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Talk:Mark Kruzan

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Gentlemen, this is a wiki, not a forum. Please move this discussion over to the proper location for it: Bloomingpedia forum thread on Mark Kruzan. If you haven't already, please register an account on the forum and get to the discussion there. I'd enjoy reading everyone's input on the forum where it will be easy to follow, the mess down below is atrocious. Chris Eller 20:04, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

Dirty Laundry

It was bound to happen. Someone would eventually bring up some troubled past about a person on Bloomingpedia. I think this might be the first case of that. I'd just like to say that I think everyone makes major mistakes in their lives and regret it later. Its how you recover that matters. Bloomingpedia will bring these things out not as a way of chastising these people for their faults but as a lesson learned for everyone. For some it will be a warning that the choices you make can come back to haunt you, for others it will be a realization that they are not alone in the trials and tribulations of life. So long as the information remains factual and neutral, I think most of us will be fine with it being here. -- Mark 23:11, 8 August 2007 (EDT)

Yes, unfortunate. The challenge with a smaller user-base than a larger wiki, is that we don't always have the same self-policing dynamics that would balance the article out. This will sit like this until someone else comes along and fills in some more positive aspects. -03:31, 9 August 2007 (EDT)
I think the bit about the four women resigning should either be cited or removed. -- Benfulton 08:49, 9 August 2007 (EDT)
I agree. I've heard that from various peronal attacks on online forums, and have no idea if it's true or not. I'll take it out now.... -Chrobb 09:22, 9 August 2007 (EDT)
Just discovered this "function" and not quite sure how to use it yet. I agree with all posted comments to the effect that entries should be neutral and factual. Without having seen the comments above regarding the "questionable" paragraph, I removed it unilaterally-not because the facts stated therein are not true, but because this information was "out of place" and will be added in context at a future date. What Mark describes above as "dirty laundry" relative to Kruzan would be, without question, "factual, encyclopedic history" for almost any politician anywhere...except perhaps in Bloomington where the media (both alternative & traditional) has for several years elected--for whatever reason--to not publish noteworthy, important & relevant facts in the public domain about local politicians. Without publications in and by media sources (whether accurate or not), it is difficult to "cite" to them. And just food for thought: there are many instances of "uncited" facts throughout this wiki. I'd be interested in what kind of standard might be proposed as a benchmark for measuring whether/when a fact with no accompanying citation should be removed. Such a standard should be uniform & consistent, I would hope. Question Authority, 12:13 pm, Aug 9.
I'm not particularly familiar with how libel laws and wikis interact, but that paragraph looked a bit like libel to me. If there are other potentially libelous statements on Bloomingpedia, I'd certainly recommend removing them as well. As far as citing goes, surely the records of employees of the mayor's office and dates of tenure are public. You may have to do a little legwork for it, of course. -- Benfulton 13:08, 9 August 2007 (EDT)
I appreciate your thoughts, Ben; you've made some good points. I am pretty familiar with libel laws--a subcategory of defamation--and I can assure you that the statement in question is not libelous, even were it inaccurate. . .which it is not. One can indeed make public records requests of government entities under APRA (the Access to Public Records Act), but it can be a very tedious affair simply to confirm a fact that is already in the public domain. Certainly, that particular statement could be posted on the HTO or any other internet forum in cyberspace & it would survive moderator "review"...if, in fact, a moderator is "reviewing"! Most don't...and there is reassuring case law supporting the principle that moderators under almost all circumstances--at least for the moment-- can't be held liable for other party postings, even when these postings are defamatory. I understand that wikis operate under very different guidelines and appreciate that distinction in this conversation and for purposes of posting information on Bloomingpedia. I think you'll probably find the following websites pretty fascinating if you're interested in the 1st Amendment Rights of folks communicating on the Internet and the issues of online defamation/libel:

Electronic Frontier Foundation: http://www.eff.org/bloggers/join/

First Amendment Center: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/speech/internet/topic.aspx?topic=online_libel

