The Seattle Times Co. jumped directly into two of the state’s hottest political contests Wednesday, launching an $80,000 independent-expenditure campaign promoting Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and announcing a similar effort in support of the referendum to legalize gay marriage.
The company’s move — which drew quick criticism from some journalism and political experts — began with a full-page newspaper ad in support of McKenna’s campaign for governor. The ad, on page B6 of Wednesday’s editions of The Seattle Times, touts McKenna as “an easy way to end the gridlock that threatens to cripple state government,” and promote the two-term attorney general’s talking points on funding education and creation private sector jobs.
The decision to run the ad was made by the corporate side of the newspaper and was “completely separate from the journalism functions of the newspaper,” said Alan Fisco, executive vice president, revenue and new products, for The Seattle Times.
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