What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 9, 2007

The Perils of Blogging, Part I


Yes, as we all know by now, the City Paper's big article on blogging is out. 2 Political Junkies is well represented (I'm sure some will think over-represented) in it. I thought that it was pretty good overall, but I have to say that I was taken aback when I read this sentence:
At the same time, bloggers are allowed to play favorites, or even donate to political campaigns, as Lupinacci did with a $200 contribution to Bill Peduto's mayoral campaign last year.
The article's author, Marty Levine, had not asked me any questions about political donations and so I did not expect to see this information there.

Now, I know that campaign donations are public information. I'm not saying that Levine had no right to look the information up and publish it.

Still, when I saw this, it felt kinda creepy and intrusive.

My first thought was, why am I being singled out? Am I the only blogger to have made any donations? I quickly realized that the majority of bloggers mentioned blog anonymously so no one could look up the info about them if they had wanted to. No doubt, Levine would have. (And, I still may have been the only one to contribute to the mayor's race last year anyway.)

Now, neither of my two quotes were about either Ravenstahl or Peduto, so the donation information was used solely to add to the meme that bloggers get to play by their own rules -- rules that are much less restrictive than those for the MSM.

Here, for example, are some rules from The New York Times Company Journalism Ethics Policy:
89. Journalists do not take part in politics. While staff members are entitled to vote and to register in party primaries, they must do nothing that might raise questions about their professional neutrality or that of our news operations. In particular, they may not campaign for, demonstrate for, or endorse candidates, ballot causes or efforts to enact legislation. They may not wear campaign buttons or themselves display any other insignia of partisan politics.

90. Staff members may not themselves give money to any political candidate or election cause or raise money for one. Given the ease of Internet access to public records of campaign contributions, any political giving by a staff member would risk feeding a false impression that we are taking sides. [Emphasis added]

Many members of the MSM go the extra step of registering as Independents. Bill O'Reilly, for example.

OK. That was snark.

My point being that while I'm sure most journalists try to maintain objectivity (FOX News not included), many do vote and therefore obviously have opinions and preferences when it comes to candidates. Moreover, most people might say that there is a discernible overall point of view found at many media outlets. Is there not a difference to be found between, say, the Trib and the Post-Gazette? Maybe, not just in the editorial pages -- even if it's only in which stories that they choose to cover?

I have called myself an "Activist Blogger" to more than one reporter. That is clear in the events that I choose to post and the issues and people that I choose to write about.

I have endorsed candidates -- but, then again, so do many MSM outlets.

The real difference between bloggers and "reporters" may be that with bloggers, you have no doubt what they really think about a particular candidate. Any "agenda" is right up in your face.

That does not mean, however, that I would post anything that I knew to be false, or that I was unclear whether or not was true.

It does mean, howerver, that if as PittGirl says a candidate is "very obliging in giving me fodder," I will be more than happy to use it on my blog.

I'm not saying that having my "agenda" out there for all the world to see somehow makes me better than a reporter who must not show any subjectivity.

I read blogs and I read the MSM.

I believe that there's a place for both of us.

Like most, I want reliability and credibility in both the blogs, as well as the newspapers, magazines and television stations that I frequent.

I believe that 2pj provides that.

And remember, when you believe that you find this blog doing otherwise, you always have the option to tell us and all our readers so in our comments section -- or start a blog of your own and have at us.

After all, that was how our first blog, Honsberger is a Liar, was born.


(h/t to Three Rivers Online for finding the fake newspaper generator.)

52 comments:

Bram Reichbaum said...

What newspaper is that? The Weekly Alternative? Where do you find it?

I don't think you should feel like its "creepy and intrusive." You're a public person now, babe. You pays your money, you takes your chances.

However, I certainly agree that there's nothing wrong with your donating to whomever your choose -- the proof of your integrity will wind up in the pudding, and people will just have to be canny about making judgements ... which they should really be doing, anyway.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Oh, fake newspaper generator. That's the second time in about a week that you got me all alarmed about something, and let out a disclaimer with small type at the end of a long post. Cut it out.

