Letter from Ed Quillen
Salida politics – September 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine
An official announcement of non-candidacy
Many good people have urged me to run for municipal office, especially the mayor’s position, this November.
So many, in fact, that I was actually motivated to ask the authorities at The Denver Post, for whom I write two op-ed columns a week, whether they’d be comfortable with my seeking such public office.
They weren’t, and since column-writing certainly pays better and most likely offers more pleasure than public office, I’ll stick with that.
The Post had good reasons for this decision. Combining public office and a public pulpit can put more power in a person’s hands than is proper. A journalist, especially a columnist, should feel free to criticize policies that a public official often feels compelled to defend.
Further, journalists don’t have a good track record in politics. Benito Mussolini, for instance, was a newspaper editor before he organized his brown shirts and made Italy a fascist state.
In this country, Warren G. Harding — now a byword for incompetence and corruption — was publisher of the Marion, Ohio, Star before he became President in 1921.
And so, I’m not running for anything except cover this fall. I will, of course, vote for any candidate who will endeavor to make it safe to be young or poor in Salida.
Ed Quillen Salida