Who will Dan Savage endorse in his column in the Village Voice/New Times papers? Will the Voice and other New Times papers be allowed to endorse in this crucial election?

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Who will Dan Savage be endorsing in his pre-election sex column in the Village Voice/New Times chain of l7 papers?

Since his is the only endorsement that may see the light of day in any VV/NT paper (they don't allow endorsements),
I emailed him on Friday in hopes I could get a scooplet. Dan was uncharacteristically shy. He didn't respond by blogtime.

Savage, the editor of The Stranger alternative paper in Seattle who writes "Savage Love," two years ago managed to slip in a Kerry for President endorsement in the last line of his last pre-election column two years ago. The crucial questions: What will he do this time? Will he be allowed to do it again?

Savage has already in his current column done more on the endorsement front than his New York paper, the VV/NT. In a note to his New York readers, he plugged a political fundraiser by writing, "I hauled my ass all the way to Philadelphia to help raise money to defeat Rick Santorum. The least you can do is haul your ass to the party at Drop Off Service...Admission is free, but it is a fundraiser. So, like, bring some funds."

He ended his column with an even more subtle pitch to his Phiadelphia readers: "I had a blast at the Trocadero--and hey, a a shout-out to hometown hero Atrios, whom I neglected to mention when I rattled off a list of inspiring lefty bloggers. The whole country is counting on you guys to get out and vote against Rick Santorum on Nov. 2. To raise money and help get out the vote, Philadelphians Against Santorum is hosting a Halloween party at Ortlieb's Brewery Cabaret...Free if you're wearing a costume, $l0 otherwise. If you don't live in Philly but would like to help defeat Santorum, go to www.phillyagainstsantorum.com and make a donation."

I'm emailing NT Chairman and CEO Jim Larkin and Editor in Chief Mike Lacey, at New Times headquarters in Phoenix, and Voice David Blum to see if they will allow Savage to keep endorsing and to see if they will allow the Village Voice to endorse this time around (a Voice tradition)--and if they will allow the other five Voice papers now under NT aegis to endorse (Minneapolis City Pages, Seattle Weekly, Nashville Scene, LA Weekly, OC Weekly, all papers in areas with critical races). Also: to see Larkin and Lacey will maintain this ban on endorsements on their other ll papers.

I'm not hopeful in reaching Larkin and Lacey. The New York Times, in its Oct. 28th story headlined "Village Voice Stalwart Resigns In Latest Postmerger Shake-up," ran into the Larkin/Lacey stonewall in reporting that longtime Voice CEO David Schneiderman resigned last Thursday. Schneiderman, who came to the Voice in l978 from the New York Times, told the Times that it was his decision to resign. "I knew once we'd completed the merger and everything went smoothly, that would be the proper moment," he said, adding he had no regrets about the merger. "I felt then and I feel now that it was a very smart business decision."

And then the Times reported as many of us have for years: Neither Larkin nor Lacey "responded to messages left yesterday."

Smart business decision? Well, maybe, but Schneiderman couldn't say "smart editorial decision" after Larkin and Lacey quickly gutted the Voice, cut out much of its cultural staff, and neutered its political coverage. Would the Voice be voiceless on Bush, Iraq, and other major political endorsements for the first time in memory? Thank the Lord for Dan Savage! l B3

Village Voice Stalwart Resigns in Latest Post-Merger Shake-up

VOICE BOSS GAGGED: SCHNEIDERMAN IS OUSTED BY NEW OUT-OF-TOWN OWNERS