Maria said...

The Weekly Alternative can only be found in my muddled head.

Maria said...

What was the first time?

Maria said...

The names Whatsis, Whozits and Somethinorother didn't give you a clue??

OK, now you're trying to fake me out!

Bram Reichbaum said...

Fake press release from Skrinjar in response to a letter to the editor. Maybe it was David.

I don't want to be a crank, but its easy to skim when a monitor is your medium ... particularly small print that begins "hat tip."

Maria said...

OK. Point taken.

You'll just have to remember that you can NEVER SKIM us.

Skim all those other blogs.

;-)

Shawn said...

Can we still skim milk?

Maria said...

I 2% that.

dayvoe said...

The fake press release was mine.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Fair enough. Clearly, its a slow news day, and we needed the pie-fight.

Did you try to cull something useful from that clip on KDKA, where Fred Honsberger turned into Charlie Rose all of a sudden, and Doug Shields, unfortunately, remained Doug Shields for all 25 minutes? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Has Doug Shields figured out yet that Denny and Luke were just using him? Is he still doing their bidding?

Anonymous said...

Maria --

As the guy who not only approved of but encouraged the disclosure of your contribution, I'm sorry you felt it was "creepy and intrusive." But this IS a matter of public record, and as you yourself say:

"The real difference between bloggers and 'reporters' may be that with bloggers, you have no doubt what they really think about a particular candidate. Any 'agenda' is right up in your face."

I'm not sure why 'reporters' and 'agenda' get the scare-quote treatment. But as an alt-weekly editor whose paper wears its agenda on its sleeve, I sympathize with your argument here. I think it IS honest to be upfront about your beliefs. (It often beats pretending -- as many in the MSM do, to occasionally comic effect -- that you don't have any beliefs at all.) That's why I'm surprised you were at all bothered by this. We merely put your political agenda out in public -- which is where you seem to think it belongs anyway. I also don't think we said that blogger ethics were necessarily worse than those of the MSM ... just different. We used your contribution to illustrate that difference.

And if it makes you feel any better, the Burghosphere has revealed information about others that's at least as personal as your contribution. The identity, and employer, of Matt H is now widely known, and I've seen mention of the fact that Bill Peduto was a guest at McIntire's wedding. (In the spirit of transparency, so was I. I sat next to Peduto, in fact, and can attest to his fine table manners.)

Why did we choose to publish your donation in particular? For one thing, 2pj IS heavily represented in the piece. And as you say, many other bloggers are anonymous (which is too bad if you ask me). And yes, among the people running blogs on local politics, you're the only one I know of who has contributed to a local politician.

But if you know of other bloggers who have done the same, feel free to pass along the word. (To plug my own Web site a bit, we are posting more and more contributions to local candidates online at www.pghcitypaper.com.) If that information is germane to a future story, we'll be sure to mention it down the road.

-- potter

Anonymous said...

If you cant take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

One who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones.

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

I'd like to add my two cents to this debate: Who the hell is "potter" and what the hell is an "alt weekly"?

Anonymous said...

I don't think it matters. You like Peduto. Pittsburgh Jack endorsed Ravenstahl in his second post back after a year hiatus from posting.

As long as you back up what you say with facts and the reader knows where you are coming from, than it is up to the reader to decide if he agrees.

dayvoe said...

Your Honor;

"Potter" would be Chris Potter. He's the managing editor of the City Paper, the Alternative Weekly newspaper (i.e. "alt weekly") in Pittsburgh.

With great respect,

Dayvoe

Anonymous said...

Nice try Maria. We all knew you were working for Peduto. This just proved it to people who were skeptical.

Shawn said...

Well, I'm just glad it isn't HARRY Potter. I mean, You-Know-Who is trouble, but Pittsburgh politics is just taking it to another level.

