The L.A. Times editorial board on Sunday explained its approach to this year's upcoming election endorsements.
In recent years, The Times' editorial page has most often endorsed Democrats, but we are not by any means wedded to doing so. We heartily endorsed three Republicans for statewide office in the general election four years ago, and we are examining candidates this year for both the Democratic and GOP nominations for U.S. Senate, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and insurance commissioner. We have always tended to look favorably on candidates who believe, as do we, that free markets are the best engines of prosperity -- but our enthusiasm sours when those who claim to defend freedom do not embrace the right to marry, terminate a pregnancy, live free of government snooping or express unpopular beliefs, or when their free-market zeal threatens rational protection of consumers and safety-net services for those who need help.
In general elections, we put ourselves in the shoes of voters and pick one candidate for each office while expressing any reservations we may harbor; in the primary, we reserve the right to endorse or not as we see fit. We will not endorse for gamesmanship, to set up an interesting match or to do what we think is best for any particular political party. We will endorse only candidates we would be willing to see in office, and then will consider before the November election which of the party nominees we would prefer.
The editorial also voices disappointment that no one ran against county supervisors Zev Yaroslavasky and Gloria Molina or Sheriff Lee Baca: "That gives three of the most powerful leaders of the nation's most populous county a free pass for another four-year term without so much as a debate about their performance or the county's mission....That's hardly an indication of a vibrant and thriving democracy. But we admit to mixed feelings. Token opposition in recent years from ill-prepared or ideologically driven candidates has not generated much discussion or debate either."