Editorial: A key to party affiliation

Published 8:50 am Friday, November 5, 2010

A curious reader had a good question. What are the abbreviations for party affiliations that the Albert Lea Tribune uses?

Affiliation refers to stories like this:

U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, said …

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State Sen. Dan Sparks, D-Austin, said …

Usually, news journalists name the state in national stories and the city or township for local or state stories.

Every news organization tends to use different abbreviations. This newspaper follows Associated Press style for most issues of style, but we deviate for a few things. This is one of them.

AP calls for using R for Republicans and D for Democrats and a three-letter abbreviation for all other parties.

Here in Minnesota, three or more parties have been part of how we do things. That results in newspapers abbreviating differently than AP. Even AP deviates from AP style in Minnesota. Each newspaper ended setting its own style, though many seem similar.

Here is a key to the Albert Lea Tribune’s style for abbreviating party affiliation:

R — Republican Party

DFL — Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (though for space reasons now and then we have just used D)

D — Democratic Party

IP — Independence Party

I — Independent

Ref. — Reform Party

Res. — Resource Party

Con. — Conservative Party

CST — Constitution Party

G — Green Party

GR — Grassroots Party

L — Libertarian Party

S — Socialist Party

SW — Socialist Workers Party

ED — Ecology Democracy Party

WF — Working Families Party

There are other parties in these United States, such as the Alaskan Independence Party or the Harold Washington Party, but for this neck of the woods, this list of abbreviations generally works.

And what about the Tea Party? Well, it is not a political party and its name is not on ballots. Rather, it is a political movement and endorses candidates.

There you go.