Any word on who Snape's backing?

malfoy said...

Okay, so the disclousre of the contribution, as was your indignance -- the fake newspaper was just a literary flourish?

So confused ... I think I need to turn up the thermostat ...

Anonymous said...

she mad a $200 donation to the Peduto campaign.

Victor said...

Maria should be proud - she has more balls than the foundation community who knows that Luke and his band of creeps are stealing our City, yet they sit back and refuse to publicly back Bill Peduto because Yarone has gone about threatening to retaliate against them/withhold support.

the comet said...

Thar's an interesting allegation!

Only thing is, how would a broke-ass municipality go about "witholding support" from foundations underwritten by families who earned their money during the Railroad Bubble?

Mike said...

I have a blog. In the past three years, I donated $435 to various political organizations and candidates. I see no need to disclose my donations on my blog, as anybody that is literate can see who I support. There is one donation that I've made that is technically a public record under federal law ($250 to the DNC), but given the size of that organization, it is chump change. The rest of the donations I've made are very small, and might've paid for paper for the campaign office for two days--if that.

And you know what, it doesn't matter. Even a $200 donation is very small in the scheme of a Mayoral campaign that will raise and spend $500,000+. I, and almost all bloggers including the ones here, do not pretend to be objective journalists.

I also do not see how small individual donations of a single blogger can be considered news (except by voyeuristic journalists that think they have some right to expose everything). Snooping through campaign finance databases to find small individual donations is kind of pathetic.

It would be news if this, or any other blog, launched a fundraising drive for a candidate that netted tens of thousands of dollars. Many blogs have done just that, and you know what? It's a legitimate form of the political process.

As it is, the same point could've been expressed with a simple, "2political junkies supported Bill Peduto in the 2005 election." Nobody's discretionary spending would've been revealed, and a lot of time at the elections office would've been saved.

Whether holier-than-thou journalists want to admit it or not, money and bloggers are both part of the political process. If people are truly passionate about a candidate, usually donate to them. And that's fine.

It's news when extremely large amounts are involved (either through bundling or direct donations). Or when a donor has a direct interest in the outcome of the election (i.e. business before a commission that a candidate serves on). Other than that, there's no real need to disclose anybody's small donations in a large weekly paper.

Maria said...

Chris (Potter),

As the guy who not only approved of but encouraged the disclosure of your contribution, I'm sorry you felt it was "creepy and intrusive."

Thanks. Please note that I do not bear you (or Marty) any ill will.

I'm still getting used to just seeing my name in print so it does feel weird when I become part of the story rather than just commenting on a story.

I'm not sure if my first thought on reading the sentence in question was:

- Oh crap! Bubba (my 90-something grandmother) is going to hear about this and yell at me that I need to save my money rather than give it away to politicians.

OR

- Oh great! Now Matt H and all the other city workers who post here will think that they have something on me now and will constantly bring it up for the duration of the campaign.

This is kind of like getting used to the difference between when I used to just call into political shows and actually being a guest interviewed on these shows. (Come to think of it you, Chris, were one of the interviewers on the very first radio interview I ever did. That was at CMU's station in 2005. And for the record, I was wearing a Peduto button at the time. Also for the record, I was on as a representative of Democracy for Pittsburgh -- no blogs mentioned.)

As far as putting 'reporters' and 'agenda' in quotes, I have to say that I'm not sure why I did that for 'reporters.' I did it for the word 'agenda,' because in the comments section of this and other blogs, 2pj has often been accused of having a 'personal political agenda.' (And, as my sister, Gina, said 'Gee, I thought that was the definition of a blog." LOL) Those quotes were meant for those detractors and not aimed at anything that the City Paper wrote.

I also want to say that I appreciate the fact that the City Paper online allows for comments just like many blogs do. I wish all papers did that.

I'm still a fan of the City Paper and would encourage any and all to read it.

Maria

Maria said...

Also, I hope that by now everyone gets the satirical nature of the graphic (fake newspaper). And, that they get that it was a fake newspaper and see the link where they can generate one of their own!

Maria said...

Anonymous,

"Nice try Maria. We all knew you were working for Peduto. This just proved it to people who were skeptical."

I am not "working" for Peduto.

Neither he, nor his campaign, pays me money.

Nor have any sort of promises been made to me.

Nor do I expect anything in return for my donation other than good government.

When I'm well again, I plan to volunteer for him, just as I did in 2005. Every time that I posted a Peduto event in 2005, I also noted that I was also volunteering for him. I will do the same this time around.

Over the years I have both volunteered and given money to numerous national, state, and local campaigns.

I both gave and raised hundreds of dollars for Howard Dean (most of which was in many small dollar amounts that don't show up at places like opensecret.org). Others who I've contributed to include: Kerry, Pennacchio, Payne (mostly in kind), Kraus, Berner, Banahasky, the DNC, Democracy for America, and others.

Yet, when I post an anti-Bush piece, no one feels the need to point out that I not only gave Kerry money and helped raise funds via a house party, but also was a neighborhood organizer for PA Victory 04, as well as a poll watcher.

Not one of you complain that I "worked" for Kerry.

Tell me why that is, please.

Also, as I've noted before (either here or in the comment sections of other blogs), even if Peduto was not running, I would still be critical of Ravenstahl. I would be supporting his opponent whoever that would have been if Peduto was not running.

OK, yeah, if his opponent was, say, Jim Motznik, I'd likely be moving out of town if that were the best the city could offer. ;-)

Note: that was "snark" and not a declaration that I will leave town if Luke -- God forbid -- stays in office. (Sorry to disappoint any of you.)

Mike said...

Maria, you're forgetting about "Democrats Lie." He usually points ou you worked for Kerry.

Also for the record, I've donated to John Kerry in the primary, Bob Casey, and Bill Peduto.

Maria said...

Mike,

You're probably right.

Let me rephrase that to:

None of the Democrats who take great umbrage at my posts about Luke complain in the same way that I "worked" for Kerry.

Victor said...

Comet - "interesting" - The foundation community isn't exclusively the product of the private elite - they receive contributions from state and local contributors and from those who contributed to Luke's campaign. There is also the political aspect of appointments to foundation positions. Think Yarone's friend Jim Ferlo has no influence over moneys directed locally? I haven't heard this from Peduto's camp, I've heard this from foundation sources, i.e. "I support Bill, but..."

Anonymous said...

Mike writes the following:

"I also do not see how small individual donations of a single blogger can be considered news (except by voyeuristic journalists that think they have some right to expose everything). Snooping through campaign finance databases to find small individual donations is kind of pathetic.

...

Whether holier-than-thou journalists want to admit it or not, money and bloggers are both part of the political process. If people are truly passionate about a candidate, usually donate to them. And that's fine."

Who said it wasn't? I actually said the opposite in my previous post. And as I said earlier, the article doesn't say the rules for bloggers were inferior, just different. So your remark about "holier-than-thou" journalists is off the mark. (Not to mention the fact that your own post sounds fairly smug.)

At any rate, Maria's contribution was noted in a single sentence, towards the very end of an article more than 3,000 words long. Again, we used it to illustrate a broader point, and that's about it. It was hardly something we sensationalized.

And I have to say, it's odd to hear a blogger complaining about "voyeuristic" journalists who "Think they have some right to expose everything." Suddenly looking through public records is "snooping through campaign finance databases," as though what's in them is really nobody's business.

Luke Ravenstahl can barely take a leak without the blogosphere speculating about Denny Regan's role in the process ... but a single sentence about a blogger's political contribution? That's pure voyeurism! It goes too far!

Seems to me that this is the kind of double standard bloggers would be all over if Dick Skrinjar tried it. Next you'll be urging me to "move forward," or dismissing our article as "politically motivated."

-- potter

Anonymous said...

