One of the things that have made Burkablog such a success over the years is the intelligence of its commenters, the quality of their comments, and the variety of their points of view. Paul Burka, the founder of this blog, always encouraged a wide-ranging, open discussion that allowed for diverse opinions. Some amplified what he had written; some criticized his analysis. But they all helped make Burkablog a destination for smart discourse regarding important issues related to state politics and policy.

The editors of this blog have always been committed to maintaining genial discussion for the blog’s community of readers because it adds a depth and perspective to our analysis that is invaluable, and I am grateful to the loyal followers who have helped improve Burkablog with their insights. For years, it has been our policy to not pre-moderate comments as not to inhibit, delay, or hinder the liveliness of the ongoing conversation. However, for that policy to remain in place going forward, I must restate basic guidelines that, at this point, should be obvious. If Burkablog is to remain a valuable place for discussion, it is critical that the level of discourse remains civil and thoughtful—a goal that has deteriorated as of late and hurt the community.

To be clear, we will not allow comments that detract from the quality of the discussion or marginalize the other contributors. Any posts that contain personal attacks, gratuitous language, or inflammatory speech or images will be deleted. If the problem persists, the commenter will be banned from the site. It’s that simple.

Our editors will continue to monitor the comments and to exercise their discretion as to which ones detract from a cordial forum. One of our primary goals is to foster a community where readers are comfortable sharing their points of view and engaging in reasoned dialogue with our writers and each other. If that objective comes under attack, we will take action. Also, we sincerely encourage readers to alert us if you notice negative behavior in the comments. As always, if have any questions, you are welcome to email me at [email protected]