Sahan Journal released a voter guide about the Hennepin County attorney’s race on Tuesday, in collaboration with Pollen Midwest. The voter guide included multiple elements: an introduction and overview of the office and the campaign; policy interviews with all the candidates; and information on your rights as a voter and how to cast a ballot.
In response to negative feedback on social media, Pollen Midwest apologized Wednesday evening for parts of the guide and removed a quote that appeared in the introduction. Sahan won’t be following Pollen’s lead, and we’d like our readers to know why.
First, some short background. Sahan Journal reported, photographed, and wrote the Hennepin County attorney voter guide. Pollen Midwest designed and co-published it.
We picked this race for a reason. It’s a powerful and often overlooked elected office: The county attorney sets policies and priorities for criminal prosecutions, and oversees child protection and child support cases.
In 2018, Mike Freeman, the incumbent, defeated a more progressive challenger, Mark Haase. In our overview this week, we quoted Haase saying this about the 2022 field:
They’re all pretty progressive,” said Haase, who lost to Freeman. “In the end, it’s going to be about who people feel more comfortable with based on their background and who they are. But it’s such a large race, I’m not sure how we’ll get to that point.
Some commenters on social media have taken issue with Haase’s characterization. Readers, of course, may agree with Haase’s interpretation or vehemently reject it.
Earlier this evening, Pollen Midwest released a Twitter thread retracting Haase’s quote and described it as “harmful”:
Pollen believes that several of the candidates hold views that fall outside what common political discourse would label as “progressive.” Mark, like all of us, is entitled to his view, but it is not one Pollen shares
🧵Thank you to everyone who visited the voter guide we recently published in partnership with Sahan Journal. Since publishing, we have received some valid critical feedback. 1/7
— Pollen (@PollenMidwest) July 27, 2022
As an independent, nonprofit newsroom, Sahan Journal follows a different set of standards. Our mission is to provide information that helps readers become informed and empowered citizens. We accurately report what people say and let readers make up their own minds.
In covering the news, we sometimes publish quotes and perspectives that people might disagree with. Readers can and should criticize those public statements. They should feel free to criticize our work, too.
Readers can find the original voter guide on our own website, www.sahanjournal.com, including the introduction and the candidate questionnaires. We hope you read it and, if you’re able to vote in Hennepin County, we hope you’ll participate in the election.
Finally, we hope you’ll continue to read our work and tell us what you think. Sahan Journal exists to serve people like you.
voter guide about the Hennepin County attorney’s race
An unusually high number of candidates are vying to become the next Hennepin County attorney.
An unusually packed field of candidates is running for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, including three experienced lawyers vying to become the first person of color to lead the office. The seven candidates range in age from 37 to 70, and bring a wealth of experience. They include retired judges, prosecutors, a former city council…