"Am I the only blogger to have made any donations?"


No, you're the only blogger who has $200. Rauterkus' wife has him on an allowance.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Bubba was right. I would never give a dime to any political campaign or any university. That's money that could actually do good somewhere else. Give some of it to the food bank instead of funding Peduto's radio commercials. It doesn't have to be that expensive to run a campaign in a city of Pittsburgh's size.

Mike said...

In the same article did you mention the political donations of Yarone Zober or Matt H**** (both of whom occasionally post on blogs)? Or what about the political donations of Motznik himself? Are they somehow not newsworthy too? (I really don't think they're relevant at all, but if a $200 donation is relevant, then they certainly are).

$200 might get the Mayor to recognize you and shake your hand when you're walking down the street. (Though, unless the Mayor was standoffish, he or she would probably do that anyway).

But there's just no way in hell that the $200 influences public policy, and that was what was implied by your article, and why I had a problem with it. The impression I got after reading it was, "money is gross, and bloggers donate to have influence on policy."

I'm actually of the school that money has no influence on policy. I think people donate to like minded candidates, and therefore their favored policies are advanced if the donations help the candidate win. Sure there are the bad apples, but in general, money doesn't buy policy.

Some will say that you only have access if you donate money. I just don't buy that. There are other ways to have influence--especially in Pittsburgh. A precinct committee person usually gets called and visited by would-be office seekers. Activists that bring lots of volunteers are sometimes courted by campaigns. These people donate little, if anything, in terms of money to political campaigns, but they still have access.

My problem with journalism in general, and I'm not a regular reader of your paper so my apologies for heaping the blame on you for this, is that it focuses on the petty, lame, sensationalist issues of the day, and ignores the real problems. I mean the world is spinning out of control, and Anna Nicole Smith was on the front page of my paper. It's just pathetic.

Reading that a $200 donation, which is paltry by unlimited Pennsylvania standards, was somehow "news" rekindled that fire. Frankly, it seemed to be irrelevant, and kind of out of place given the rest of the article.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I'm going to leave it here, and just say the following. This is the context in which Maria's donation was cited:

"'I don't see how there won't be' more blog-prompted news, says DeAngelo's blogging partner, Maria Lupinacci.'We get tips all the time. We rarely do anything with them -- we try to maintain some sort of journalistic standard.' At the same time, bloggers are allowed to play favorites, or even donate to political campaigns, as Lupinacci did with a $200 contribution to Bill Peduto's mayoral campaign last year."

The point of this passage -- and of much of the rest of the story -- was to sketch out the "sort of journalistic standard" that applies in the blogosphere, since it appears to be taking a more prominent role in shaping the news. No one questions that bloggers play by different rules; we were trying to give a sense of what those rules are. And on that point, I think we all agree: Political activity that would be problematic under many "journalistic standards" isn't necessarily a problem for bloggers.

The questions you raise about money's influence on politics are interesting, but they really have nothing to do with that question of standards. I'm not sure the contributions of Jim Motznik or Yarone Zober have much to do with it either. This story was about bloggers; I'm not sure people who post stuff once in awhile, like Yarone Zober does, qualify. As for Motznik, I've only compiled a few hundred records of campaign contributions so far, but his name has yet to come up once.

Anyway, I'm going to bow out here. Thanks to Maria and David for providing the forum.

-- potter

Mark Rauterkus said...

Wouldn't it be great is those in city hall had allowance -- and stuck to it.

City council has over-stepped its allowance. Mayors of Pgh have over-stepped allowances too. That's why we have OVER LORDS.

In PA, the HOUSE and Governor have been breaking their allowance as well. Next we'll be getting a sales tax from Rendell because he can't live within an allowance.

What about the cost of war as well? Bush can't stick to his allowance and he and the Congress take spending off the books.

Being prudent has advantages and speaks volumes.

Think of the irony where a $200 donation to a campgign is but a spit on the ocean -- because these candidates are held in higher esteem for spending bigger sums of money.

Duhh. Are we hiring some to spend or steward? Lie or communicate?

The biggest scare of the MSM is the fact that it cost $0 to vote for someone. That fact of democracy is frightful for those that are in business to sell ads.

PittsburghJack said...

1. Potter would have been irresponsible had he not made mention of Maria's donation to the Peduto campaign, since her blog was somewhat of a focal point of the article. Afterall, the subject of the piece was blogs and their influence on the political process.

2. There was no need to mention in tha article any donations made by either Yarone or Matt H. as Mike (www.healthbagofpolitics.blogspot.com) suggested. Neither are blog administrators (at least as far as we know), but are only possibly regular commentators on local political blogs. Has Yarone been outed on the blogs? I may have missed that day.

3. There is nothing wrong with Maria supporting Peduto's candidacy and also administering her blog. Or donating money, for that matter. But on the other hand, she should accept the reason why she was mentioned in the City Paper piece and also recognize that full disclosure of her support for Peduto is the right thing to do . What I take issue with is the pettiness of some of the anti-Luke posts. When Luke's quotes, for example, are scrutinized and dissected to the point of ludicrousness on 2 Political Junkies and other local political blogs, it is my belief that such posts actually harm the Peduto campaign more than help it. If it is a slow news day, then just post less. Please do not attempt to create news, or worse yet, a scandal because Luke misused a word or because he used a different word in an article last week. As a reader of blogs, I think it would be much more productive for the future of the city - and certainly for its political health - to read more pro-Peduto pieces and less of the smear stuff, especially since 95% of it is garbage and the authors know it. The other 5%? Ok, put it out there if you must and if it has any legs, the piece will do its thing. If not, don't beat a dead horse. If such pieces bore the hell out of a blog-addict, imagine what the average reader must think.

4. As anonymous pointed out, and as others such as smittyfromtheflats and theburgher have before him, I did post a piece on PittsburghJack's Place a while back that gave credit to Luke for what I considered to be an innovative and ambitious undertaking of his administration. And I suggested that he deserved recognition and support for it. And I still believe that he deserves that. On my blog, i also recognize his weak links and mistakes that have been made. I am the first to admit that perhaps mistakes were made by Ravenstahl with regard to not replacing some of O'Connor's people. Admittedly, Luke was placed in a tough situation where the waters really are untested. But when his staff started to become the news story, then action should have been taken somehow. What you won't read on my blog are incessant biased pieces or attacks, especially personal ones, on Peduto. I definitely think he's our best councilperson and frankly would be a good mayor for this city. But as I also stated in the past, Luke should be given a fair chance. That's all that I said. Period. Now, anyone that has read PittsburghJack's Place know that I am not adverse to negative posts when they're deserved, such as my posts on Dawida. He was in a position to really turn this county around and place it on the right track, but failed to do so. He instead became part of the circus and therefore part of the problem. In my opinion, he is a lying horse's ass who was rightfully rejected at the polls for county executive and common pleas judge. He really should have gotten the message after those defeats - especially after his dismal showing in the judicial race - and realize that we really don't want him representing us in any capacity and he should think about going into retirement. So as long as Dawida continues appearing on ballots, you will see the occasional negative post on my blog. But they will be based on his past poor record and not created hogwash. This rambling comment is long enough, so I think I will end it now.

Matt H said...

No need to bring my name up here.

Anonymous said...

Rauterkus, nobody is listening to your anti-MSM rants. We get it. They don't pay attention to you and that pisses you off, so you lash out. It's obvious you have an agenda, and it clouds any valid point you might make.

Mike said...

Yarone has commented as himself on a couple blogs. It's out there, do a search. Motznik hates the blog community because it has an "agenda," but what is his? Matt H comments, and I think that's fine, he has a right to voice his opinion. Both Yarone and Matt are pretty critical of bloggers in general.