And, BTW, I apologize to all for not knowing how to "talk" like the rest of you! I'll try to figure out how before I participate in "editing talk" again. Question Authority, 3:33 pm. Aug 9, 2007

-- Freedom of speech is good if you have something to say that actually matters. -- Marina 9.7.2007

Locked article

I'd like to open this up for discussion. I'm not sure we should be locking any articles at this point. In my opinion, the only time an article should be locked is when the amount of bad edits is greater than what we can keep up with or to the point where it wastes a lot of our time. I think at this point this article should just be considered a semi-hot topic and the normal collaboration on articles can suffice for keeping things neutral. -- Mark 09:26, 7 September 2007 (EDT)

Good enough, let's consider this an experiment then. :) Chris Eller 10:10, 7 September 2007 (EDT)

How's the experiment going?
I am guided by the Wikipedia Manual of Style: Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Do_no_harm
"Wikipedia is not a tabloid, and we are not in the business of ... publishing revelations about their private lives, whether such information is verifiable or not."

Is it your opinion that Bloomingpedia should be guided by this same philosphy? --BirdieGalyan 17:57, 7 September 2007 (EDT)

Hi Birdie! I think we're on the same page here. This raises some good questions that we need to talk through. To date, the Bloomingpedia

community has played very nice and dealt with fairly innocuous issues. We certainly anticipated this, though I'm not sure our policies are as bullet-proof as I'd like them to be. (I'm speaking for myself here, not the council) For my money, I'd like to see us adopt a policy similar to the Wikipedia:Original Research page, which I think would cover this particular case. The problem we have to face is that we don't have the scale that wikipedia has, so some of those policies may not necessarily apply uniformly. (e.g. We'd like the owner of storefront to, say, be able to post the backstory for why they set up shop.) We need to come up with something that's neutral and can be applied fairly. We're going to discuss and the feedback here is greatly appreciated. -19:49, 7 September 2007 (EDT)


As this article was being locked out, I was poised to submit the following statement: “I will not be communicating offline with any Bloomingpedia posters regarding articles to which I contribute. My goal in contributing to Bloomingpedia articles, including the article on Kruzan, is to provide accurate, factual information in the public domain that ensures that articles to which I contribute are robust and well-rounded. I believe that my prior contributions are consistent with this goal and with Bloomingpedia’s policies and guidelines.”

I agree with all the commenters above that Wikipedia’s “philosophy,” policies and articles—including discussion and edits—can and should guide decisions about legitimate entries here.

Indeed, a brief review of Wikipedia articles on political figures across the spectrum reveals an abundance of historical facts in the public domain (and not infrequently about their “private lives”)—often decades old—that are, clearly, both positive and negative, and are, also clearly, often disputed. An instructive guide to posting information on public officials might be found in the article on George W. Bush: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_bush.

Which of the following “facts” in this article would receive a “red flag” or trigger a lock-out on Bloomingpedia? The “fact” that Bush “was favorably treated during his time of service due to his father's political standing and that he was irregular in attendance”? The “fact” that on “September 4, 1976, at the age of 30, Bush was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol near his family's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. He pled guilty, was fined $150, and had his driver's license suspended in Maine until 1978.” Or the “fact” that there were “questions of possible insider trading” by Bush over 20 years ago? And on and on up to the present…

And how about “facts” in the article on Clarence Thomas? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Thomas

Or the “facts” in the Bill Clinton article? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_clinton

As editors and “censors,” what decisions would we make regarding which facts would stay and which facts would go in these articles? And what kinds of accusations and vitriol would we tolerate being hurled at article contributors who have submitted “cited” & accurate, factual information in the public domain—similar to the many “facts” in these articles— simply because a reader didn’t like the “exposure” or the timing?

