Most news organizations wouldn’t even consider co-sponsoring an event with a political party. But as Peter Jamison of the SF Weekly reports, Bay Citizen, the new online news organization that is providing stories to the New York Times, held an event Tuesday night in conjunction with the San Francisco Young Democrats at The Chieftain, an Irish pub on Fifth Street.
Writing before Tuesday’s event, Jamison said:
- The event will feature drink specials, pub trivia in which contestants can challenge The Bay Citizen’s lead editor and reporters — and an active volunteer drive conducted by the San Francisco Young Democrats on behalf of three specific candidates in races for the Board of Supervisors.
- Maxwell Szabo, president of the Young Dems, told us that his organization will be trying to enlist volunteers tonight to work on the campaigns of District 2 candidate Janet Reilly, District 8 candidate Rebecca Prozan, and District 10 candidate Chris Jackson, all of whom the group has endorsed. Szabo said he has also invited representatives of each of these campaigns to attend and woo volunteers.
- “The Bay Citizen, which is the New York Times offshoot in the Bay Area, they had been wanting to partner with us on some event at some point,” Szabo said. “This is something we’re kind of doing as a fun event, that we’re tag-teaming up with them on.” He added, “We’re not really co-sponsors. We just said, ‘We might come over and do this.’ They said, ‘Yeah, do that.'”
It appears from reading Jamison’s story that as soon as he began asking questions, both the Young Dems and Bay Citizen began backtracking. A Bay Citizen marketing person claimed that the Young Dems were to meet before the Bay Citizen event, and that the website reached out to the Young Republicans (are there any in SF?) and got no response. Later, Szabo was no longer saying Bay Citizen was partnering with the Young Dems, and instead was insisting the events were separate.
Bay Citizen is the nonprofit news organization created when the Chronicle was talking about shutting down. It was started with a $5 million grant from Wells Fargo heir F. Warren Hellman. Bay Citizen provides copy to the New York Times’ Bay Area editions.