For this reason, we are incredibly disappointed in Councilman Jerry Guarino’s decision to misuse and edit one of our editorials. In the Nov. 3 West Orange Chronicle, we printed our endorsements for both Board of Education and Township Council elections. With three open seats on the council, we endorsed the three incumbents: Joe Krakoviak, Michelle Casalino and Guarino.
During the weekend, Guarino’s campaign did a hatchet job on our editorial, removing several mentions of Krakoviak. Not only did Guarino remove Krakoviak’s name from the headline and remove three internal paragraphs touting Krakoviak, but he even edited our words within a paragraph. He removed Krakoviak’s name from the first paragraph and then used PhotoShop or a similar application to change the kern of the words to make it appear as if Krakoviak’s name had never even been there. He did, however, leave in one mention of Krakoviak near the end, which just indicates a sloppy attempt at bowdlerization.
In the past, we have seen candidates take our endorsement editorials and reprint them — without our permission — as campaign material. These candidates typically blur out the sections relating to the other candidates, making it clear that, while others were also endorsed, their campaign is merely highlighting their candidate’s endorsement. Actually editing the document and attempting to completely remove someone is very different and is completely unethical.
Not only did Guarino not ask our permission to reprint our editorial — our creative content, which we own, making his actions illegal — but he then changed the words, put it on a flier and scrawled across the bottom: “Paid for by the committee to elect Guarino.” While the fliers were paid for by Guarino’s campaign, he in no way paid for the Chronicle’s endorsement.
We at the Chronicle were dismayed to see this thoughtless flier. We put our faith in Guarino by endorsing him, and he turned around and slapped us and the voters in the face. We find such actions dishonest, immoral and just plain wrong. Guarino should know better.