The Kruzan article is ripe for a myriad of additional contributions of factual information by other Bloomingpedia editors that is in the public domain, can be substantiated through accepted “sources,” and is otherwise consistent with the philosophies, policies and guidelines of both Wikipedia and Bloomingpedia. Question Authority, Sept 7, 2007, 11:08 pm

I would like to add that I can cite and back up every single statement I have thus far submitted in my short stint as a

Bloomingpedia contributor. I find it a bit ironic that my contribution has come under such heavy criticism and furthermore censorship when many of the other submissions on this forum are much less substantiated. Furthermore, the timing of my contribution is irrelevant. What everyone except for Question Authority seems to fail to appreciate is that Kruzan is an elected representative. He is fair game, especially so when it comes time for the citizens to cast their votes re: his possible re-election. Furthermore, information about Kruzan's stewardship of the City of Bloomington and Kruzan's moral character is of great public interest to the people of Bloomington. I would encourage the moderators of this site to edit out prejudicial language, rather than entirely delete factual submissions herein. Deletion should be a last resort and rarely exercised, certainly not in this case. Patinkin 23:33, 7 September 2007 (EDT)

By the way, if Chrobb deletes the "politics" section of this page again, will someone please hit him with a wet noodle! Shouldn't there be some discussion of Kruzan's politics on this page. Why not discuss these high-profile lawsuits, which have escaped the attention of the local media? To delete again, I can only conclude that Chrobb prefers to preserve the Bloomington tradition of sweeping all the dirty details under the carpet, especially when elections are on the horizon. JewsStandTogether 18:35, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

You can draw whatever conclusion you want, though I wouldn't expect many to subscribe to it. If we wanted to sweep things under the carpet, we wouldn't have left the 1993 arrest content. I don't know how many times I have to explain that Bloomingpedia is NOT A FORUM FOR DISCUSSION. If you have a grievance and want to discuss, there are many other venues (you've created tons all over the Internet yourself by posting in every blog and forum you possibly can).
You are very simply in violation of the spirit of this site and the Council will no longer tolerate your agenda here. I wish you well in your lawsuit. Feel free to post in any other *forum* you see fit. I'm certain you will. All further discussion of this topic will be carried on in the Bloomingpedia Forums. The Bloomingpedia Council will no longer respond to this issue in the Talk page and any further addition of this content will be deleted without further discussion. Our position is clear. If you wish to continue being part of the policy questions you've raised, we invite you to create an account and participate. -Chrobb 22:00, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

Weasel Words

user:benfulton kidded me about cleaning up "weasel words". The problem is not with the words - the problem is that they are usually a red flag of uncited or unsubstantiated statements. Worse, they often indicate biased opinions. I am not touching this article - if I were I would remove the entire section on anti-Semitism. There are many unattributed accusations against the mayor - many which, on their face, appear to be the normal function of various city offices and commissions. We hear that three people are suing the mayor, we hear the gist of the complaint, but we don't hear what the respondents have to say or what a court has ruled. And, further, the entire section appears to be authored (based on user name) by a plaintiff in one of the suits against the mayor - this just flashes lots of red lights.

See Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words.

If this stands, then we need to add a category for "Jewish landowners". (since the presumed author of that section appears to refer to himself in that manner it makes it fair game as part of the controversy). This is meant as humor - but, as the old saying goes, "half in jest, half in earnest."

My opinion is that we are an encyclopedia - not a newspaper. The kind of fact checking here is what professional journalists get paid to do - it should be hands off to hobbyists that collect trivia.

--BirdieGalyan 14:25, 7 September 2007 (EDT)

---The two federal district court cases--and all of their pleadings/documents--can be viewed, after registration, online at the Pacer Service Center, the "Federal Judiciary's centralized registration, billing, and technical support center for electronic access to U.S. District, Bankruptcy, and Appellate court records." The fee for accessing/viewing/printing is 8 cents per page: http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/

It would be helpful if posters would cite to these documents on Pacer, which include submissions and responses from all parties. Because the local media have elected not to cover these newsworthy cases, it is difficult for posters to cite to these "regular" sources for wiki content.