But my broader point is, if the $200 contribution is relevant. Than so are the critics' donations. They're pushing the story that the bloggers have a certain political agenda, so therefore they’re morons. And some do have an agenda, so what?

But it's only equitable, and fair, to point out that these very critics have the same apparent "conflicts" that the people they're criticizing.

I think it's really wrong to think of the blogosphere (and I hate that word) as a "journalistic" community. I see it as one big, messy union hall, or a chamber of commerce conference room, or Sierra Club get -together meeting time. At all of these functions there are rumors and innuendoes (some true and some not) that serve to advance an agenda.

There's nothing wrong with that. Blogging is the modern version of the printing presses of the late 18th and early 19th century that so shaped our political system. And nothing, absolutely nothing, here is comparable to the nastiness of that era. I just think that seeing blogging as an extension of the "unbiased" journalism field is a mistake.

smittyfromtheflats said...

Maria,
you have put your money where your mouth is..there are not many who would do either, yet alone both...Stand Tall

Mark Rauterkus said...

Anonymous said: "Rauterkus, nobody is listening to your anti-MSM rants. We get it."

Hummm... Just to be clear, if nobody is listening, then I'm sure glad you "got it". I guess that's because everybody is reading. So far, so good. The logic of anonymous is such a twisted form.

It was also written, "They don't pay attention to you (Mark RAUTERKUS) and that pisses you off, so you lash out." Not so accurate. They (MSM) do pay attention to me. The notice and awareness of them is not the missing element. Readership is, and always has been, very high. Coverage is another matter. Often stories and quotes get killed at the highest levels -- not among the reporters' realm.

Furthermore, "It's obvious you have an agenda, and it clouds any valid point you might make." But, valid points and agenda, as well as the money and mouth and standing tall -- i.e., walking the talk, etc. is what this SHOULD be. My valid points (generally) support my agenda, and investments and actions.

That's called principles and practices. That's what is seemingly missing among the elected and goofy (I'm being nice) politicians.

I didn't enter this thread until my name was mentioned regarding money and an allowance.

The call to me was answered and it creates a self-defense opportunity for the sake of clarity and trust, again.

Finally, I agree with smittyfromtheflats who wrote, "you have put your money where your mouth is..there are not many who would do either, yet alone both...Stand Tall"

Yes, Stand Tall, as I try to Stand Tall as well. In my book, Maria has and does do that. We both, at times, stand tall in different places, but such is life.

Anonymous said...

Mark,

your a fool if you really think the MSM cares about what you think.

Your known in a lot of circles as "the guy who runs for everything"

Anonymous said...

and who may just win one of these days.

Anonymous said...

OK, Rauterkus, you're the most important person in town, a regular kingmaker, the ultimate powerbroker.

You happy now?

Maria said...

Anonymous,

I don't normally go around playing Spelling/Grammar Police, but when you call someone a 'fool' you might want to make certain you type 'you're' instead of 'your' first as it only makes you look foolish when you get something simple like that wrong.

Anonymous said...

The Grammar police are out! Maria must be feeling some blog heat these days so she must put on her grammar police badge.


And to the person who said that Mark Rauterkaus may just win one of these days...HA HA HA That will never ever happen.

Anonymous said...

Mark, keep on making noise, someone will listen. The liberals are afraid of the truth.

And so what if you run for everything...at least your trying to make positive change.

Keep it going Mark...someone does listen to you....

Anonymous said...

Grammar Police lesson unheeded.

Anonymous said...

Mark is aa decent guy, a family man, wo cares deeply about his community. That is evident. He is active in various projects yet still finds the time to get involved politically by running for office, getting involved in campaigns and to write his blog. What Mark does accomplish is to help get various issues raised and addressed. His blog is well read and his comments are also. Keep up the good work, Mark.

Anonymous said...

No one said he isn't a decent guy. He just has the stigma of the guy who has run for everything and he will never shake that.

Bram Reichbaum said...

There are many worse things to be stigmatized as. "Hater" is one of them.