I have lived in SLO County for eight years. I moved here from Massachusetts, where, as in California, the political system was dominated by the Democratic party.
On the other hand, the major press coverage in Massachusetts (i.e. The Boston Globe), while overwhelmingly liberal in approach, has always reserved its news pages for real news and actual reporting of local, national and world events. Opinions and specialty stories are presented in sections of the paper labeled as such.
Your Aug. 27 headline (Republican Party fears its factions) in a New York Times story that is 100 percent opinion and contains no news of any sort, is ablatant rabble-rousing attempt to misrepresent the Romney campaign, and it has no place on the front page of a responsible newspaper. Such stories belong on the editorial/opinion pages to distinguish them from stories about real events.
The story itself presents no evidence that the Republican Party itself fears its factions. The story relates to the normal debate at political conventions to bring various viewpoints to light and reach a common campaign strategy. I am astonished that you would allow the papers political opinions to be reflected so obviously in decisions about stories purporting to be worthy of front-page news.