Feb. 16, 2020
Bankrupt Sac Bee Endorses Do-Nothing Bera,
Continues News Blackout of Principled Burdick for Congress
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today the Burdick for Congress campaign took public nearly nine months of frustration with The Sacramento Bee over that publication’s near-complete news blackout of Jeff Burdick’s historic campaign and coverage of any key issues involved in his primary race to unseat the incumbent Rep. Ami Bera.
Burdick is the first Democrat to ever primary Bera. His campaign is also providing district voters with their first choice of Democratic congressional candidates in 22 years. Despite this and dozens of outreaches, pitches and news releases sent to Bee reporters and editors, the Bee has yet to substantively include Burdick in any news story about the race.
He’s endorsed by the Sacramento News & Review, two Democratic clubs, and many elected officials and party delegates. He’s taken the nation’s most principled fundraising pledge by accepting money from only voters in his CA-7 district. In contrast to Bera, Burdick agrees with most Democrats on issues like favoring Medicare for All, refusing corporate PAC money, comprehensive drug cost reform, and the Green New Deal.
“It’s been a pretty one-sided passive-aggressive relationship by them,” Burdick said. “We operate like any professional campaign and keep them apprised, but over our campaign's nearly nine months, no Bee reporter has deigned calling us for comment, fact checking or to respond to a pitch or news release.”
He said the sum of the Bee’s news coverage of him has been mention in just three sentences that contained the same number of factual errors. This included halfway into the campaign suggesting Burdick wasn’t even a declared candidate yet.
“The Bee’s editorial page also refused to publish any of my six OpEd essays submitted on current issues. Their only reply said they couldn’t consider my opinions on public policy matters at that time precisely because I was a candidate for public office.
“It was kind of like trying to parse one of Bera’s tortured evasive answers at a town hall meeting. None of it made any sense,” he said.
The rejected essays can now be read on BurdickForCongress.com. The campaign refers to them as “the essays the Bee doesn’t want the public to read.” They address issues such as campaign finance reform, needed post-Trump reforms, and Bera’s opioid donations.
Burdick, 49, is a former newspaper and magazine journalist. He calls it journalistic malpractice the way the Bee has refused to provide any informational value on the race to the 420,000 registered voters in California’s 7th Congressional District, which covers east Sacramento County from Elk Grove to Citrus Heights to Folsom.
“The Washington Post has a motto that ‘democracy dies in darkness,’ ” he said. “Sadly in Sacramento, the Bee is one of the causes of that darkness.”
As a former journalist, Burdick said he was reluctant to go public with his frustrations, but the final straw came with the Bee’s endorsement of Bera on Friday.
“I’ve received endorsements and missed out on endorsements, but the Bee’s endorsement rationale of Bera finalized how derelict they’ve been of basic journalistic standards,” he said. “As a piece of opinion writing, it was a quite confusing, unpersuasive mess. If you persevere through it, you can’t miss the many head-scratching contradictions.”
“For instance, the Bee claimed Bera is focused on the issues most important to this district, but then notes he’s never passed a single piece of his own legislation in four terms. They also claimed Bera is a smart leader, but then complained he has no proactive ideas to address Sacramento’s most pressing problems,” Burdick continued.
“They also falsely claimed Bera is protecting and strengthening Obamacare when Bera tells nearly every town hall he was and is no fan of the Affordable Care Act. He even regularly says he believes the free market is the best option for meeting American health care needs. This is in keeping with the more than $1.1 million he’s taken from Big Pharma, HMOs and other health insurance companies since 2014,” he said. “How the Bee could misinform their readers this poorly is mind-blowing.”
Burdick said his campaign has offered exclusives to the Bee on breaking news such as when Burdick for Congress revealed Bera has raised tens of thousands of dollars from the very opioid companies Sacramento County is currently suing. But those offers received no response. Neither did the campaign’s recent discovery that in 2019 Bera raised more than $150,000 from 69 U.S. corporations fined a combined $99 billion since 2000.
“It’s unfortunate the Bee’s parent company filed for bankruptcy the day before their Bera endorsement,” he said. “But there’s a certain symmetry to that.”
A resident of Sacramento’s Arden-Arcade neighborhood, Jeff Burdick is running in California’s 7th U.S. Congressional district. Visit www.BurdickForCongress.org.
PAID FOR BY BURDICK FOR CONGRESS 2020