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Little-known Senate candidate trumpets non-endorsement

May 7, 2010 | 12:07 pm

Normally, candidates for office don't send out news releases to announce not having received an endorsement. But there are always exceptions, as Mickey Kaus, a little-known Democrat and a blogger who is challenging Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in a party primary, proved Friday.

Kaus e-mailed reporters Friday morning with an "L.A. TIMES ENDORSEMENT SHOCKER!" The paper did not endorse him, but, "amazingly," he said, it didn't endorse Boxer either. The Times editorial board wrote Friday that Boxer "displays less intellectual firepower or leadership than she could" and didn't endorse any primary candidate in the Senate or governor's race. It said it would issue endorsements in the general election.

In his news release, Kaus repeated the Times assessment that he was "not a realistic contender," along with its praise of him for asking "pertinent questions about Boxer's 'lockstep liberalism' on labor, immigration and other matters." The paper said it would not endorse him, either, because Kaus "gives no indication that he would step up to the job and away from his Democratic-gadfly persona."

Kaus concluded with his own reply, saying there is "a role for gadflies" and that voters should decide who is a realistic contender.

"The point is," he wrote, "the paper got a look at both of us and decided not to endorse the three-term incumbent over the blogger."

--Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento