July 30, 2014

OPINION: Voters deserve truth about how campaigns are financed

Politics are not for the squeamish or uninitiated.

It’s said that campaigns and lawmaking is much like making sausage, an ugly and bloody mess. Not everyone cares for the stench.

Campaign finance laws are only a part of the mess.

While the original idea was to provide “transparency” so voters would know a candidate’s contributors, they’ve devolved into a smoke screen that does little to help the average citizen make an informed decision.

Statutes are not consistent; Reports are not due until  way past the election date; and there is no verification of committee officers.

Savvy politicos often set up quasi-grassroots groups with misleading titles such as “Citizens for” or “Parents for” groups to funnel money knowing the penalty for failing to comply is less than an average speeding ticket.

The process is about as transparent as a black hole. A lot gets sucked into it, but nobody knows how it’s going to come out.

So it is with the finance report for the Gardner Recall Committee which got two elected city council members ousted and resulted in a governing body with the majority of members appointed by the mayor.
The recall committee failed to submit their report by the Dec. 31 deadline, breaking the law.

Once made aware of their failure, they quickly filed a report, although incomplete. They apologized to the election office and said they were unaware a report was necessary.

Once they had the form in hand, the requirements are clearly stated: itemized expenditures and receipts should be reported, whether a campaign group was established or not.

In other words, there are no excuses for failing to itemize receipts and expenditures.

But the form submitted by the Gardner Recall Committee lists no itemized receipts, just a total, even though Ryan Beasley, treasurer, admits the group had a bank account.  He could’ve used the account to better document – in accordance with the law – who donated and exactly what money was spent where. However, he declined to comment further, citing his lack of respect for The Gardner News.

Respect for this newspaper isn’t the issue. Complying with the law is.
It’s ironic that the same group which organized to oust two officials over a perceived transparency wrongdoing, are now subject to the same review.

Following the groups’ ideaology, should residents now call for the removal of Beasley from his appointed position on the Electric Utility Board?

That’s not for us to decide, and voters have no say. Only the Mayor can remove an appointee.

And although Beasley and other recall committee members may have been acting in blind faith, trying to do what they believed was right, we disagree with their process. The ends do not justify the means.

But the bigger question here is less blame placing and more accountability.
The truth is Gardner residents will never know who contributed to that campaign. Or other campaigns we’ve reviewed.

That’s wrong, and it casts the shadow of the ethically challenged on all involved.

The campaign finance report is more than a piece of paper. If you think receipts are unimportant on just another boring report, try omitting an income statement on an IRS form. Listing donors and receipts is the law.

It speaks to credibility, ethics, transparency and responsibility.

However, rather than blame-placing, citizens need to stand up and demand equitable and enforceable campaign finance statutes.

The public has the right and responsibility to know, so they can make informed choices.

Comments

  1. GardnerPride says:

    I wonder why this article doesn’t question the costs that were spent on the letter and signage in support of John and Mary. Shouldn’t both sides be held accountable?

  2. Let me first say this is my own opinion and not that of the Recall Committee.

    I agree with the News that clearer and more unified rules need to be in place for campaign finance reporting. It will make our republic stronger.

    The Gardner News here is opportunistically simplifying the matter in order to make the Recall Committee appear unwilling to follow the law.

    The reality is, according to the Johnson County Election Office, up until 2010 when the final lawsuit was resolved to move forward with the official recall ballot question there was no specific law to which talked about “potential” ballot questions in relation to campaign finance reporting. Since there was no official “ballot” question for the Recall there was no reason to file a Committee Report under those circumstances. Therefore according to the Election Office and Mr. Brian Newby there was no law, under their interpretation, that required the Recall to file a campaign finance report. Under those circumstances it was indicated to us that we would not be subject to file a campaign finance report. It was with that recommendation then that donations were received without feeling a need to keep a record.

    In a many of cases donations were received with the request that they be kept anonymous and accordingly we did so because of the direction we received from the Election Office.

    As far as I understand it when the News came to members of the Recall Committee to ask where our report was it was then that we were made aware that we had to file a Committee Finance Report. We did our due diligence and asked the Election Office if that was indeed true and to contrast that to what they told the Committee back when the Recall initiative was being formed. They said that since in 2010 there was an official ballot question we would have to file any contributions that were given in 2010, the time period it was officially on the ballot. In my estimation the overwhelming majority of the campaign contributions were all received in 2009, outside of the date range that we were required to file anything. The Recall Committee acted quickly to comply with the law as best as we could and as quickly as possible. Accordingly we submitted a committee finance report that included all contributions from both 2009 and 2010 even though apparently we were only required to submit for 2010. We thought it best to have full disclosure to the full extent as possible. We submitted the Committee Finance Report as instructed to us by the Election Office.

    It was always the Recall Committee’s position to keep this campaign as clean as possible. It was always our position to do everything in accordance to what we thought was right. It motivated our decision to ask for a recall, it motivated our reasoning to keep the Recall from getting personal and it motivated our reason for filing a committee finance report as the law required. The Recall Committee could have filed nothing since questions were raised on what we were in fact required to file especially in relation to when the recall question was not officially on the ballot. It was our want to be as upfront and accountable as we could.
    So while the News claims that “there are no excuses” for failing to file an itemized report, in fact there is a great deal of excuses that can be rightfully made for not filing an itemized report. Not only are there a number of excuses there are a number or reasonable and rational reasons why an itemized report was not sent. The News can look back and retroactively claim we were not being transparent but the facts remain solidly on the side of the Recall that every effort was made to be as transparent as we had the ability to be.

  3. It is evident the people associated with the recall do not want to be held accountable with respect to campaign finance laws – just like it appears they don’t want to be held accountable with respect to the lies and the hate they pedaled during the recall process. And it doesn’t appear Drovetta wants to be held accountable for the people involved in contributing to his last campaign and have never filed the proper paperwork to my knowledge.

    It could not be more clear they have no respect for the law nor with respect to people who may have a different opinion on an issue than they. Do citizens really want these kinds of individuals in their government in any position? I would hope not but considering everything that goes on in our society these days, it would take quite a bit to surprise me any more.

    You get the government you deserve and you get the government you deserve by what you enable and support. I certainly haven’t deserved much of what government entities have given to me on a silver platter the past few years but I have sure fought for something better and will continue to do so.

  4. On another note, for the News to somehow insinuate that Ryan Beasley should be “recalled” from the Electric Board is undeserved and vindictive.

    Everyone that knows Ryan Beasley knows him to be an honest, decent and respected member of our community. He did nothing wrong and has be all accounts been a fine member of the Board. To accuse him otherwise is abusive and unfounded.

  5. And, Taylor, I say you should be gagging on the propaganda and rhetoric it appears you are putting out there. Once again it is my opinion you and your co-horts are little boys in big boy pants who don’t want to meet your responsibilities nor be held accountable for your words, actions and inaction.

  6. Judith I respect your participation and look forward to your vote in the April election.

  7. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,

  8. The problem with the transparency Danedri Thompson is calling for is there are those in the community of Gardner and some at the Gardner News who will use the power of the press’s pen and their bold uncorkable voice to pressure people into not using the freedom of THEIR OWN VOICE.

    I saw this MANY times throughout the recall. We were told over and over again by people who would like to sign the petition but wouldn’t because of their fear of threatened boycotts to their business or loss of job. We saw people who “friended” our facebook page get terrible messages of disgust from people who disagreed with the recall.

    And sure enough, no sooner than we filed the petitions at the Election Office than requests for copies started rolling in so the people supporting the recall could be identified. I can only imagine what would come if we posted those who contributed to the recall campaign.

    After the March 2, 2010 recall election The Gardner News talked of healing and moving on. Maybe they should write an opinion piece to let us know when that is going to happen.

  9. Susie Bray says:

    I totally agree with GardnerPride. And Judith, I think YOU should be held accountable for some of the inflamatory comments you make. You cannot state any facts or ask any questions without being argumentative and accusatory.

  10. And people went thru the same thing when petitions were signed by over 3,000 people in 2006 who stated they did not want the intermodal project. Many, many citizens stated they could not sign the petition because they were told not to or they couldn’t because they were city employees. The intimidation has gone on for years and I hate it tremendously because people have tried to intimidate me by their words and actions time and time again. Look at myself, how many ugly statement have been made against me because I voice my opinion or call out those who are doing wrong in my opinion such as the lies and hate that the Beasley bunch did on the recall and a good example is the one made just now by Susie Bray who I do not even know but she certainly doesn’t like it when I speak out and stand up for myself and others or perhaps have an opinion different than hers.

    What Beasley, Taylor and Clark are doing now is AGAINST THE LAW which is serious but people who do not want to be held accountable or responsible make light of the issue. Campagin finance donations cannot be anonomously (spelling?) and these peoople need to be stepping forward and stating who they are and what donation they made and Beasley, Clark and Taylor need to make a FULL, REQUIRED REPORT. If they don’t want to do that, then to me they are cowardly backstabbers.

    Each citizen can make up their mind whether they want to break the law or not but there are consequences when you do so and you can’t blame that on anyone but yourself.

  11. Susie Bray says:

    You, once again, twisted what was said. You point fingers in every direction but your own. You use mean, hateful language rather than discuss issues like an adult. If ugly words have been said about you, it’s because you use the ugly words every time – cowardly backstabbers, raping the citizens, gagging on the propaganda, little boy in big boy pants, blah, blah, blah. You CAN make your point without using those kinds of words. I don’t mind anyone giving their opinion even when it may differ than mine; I mind when it become a rant with vicious wording. And, no you don’t know me. That shouldn’t make a difference.

  12. Ms. Bray: They are little boys in big boy pants when they act in the manner that does not call for responsibility or accountability on their part, they are cowardly backstabbers when they want to destroy people by lies and hate and don’t want to meet the requirements of the law, citizens are being financially raped, I do gag and I am sure others gag on continued propaganda and rhetoric that is rampant in our society. It does make a difference that you don’t know me, perhaps if you did and you spoke to me in person, you would not be so hateful or if you had respect for those whose opinions are different than yours, then you wouldn’t be slinging the hate at me either. Do you think these people should just get off scott free for not meeting the requirements of the law? Do you think it is right to spread hate and lies about people which ruins their reputations after years and years of contributing to their community in many, many ways?

    I will say it again – you get the government you deserve by what you enable and support – do you want people in your government who do not want to meet the requirements of the law? Do you want people in your community who have no respect for the law and want to keep their campaign finance donations anonymous? If you do, then, in my opinion, you are contributing to Rome burning and you will suffer the consequences. Note dear ole Tom Delay doesn’t think he did anything wrong either but justice brought him a 3 year prison term and in my opinion, he deserves it – him and many others who think they are above the law. New movie coming out this weekend called “Casino Jack” about dear ole Jack Abromoff who certainly has paid a dear price for his conniving and manipulation – do citizens want to support and enable his past deeds of wrongdoing?

    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

    DeLay sentenced to 3 years in prison
    Washington Post, The (DC) – Tuesday, January 11, 2011
    Author: R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post Staff Writer

    AUSTIN – Former House majority leader Tom DeLay , the brash Texan who helped build and tightly control a Republican majority in his chamber until resigning in 2005, was sentenced by a state judge Monday to three years in prison for illegally plotting to funnel corporate contributions to Texas legislative candidates.

    State Senior Judge Pat Priest, citing the need for those who write the laws to “be bound by them,” rejected DeLay ‘s impassioned argument that he was the victim of political persecution and was selectively targeted for doing what “everybody was doing.”

    Priest said he agreed with a jury’s verdict in November that DeLay had committed a felony by conspiring to launder corporate money into the state election, and ordered bailiffs to take DeLay – wearing a navy blue suit and his trademark American-flag lapel pin – to jail immediately. DeLay was released, pending an appeal, when his attorneys quickly posted a $10,000 bond.

    Priest also sentenced DeLay to five years in prison on a separate felony conviction of money laundering but agreed to let him serve 10 years of community service instead of jail time for that charge. Priest acknowledged that DeLay – who said he had already raised and spent $10 million on his defense – would appeal the verdict to higher courts.

    But he rejected DeLay ‘s contention that the prosecution’s novel use of a money-laundering statute – meant to target bank robbers, drug dealers and criminal fraud – was unjust.

    Its use was justified, Priest said, because the crime for which DeLay was convicted was itself novel. DeLay was accused of approving the transfer of $190,000 in corporate funds from a Texas political action committee to the Republican National Committee’s coffers in Washington and a return of the same amount in checks to state candidates.

    A prison term represents a substantial fall from grace for DeLay , who from 2002 to 2005 was effectively the third-most-powerful politician in Washington and the gatekeeper for all House legislation. As House majority leader, he became known for pursuing the interests of his party and its donors so aggressively and successfully that he earned the nickname “the Hammer.”

    DeLay also probably made as many enemies as he did friends, causing some party colleagues – including current House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) – to openly shun any mimicry of his rigid, demanding style. One of DeLay ‘s most controversial efforts, known as his “K Street Project,” involved pressuring trade associations to donate only to Republicans, despite their stated preference to give to both parties.

    Some analysts have said the ethics cloud that surrounded DeLay contributed to the Democrats’ capture of the House in 2006.

    Priest delivered his sentence immediately after hearing from prosecutors and the defense Monday.

    DeLay and his lead attorney, Richard DeGuerin, asked for a sentence of probation and community service, but they may have undercut their plea by declining to show any contrition, a factor that normally weighs in a judge’s sentencing deliberations.

    “I can’t be remorseful for something I don’t think I did,” said DeLay , who had been silent in front of the jury even while he insisted on his innocence during numerous news conferences outside the courtroom.

    Lead prosecutor Gary Cobb repeatedly called attention to DeLay ‘s defiance, asking the judge at one point whether refusing to accept responsibility could properly be called a “conservative value.”

    “Conservative values . . . are supposed to include obeying the laws of the state and taking personal responsibility,” Cobb said. If DeLay received only probation, Cobb warned the judge, he would “wear that probation” like Jesus and call himself a martyr.

    A colleague, prosecutor Steve Brand, separately said at the hearing that probation would not only send the wrong message to other members of Congress but would signal to working-class citizens that DeLay was treated lightly just because he wore “a suit and a tie.” He said that DeLay ‘s repeated claims in a recent memoir that he did nothing improper were “the equivalent of a ‘screw you’ to the system.”

    Brand said DeLay “needs to go to prison . . . and he needs to go today,” and Cobb suggested a 10-year prison term would be appropriate.

    DeLay told Priest, as he has claimed since his indictment in 2005, that the case was brought by the Travis County prosecutor’s office because it disliked his “politics.”

    He acknowledged being arrogant – “Texas cocky” is the description that DeLay said he preferred – but added, “I never intended to break the law; I have always played within the rules and even the spirit of the laws; and even if I didn’t, I am not stupid. Everything I did was covered by accountants and lawyers telling me what I needed to do to stay within the law.”

    DeLay was indicted by Travis County’s elected district attorney, a Democrat, after activists in Texas, including some affiliated with the Democratic Party, uncovered evidence of the money transfers to and from Washington.

    Texas has long barred the use of corporate funds in its state elections, as do 21 other states.

    DeLay ‘s attorneys said during the trial that, because the funds were sent to one account in Washington and replenished from a different account, the transfers did not meet the criminal definition of money laundering. But higher state courts have sided with Priest’s decision to allow the charges, and the jurors decided that DeLay had conspired with two associates – now awaiting a separate trial – to subvert the law.

    At one point, the hearing – which was organized to hear evidence of other “bad acts” by DeLay , in addition to the sentencing recommendations – appeared headed for discussion of DeLay ‘s extensive ties to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, with former DeLay and Abramoff aide Michael Scanlon appearing briefly in the hallway outside the courtroom.

    Scanlon was subpoenaed to offer testimony about a golf trip DeLay had taken with Abramoff to Scotland and London in 2000, where some of his expenses were covered by lobbyists. But DeGuerin argued to Priest that the August dismissal of federal charges against DeLay made such issues moot.

    Priest also cut short some testimony by a former plastics manufacturer, Peter Cloeren, about past election donation irregularities that Cloeren says involved DeLay . The judge accepted evidence offered by DeGuerin that the Federal Election Commission had declined to hold DeLay responsible.

    Former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), the sole witness presented Monday on DeLay ‘s behalf, spoke about his 20-year friendship with DeLay and called him “honorable in the things he was trying to do” for his constituency and the country.

    ” Tom , whenever he did anything, he jumped into it full-bore,” Hastert said.

  13. I commend Susie. Judith thinks that it is fine to use derogatory and disrespectful comments in her comments but when it is turned on her she is enraged. Judith if you dish it out quit complaining and take it like you expect them too. Remember these comments are OPINIONS not necessarily truth.

  14. GardnerPride says:

    Judith, I must question your integrity when you fail to demand the same accountibility of John and Mary’s supporters. There was a great deal of money spent by individuals on large yard signs, smaller yard signs, and at least one large mailing to the registered voters of Gardner.

    This also calls into question the journalistic integrity of the The Gardner News. I understand that Denedri is a member of their staff, but that does not excuse them from providing fair and balanced reporting on this issue. What efforts were made to find out who paid for the campaign for John and Mary to stay in office? Make no mistake, there was a campaign on their part, regardless of whether they lead the charge. And all of these actions came after their was an official ballot question for election as noted by Taylor in his response above.

    The “investigative reporting” by the Gardner News smells like nothing more than a witch hunt of a group that acted on their democratic right to recall an elected official, though the News may not have agreed with their actions. Journalistic integrity indeed.

  15. GardnerPride: Please submit your facts with respect to a “campaign” for John and Mary. I know myself I have felt very strongly with respect to what happened to Mary, John and Dan during the hate and lie recall campaign and I speak out about it but I know it is a fact I contributed nothing to any of them during the recall also, so my integrity is still in place and I know for sure I didn’t contribute to the Beasley Bunch and their activities so my integrity stands again.

    GardnerPride, why are you trying to cover for these individuals when you have the form right in front of you and they did not complete it properly? And why don’t you question the journalistic integrity of the Solies and the GardnerEdge during the hate and lie campaign? I don’t recall getting a mailer from John, Mary or Dan during the recall. And I certainly don’t base my vote on yard trash such as campaign signs – I try to base my vote on more than that but that is a whole other issue to state your opinion on.

    It still comes down to people not wanting to be held accountable or responsible and those who support such – it is your choice and choices do have consequences.

  16. GardnerPride says:

    Judith, I never tried to cover up for the Recall Committee, in fact I never mentioned them. If additional forms are legally required, then they should/will do so.

    Here are my facts:
    - At least 2 4′x6′ yard signs were posted in yards along Center Street. These were professional printed signs, and came at a cost to someone.
    - Both sides had professionally printed yard signs distributed throughout the city. These were the smaller 18″x24″ variety and were either donated or purchased. Again, there was a cost involved at some level.
    - The letter compaign was sent out in support of John and Mary to registered voters in Gardner. The list omitted several prominent members of the Recall Committee, while others still received it. You can find reference to these letters throughout the news about recall efforts. I know the Gardner News omits links to the Edge, but letters were confirmed by several individuals to be received around February 20th. It would have been difficult to send such a letter for less than $1000 in hard costs. Who paid and why isn’t that report being demanded by The Gardner News?

    Those are facts Judith, how do you care to respond. This isn’t about who was right and who was wrong, this is about demanding the same expectations from both sides. Isn’t that was you stand for? Demanding more from your government. These individuals were elected officials at the time of the campaign.

  17. @ Gardner Pride says:

    That is exactly what this “opinion” piece and this whole campaign filing is about. A witch hunt disguised as “voters deserve better.”

  18. I would respond by saying you should contact Brian Newby at the Election Office for clarification on this matter. I just know the Beasley Bunch sure have not met the requirements of the law and those that contributed to the crucifixtion of Mary and John are probably now shaking in their boots thinking maybe their names will be brought out and you know for a fact Beasley doesn’t want to release the names and the amounts of donations because he has so stated and he continues to not meet the law.

    I am sure if it is found where Mary and John need to file a form, they will gladly do so – they sure aren’t trying to hide anything but it is my understanding, as they have stated, they did not set up a campaign to keep them in office.

    Again the wrongdoers are trying to avoid their responsibilities and utilize the usual propaganda and rhetoric that so is a part of their lives.

  19. I do want to go on and say that I do believe Drovetta should remove Beasley from the Utility Board since he is breaking the campaign finance laws which is not indicative of honesty, integrity, ethics or character. And the same applies to Jared Taylor who is running for a seat on the Gardner City Council – how can he be allowed to run for office when he has proven that he has broken the campaign finance laws and evidently has no intention of meeting the requirements of those laws?

  20. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Just for the sake and spirit of transparency alone, I am in favor of all campaigns, whether concerning a ballot petition issue or candidacy for government office, abiding by the law requiring the filing of the finance form, regardless of the formal creation of an organization committee.

    Although it appears Kansas state laws regarding finance reports for recall petitions are rather vague and inconclusive, the Committee Report form itself clearly states it “is required to be filed even if a committee was not formed,” and provides a check box to make that declaration. Neither Mr Shepherd nor Mrs Peters have yet fulfilled this requirement.

    The Gardner Recall Committee has filed their report. Although it was filed late and is incomplete, voters at least learned how their money was spent.

    On January 11, Gardner News quoted Mary Peters, “John and I made calls and other people made calls. I had absolutely no expenses in the recall. I don’t think anybody spent any money trying to keep us from getting recalled. I just know I didn’t spend any money, so I have nothing to report.”

    On January 7, Gardner News quoted John Shepherd, “As far as money, there may have been some signs purchased, but that’s all I know of. We didn’t have a campaign manager. The money (Mary and I) spent, we wasted on an attorney…I can’t even remember what signs we had out. Maybe it’s because we’re trying to forget, I don’t know. It’s probably a dead horse. I know if we had any money coming in, Mary and I would have refused to touch it.”

    Am I to believe Peters or Shepherd? Did they spend money or not? Who paid for their legal representation in court during their five-month attempt to halt the recall process? Although Peters claims she had no expenses and didn’t spend any money, evidently their lawyer was not working pro bono, since Shepherd says they did spent money, implying it was futilely “wasted on an attorney.”

    I suggest that if Mr Shepherd wants to forget his recall, he should just bury that dead horse by filing his finance form. Since Mary’s recall was on a separate petition, I suspect she will remain defiant.

  21. Maybe we could get the Beasley Bunch to do community service. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0113-lopez-20110113,0,1294355.column

  22. Once again, I stated no good would come from the Beasley Bunch recall and nothing has.

  23. If a committe was formed then a report must be filed…thats the law. If one wasn’t filed then there is nothing to file. The elections office has nothing showing that a committee was formed on their behalf. Nothing to file. John stated that he and Mary spent money on an attorney. Thats more than they are required to tell any of us.

  24. At the top of the Johnson County Election Office financial form it states in it’s first line. “This report is required to be filed even if a committee was NOT (caps added) formed.”

    I suspect John and Mary could fill it out with 0′s sign it and fax or email to the election office.

    @ Jerry thanks for pointing out the inconsistencies we’ve grown so familiar with between John and Mary and their friends.

  25. Rhonda Humble says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments. To clarify, I wrote the editorial, not Danedri. We routinely review these reports as they come due. John and Mary did not file a report, which was mentioned in the accompanying article. If they do, we will review it. I have an open door policy and would be glad to address any questions or concerns readers may have. Thank you.

  26. They didn’t file to run for an office. The only filing was for the recall itself. They are only required to report if they are running for an office that they filed for. They were not required by law to file any forms. The financial report you refer to would only be for the recall group itself, or for a candidate that files for office. If they would have filed to recall themselves then they would be required to provide financial information. Ask Mr Newby. He will confirm this for you.

  27. @Judith — Leading the recall of Peters and Shepherd WAS community service!

  28. Ecosto: Thanks for reminding me again that you stand tall for the hate and lie games and also have no respect for the law……..tells me what you stand for……I would also say you are one of those cowardly backstabbers since you don’t post under your name……….did you also want your donation to be anonymous – I can count on that one………..

  29. Rhonda and Danedri are clearly trying to bring up issues that they can throw in the face of the people that put together the recall and supported the recall. Both articles are terribly one sided. It sounds like John Shepherd would like to put this past him, I would also like to put it in the past as well and move on. Now you’ve brought up the recall issue again and people are pointing the fingers all over again.

    Most the problem with the deep dividing issues that plague Gardner is people can’t get past the past. You think by covering this issue you’re doing the citizens a favor. You’re not! You like to keep digging it up, I think the Gardner News thrives on the contention. I’d love to see something positive about the city of Gardner posted in your opinion pieces.

  30. Ryan: I believe you are wrong but, of course, I have thought that since you started the recall process since your activities were tearing down a community rather than building one in my opinion. But even more now, when you thumb your nose at the law and try to the blame the mess you are in on others. You truly are exhibiting the arrogance of such individuals as Abromoff and Delay who say they have done no wrong when they have and a judge and jury found them guilty.

    For the sake of your children to whom you owe an exemplary example, you need to accept responsibility for your words, actions and inaction and be held accountable. This also applies to Taylor, Clark and your supporters.

  31. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    In my opinion, Judith’s last sentence should apply to all of us, not just her selected few.

  32. Judith and friends, I appreciate your concern and worry for my children finding their father to be an exemplary example. I also appreciate your concern for me being a law abiding citizen. However I don’t believe that is your real intention of bring this issue of campaign finacing to light.

    The editor and journalists of the Gardner News have done nothing but show contempt towards anyone associated with the recall. If you have something you can show to prove me wrong I look forward to seeing it. For us to give you more names will do nothing but add fuel to your flame of hatred you have for members of this community.

    There are many positive things going on in this community that people would truly love to read about. If you need ideas ask around or I could give you some. Rehashing this contentious recall with every chance you see fit does nothing but keep the lines drawn in the sand.

  33. I’m glad that Mr. Taylor pointed out that his group is the only one required to file a financial statement. Now we only wish that he and that organization would say who the money came from. The form requires that information. Where is it? Apparently no oraganization was formed to support candidates so again, nothing is required from them. If one was filed wouldn’t the elections office have record of it?

  34. @f.b. – So really what you’re saying needs to happen is that candidates need to encourage people who support them to go out on their own, make signs, put up the signs, get the candidates to write position letters and give them to these unknown individuals and send them out. But, do not form any committees because if you do you’ll have to report how much you collected and spent. If you do it this way, you can do it in secret and not tell anyone.

  35. Jared T, I don’t think it is F.B. who is reading only what they want to read – it is you and others who want to ignore the laws, including moral laws, so you can do what you do best and your best is not something I will stand for, condone or support. Keep rolling this ball around, Jared T, and you continue to only make yourself look as childish as you are and exhibiting irresponsible behavior that does no good.

  36. You continue to show your childishness and irresponsibility – I have to wonder why you make that continued choice.

    You are the one manipulating the details. You were required to file the campaign finance form by 12-31-10 which required you to show all donations received and you have not met that requirement to my knowledge.

    I will agree the recall was a terrible thing and that is because you based it and carried the lies and the hate. The community will not move forward when you continue to not accept responsiblity for your actions including filing the required form with the REQUIRED INFORMATION.

    More than hiccups are involved – integrity, ethics, honesty, character are involved – all of which you do not exemplify.

    As you well know, I could NEVER ENDORSE you for any office considering your track record. I want to kick every bit of what you and others affiliated with this recall exemplify OUT of this community and you can tell Ryan and others what you are doing will never be in the past because you continue to operate in a deplorable manner that does our community NO GOOD.

    Let me make something very clear, I do not hate people but I do hate their words, actions, inaction and voting records when people are wrongly and adversely affected.

  37. GardnerPride says:

    Am I the only person who believes that the City Council has operated as a more cohesive and productive unit since the Recall Effort? Correct me if I’m wrong, but we’ve managed to avoid any of the metro news stations reporting on the actions of our council. Isn’t that a good thing?

  38. They’ve done a great job I hope they continue what they are doing with the same people. If there is change I hope the new people don’t have some attitude that they need to shake stuff up. I’m a little concerned about Taylor and Morrow because they were a little full of themselves after the recall if you remember the postings over on the Gardneredge. Roberts seems to be non political, I think she was there last time. Never heard of the Barber guy.

  39. Beasley, Clark and Tayloer: When are you going to comply with the law?

  40. No wonder home values are falling. This is like watching a greek tragedy. Lots of wailing and beating on your chests. Do any happy people live there?

  41. I am a very happy person, Samuel, however I am also a disgusted citizen when I see the crud that goes on and people blatantly ignoring the requirements of the law. And all of this does affect our community adversely.

  42. GardnerPride says:

    I have to disagree Judith, I think this particular issue affects a very small slice of Gardner’s population. 99% don’t care in the least. Whether it’s legal or not, there is no true benefit to knowing who donated what to either campaign. What we would probably find out is that the GRC had dozens of small contributions from people supporting the Recall, while John and Mary’s support signage was probably paid for by The Dolphin’s Song, just like their election campaigns. But again, this knowledge affects no one’s life adversely, though some find it frustrating not to have all of the answers. I’ll admit that it is certainly fun for message board conversation though.

  43. This issue affects EVERY SINGLE HOUSEHOLD IN GARDNER. It is just that people do not realize or cares to realize how it affects them as you evidently do not realize. And why are you condoning people BREAKING THE LAW? Are you not a law abiding citizen and do you not have respect for the law? And this does affect the people adversely when you openly condone that the laws of the land be followed. It is not a fun message board conversation for me – it is a serious problem. I cannot understand how our society has reached the point to which you trivialize. It appears it is liking talking to the wind when conversing with you GardnerPride – just like the Beasley Bunch. We definitely disagree on this issue.

  44. ThePatriot says:

    I contributed to the recall. I am proud I did and I am proud of the outcome.

  45. Good for you. Why not use your real name?

  46. Because Judith will google search the name and post personal information of said person.

  47. At least Judith respects the law which is more than I can say for Ryan, the Mayor, the City Staff and the Gardner City Council. All of these entities are thumbing their noses at the law and what kind of government will you get from that. Corruption in my opinion.

  48. GardnerPride says:

    Which laws did the Mayor, City Staff & Gardner City Council break?

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