Berkeley Mayor Admits to Role in Throwing Out Newspapers
What a Jerk. College newspaper theft is already a big problem (just ask the Student Press Law Center). Folks feel that, since they're generally distribute for free, they can take as many as they want and do whatever they want with them. But this applies to all freely-distributed newspapers: They are private property. There a big, stiff, nasty fines for newspaper theft, equivalent or greater than fines from any other theft. There are in-depth pages that show how bad of a problem this really is.
Anyhow, back to Berkeley. According to this New York Times article, Tom Bates, the newly-elected mayor of Berkeley, California, has admitted responsibility for throwing out about 1000 copies of the Daily Californian (more stories here and here). The newspapers up and vanished the day the Daily Californian ran its endorsements, and it had put its vote behind Bates' opponent, the incumbent mayor, Shirley Dean, for a third four-year term. Bates had denied back then that he threw out the papers.
The mayor never said whether he or his supporters threw out the paper, but police reports say that students did see him throwing them out. The Daily Californian is calling for the mayor to step down. I agree with them. As was said on the College Media Advisors Mailing List by a newsroom advisor at a large school, this is the "the moral (and almost literal) equivalent of burning books." Would you trust a guy who bold-faced lied to you when you confronted him about a problem before? It's one thing to maneuver around the questions, but to deny involvement entirely is an out-right lie. Personally, I would never have trust in a public official that did this.