT.
Alex November 03, 2011 at 12:46 PM
Newspaper endorsements still probably are not that important. But all things being equal, I'd still prefer the hometown paper!
Tessa Marquis November 03, 2011 at 02:18 PM
Media editorial decisions cannot be made without deference to advertiser's sensibilities. That is why Public Radio and Television make an attempt (albeit flawed in some circumstances) to avoid funding by retail companies. It is unfortunate but necessary that most media outlets not alienate their advertisers. Other than that, most endorsements are a form of gambling and futures speculation.
Rocco Frank Milford Independents November 03, 2011 at 03:20 PM
Newspapers should not endorse candidates, it shows they have an agenda and that their reporting is slanted in favor of the candidates they like, whereas they ignore or hinder the ones they dislike. If there was ever anything that makes me want to not adverise in papers its endorsements. Thankfully we have the Internet for real debate, and real objectivity. If anyone dislikes this type of partisan behavior they ought not adverise with the Mirror or the Register. Let the voters decide without interference from the press!
Michael Brown November 03, 2011 at 04:24 PM
What must have been doubly upsetting for both you and Bob Joy was that the Milford Mirror never even mentioned your names.
Rocco Frank Milford Independents November 03, 2011 at 04:59 PM
Mike the Mirror does not upset me. In 2008 when I ran for State Rep I just canceled $7,000.00 in advertising because of endorsements. I put 2 full page ads in the paper that is now the Milford Orange Bulletin instead because they do not endorse. Eventually they will get the message that these endorsements are bad for business. No one im my group will give an advertising dime to any paper that endorses, we do not support papers that have an Agenda.
Anthony Karge November 03, 2011 at 08:45 PM
A couple comments from the Milford Patch Facebook page: Rebecca Davis: I don't think it's a newspaper's place to endorse political candidates. A newspaper should cover issues and candidates in a non biased manner. This should not include making any kind of endorsement. Such an endorsement would not affect my vote, but it would affect my view of the newspaper itself. Helene Jackson: I agree with Rebecca. The newspaper should cover the issues and candidates in a non biased manner. This endorsement would not in anyway affect my vote. http://www.facebook.com/MilfordCTPatch
Hal DePino November 03, 2011 at 10:09 PM
Homeowners are putting up these signs. As an Independent voter I gladly have one in my front yard. Needless to say I also now see similar signs for Joy and letters have arrived from so called "Independents for Joy" and "Democrats for Joy" from persons my family does not even know.
Joe Della Monica November 04, 2011 at 12:48 AM
Yes
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 05, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Wow, Both the New Haven Register and the CT Post after careful study have picked Bob Joy to endorse. The Milford Mirror, Picked Blake and at the same time posted 14 out of 15 Democratic letters to the editor in their last pre-election edition. That was not a sign of being neutral off the editorial page. No way am I purchasing a subscription after Jan. 1, 2012.
Michael Brown November 05, 2011 at 12:54 PM
The CT Post has NEVER endorsed a Democrat in Milford. Another quote from the article, "Less comforting is Joy's spotty voting record, both in public elections and on the Board of Aldermen." And by the way, President John McCain was also endorsed by the Post in 2008.
JE November 05, 2011 at 02:06 PM
You actually sat there and counted them? Maybe that's all they got this week. For many years they wouldn't publish ANY political letters to the editor. I actually wish they'd go back to that policy. But in any case, I know the Mirror editorial staff to be the most hardworking, honest and balanced in the local news community. I highly doubt they purposely chose only those from democrats to print.
JE November 05, 2011 at 02:07 PM
And on another note, I bet some of those letters were from Independents or Republicans that are voting for Blake!
CuriousOrange November 05, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Why should Republicans write letters? They own the newspapers.
Hal DePino November 06, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Didn't I just read you say on another story that we should all show a little more respect for one another? I suggest you practice what you preach and turn your computer off.

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