Is there a conflict of interest if Rockwall Enterprise-Success newspaper publisher and owner David Peek is elected as Rockwall County Treasurer was a question essentially asked recently by a Rockwall man to the The Dallas Morning News Managing Editor.
Here’s the question and response:
“Trevor writes from Rockwall County to ask whether it’s ethical for the owner of a local newspaper to also run for election to a government office. “Can a newspaper owner ethically hold a public office, or is there a conflict of interest?”
“That’s an excellent question for voters to answer for themselves, it seems to me. At The News, we wouldn’t allow reporters or editors to run for office, or to have any significant political involvement. But publishers are not news reporters. Newspaper owners in the U.S. have a long history of political involvement, with varying results. Benjamin Franklin was a newspaper publisher. So was William Randolph Hearst, whose rich political life was treated fictionally in the movie Citizen Kane. At many papers today, the owners, not the editorial writers, determine who the paper endorses in elections.”
What do you think?
I don’t see any problem with David Peek serving as Treasurer while publishing a newspaper. I don’t know how qualified he is for the position, and intend to find out, but I have known David personally for several years and know him to be honest and very dedicated to serving his community – just as he served his country in the military for many years.