--Question Authority 3:43, 7 September 2007

I am not buying it (not at eight cents per page :). Since the entire contribution to Bloomingpedia by User:Patinkin and User:Question_Authority is limited strictly to the charges of misconduct in the Kruzan article, this whole thing smells to me. It's high-jacking Bloomingpedia to carry out the political dirty work usually relegated to negative ads and push polls. --BirdieGalyan 16:21, 7 September 2007 (EDT)
BG- thanks for correcting your false assertion that Question Authority's contributions have been "limited strictly to the charges of misconduct in the Kruzan article." My contributions include major revisions and additions to the article's introductory paragraphs, which you would be familiar with if you had accurately "checked" its history. Question Authority, 4:45 pm; 7 September 2007
Don't thank me for that which I will not do. My point is that your whole reason to be on Bloomingpedia is to "expose" the mayor, when all other responsible news media believes that there is no "there" there. This only defames Bloomingpedia and acts counter to the value of all the hard work and contributions that the Bloomingpedia community has invested here. --BirdieGalyan 17:20, 7 September 2007 (EDT)

Question_Authority --- please contact me

Please shoot me a note at seth_patinkin@yahoo.com. Would like to talk.

As to the particulars of the discussion on this forum, I am very pleased that my contribution was re-published. My goal, like Question_Authority, is to disseminate information that will aid the public in picking better elected representatives. The unfortunate fact is that most of our choices for city councilmen in the upcoming election are unopposed. So the best we can hope for is that by shining a bright spotlight on misconduct we can nudge our fearless (boy, are they fearless) leaders in a more ethical direction.

You've just proven why we should be deleting (or severely rephrasing) this content. We don't serve goals or personal agendas here. This is a site to disseminate well-known information that is fact-based. While it may be true that there are cases pending against Mr. Kruzan, you've made your intention very clear. Articles are to be written from a neutral point of view by people that have little or no involvement in the main content of the article. As you are involved in the case, I strongly endorse the removal of your content. We constantly re-write content from people wishing to promote their business or event. I don't view this as anything different.
As an aside, I've seen you (or someone else who has something to gain from this smear campaign) posting on another local blog that bears absolutely no relation to Bloomington or your case. It was chosen because the poster believed there would be Bloomington eyes on it. This is further evidence that this is a smear campaign.
If you can cite some local media stories (not just court documents) or other sources that can prove there is significant interest in this case, then we should consider it. (as we did with the 1993 arrest content) But we can't be bogging Bloomingedia down with personal agendas. Doing so would poison the article base and render the site useless. See the Policies and Direction document on Personal Attacks. -Chrobb 18:13, 7 September 2007 (EDT)

I was actually speaking about my goals in life in general. As with Wikipedia, the goal of Bloomingpedia is to accumulate information on various and sundry topics. An encyclopedia strives for completeness of factual content. Peer review of postings ensures that prejudicial language is stricken, so eventually one arrives at very factual entries. As to the merits of covering a particular topic, this is not the role of a moderator, but the prerogative of every single contributor to the forum. An entry about Mark Kruzan should include information about the controversies involving his administration, for the sake of the information itself, not for the sake of making a political statement. In fact, I am no longer involved in the politics in Bloomington. Finally, the lack of local media attention (ahem, the only newspapers are the IDS -- read 5th grade reading level -- and the Herald Times) is meaningless as to evaluating the inclusion of user-generated information. Just the opposite, Bloomingpedia can serve as a rich source of information not readily available elsewhere. Bloomingpedia should include both "unimportant facts" and "important facts" about the goings-on in Bloomington. It is exclusively up to the reader to draw conclusions and to rank the various bits of factual content included. This is not journalism. Like you say, our role is not to include certain information (such as information about Kruzan's achievements in office) and to exclude other information (such as Kruzan's involvement in various civil rights lawsuits), because then we would in fact be making an implicit political statement. Patinkin 19:38, 7 September 2007 (EDT)

However, if you are going include facts of any degree of importance that are not covered by local media, the onus is doubly on you to provide your own citations. --Benfulton 21:01, 7 September 2007 (EDT)
Duly noted. I will cite heavily. Patinkin 21:49, 7 September 2007 (EDT)
A word to the wise: your citations should be more substantive than the copies of the lawsuit that you've spread all over the Internet in anonymous forum postings. A quick search for your name on Google reveals the number of completely unrelated forums that you've posted copies of your case in, in a very transparent effort to spread your case around without any care as to whether it's relevant to the site you're posting in. You must cite news sources that directly tie the case to Kruzan to prove that it's not only valid information, but also of interest. I reviewed your case, and Kruzan is barely mention as a litigant. It's tangential and pushes a specific agenda. As such, I'm removing your content from the Kruzan article until you can prove that it's worth mentioning -Chrobb 22:54, 7 September 2007 (EDT)
Kruzan is not only a party (in your words, "litigant"), but it is his administration which has wronged me and others. These lawsuits are of great public interest. Furthermore, I am not sure what you are referring to by blogs containing references to Patinkin v. City. Specific examples would be helpful. I reiterate, the purpose of an encyclopedia is to provide a complete ledger of facts. Deleting my contributions, rather than editing out any prejudicial language (if any), kind of defeats the purpose of this forum, eh? Patinkin 23:14, 7 September 2007 (EDT)
First of all, you continue to demonstrate your lack of understanding of Bloomingpedia. The main article base is *not* a forum. I'll repeat it once more. The main article base is NOT a forum. There are other venues for debate. You can talk all you want on these discussion pages or other forums, but the main article base is not a place to put your personal thoughts, goals, opinions, or agendas. As for deletion, you are also failing to understand the point that the simple fact that you're involved, makes the entire content subject to deletion. We simply can't accept assault on character (or any other personal opinion) from the people who are making the assault. It's inherently wrong and ill-suited for a non-biased article.
As to your comment about you being singled out and under attack more than the rest of the site, we edit out other personal opinion when we see it. I encourage you to actually spend time reading other articles and watching the edits for a few months before you formulate a conclusion.
And I'm not going to provide yet more linkage to the blog postings. I've pointed out that a google search for "Seth Patinkin Bloomington" shows anyone what they want to know. Your motives are clear and transparent. What you are doing here is promoting a point of view. We don't really care if it's substantiated or not. We delete positive points of view, too. You just happen to be the first person in two years who has troubles comprehending it.
I'll point out that we left the content on the arrest, after deliberation because there was a third party news article that we could point to that corroborated the facts of the case. -Chrobb 10:30, 8 September 2007 (EDT)

I contributed a "fair and balanced" and shorter version of the information abouth the recent civil rights lawsuits under Kruzan's administration. As I understand, this topic is currently the focus of an investigative report by the Indianapolis Business Journal. JewsStandTogether 17:38, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

In my opinion, the entry under Politics is not only rife with problems already mentioned by Chrobb above but is also "contaminated" by "verifiability" issues, e.g. Citation #1 links the reader to an article completely unrelated to an alleged current federal investigation of the city and there is no citation of an authoritative source to verify the allegation of an investigation by the ADL. Same story for citation #2-not an authoritative source specific to the allegation. Citation #3 refers to a brief article verifying that the plaintiff's case has survived a motion to dismiss but not, in any way, reaching a conclusion that discrimination has occurred. Citation #4 is to a blog comment, which again is not a verifiable, authoritative source. Likewise, citation #5 is not a verifiable source substantiating that the Dvorak case involves a "civil rights" issue. Lastly, city budgets dating back several years will verify that the "Risk Department" is not "new."

Every single paragraph is NPOV & "verifiable, authoritative source" problematic. I would recommend deletion of this section. Question Authority. Sept 9, 2007, 7:45 pm.

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