Ripon Commonwealth Press
Posted in the Ripon Forum
#1 Jan 10, 2010
Posted: Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Article comment by: Tim Lyke
An editorial in the Dec. 31 edition of the Commonwealth mistakenly identified former Ripon mayoral candidate Jeremy Custer as the author of a posting on the Web site Topix.
Although the posting was by someone identifying himself as Jeremy Custer, the real Jeremy Custer said he did not write it and that in fact, it was written by his friend without his prior knowledge.
Custer wrote to the Commonwealth that “I completely avoid that site because of the anonymity of the statements and the ability to post under false names. It is interesting that in your editorial you cited something that can not be verified as actually me but took it as fact.” The Commonwealth wrongly assumed Custer was the author because both his Twitter page and campaign Web site directs readers to “Share your support and engage in debate on topix!”
The Commonwealth regrets the error.
P.S. At Jeremy's request, I've agreed to leave the editiorial and responses up for one week and will then be removing them on Jan. 13.
#2 Jan 10, 2010
Posted: Saturday, January 02, 2010
Article comment by: Tyler McMurray
As the tendency seems to be leaning towards the uneducated and the crass in the Ripon Commonwealth, I figure I’ll throw in my brief two cents. Ripon is by no means the epicenter of the political world, but if one were to snag a paper on their way out of the gas station, it would sure seem as if one of the dirtiest, most contentious Mayoral races in the country is occurring.
Perhaps that is the sole issue in this debate and conceivably, the one that took a candidate out of the race. Instead of allowing a spirited debate of issues and policy as these races seem to foster, there was a clear focus on the external, the arbitrary. Of course the existence of a criminal past for a candidate is commonplace to examine and consider, but by the Ripon Commonwealth’s count, there have been no political arguments between any of the other contenders, only the glow of a spotlight on Jeremy Custer.
Political apathy, many would argue, is taking away from the discourse that provides real change and spirited debate nationwide. Why spend the time criticizing an individual for their non-violent and furthermore regrettable actions when there could be mature, responsible reporting focused on the issues, something that certainly has been lacking in the coverage of political affairs.
Finally, I would like to comment directly on the content and positioning of this editorial. As a resident of Illinois and a student living in Ripon, this gross misuse of published media would be recognized as such anywhere. If the publishers of the Chicago Tribune ran an opinion piece on the shortcomings of a particular young man, I would guess that many would argue that that space in the paper could have been utilized in a much more effective manner, maybe using it to cover
news, not here say.
Mr. Lyke has surely proven himself to be a man of many words, most of which are drawn out and extremely repetitive. Not to criticize the writing from the publisher of the Commonwealth, but unquestionably this would be a great article for an English class studying poor organization to read over. Unless I’m mistaken, and being young and naïve like the recently retracted candidate aforementioned I might be proven to be by this fine newspaper, the political realm is filled with the ‘hard’ and the ‘soft’. Mr. Lyke has seemed to side with the latter, and through his apparent fervor for slander and muckraking, he surely has convinced more than one.
#3 Jan 10, 2010
Posted: Thursday, December 31, 2009
Article comment by: Jeremy Custer
Dear Mr. Lyke,
This is the real Jeremy Custer. I did not write this post on topix- I completely avoid that site because of the anonymity of the statements and the ability to post under false names. It is interesting that in your editorial you cited something that can not be verified as actually me but took it as fact. Anyone on this site can post a comment as Aaron Kramer, Professor Pape, Gary Will or even yourself. If the people who run for office can be cited from the Topix site in the Commonwealth then anyone who opposes a certain side could simple post on here as that person they seek to crush.
The evidence that this was not me in the original post on Topix is that I do not nor have I ever supported the Boca Grande development deal. I understand it as an policy now but I am against the idea on principle. The government, in my opinion, should not be involved in business the way that it has been with Boca Grande. I could go on and on about the topic but whats done is done. The city government has made a decision.
Also, the whole commonwealth giving me a break thing is not the way I feel. Ian did his job- he reported the news and the facts were straight. While the article was an embarrassment I do not blame the Commonwealth for reporting I blame myself for being an idiot.
Mr. Lyke if you want to make sure that this is me feel free to email the email@example.com with a phone number and I can talk about this in detail. There are no hard feeling over citing topix site just please be more careful before you start pointing fingers.
Jeremy Ryan Custer
#4 Jan 10, 2010
1/6/2010 3:00:00 PM
Letter: Commonwealth should stand for the 'greater good'
TO THE EDITOR:
... Upon cracking open the Commonwealth this morning, I was drawn to an article titled “Custer’s blame game wearing thin.”
Having no previous knowledge on the situation, I must say that the commentary displayed has proved nothing more than disappointing....
I don’t know all of the dirty details between this paper and Jeremy Custer, however, my point is that whatever they may be, they are irrelevant. Jeremy Custer is no longer in the running toward becoming mayor of Ripon.
I expected more from the publisher, Tim Lyke. I mean no disrespect by mentioning this, but rather I would like to call upon a higher standard of discussion of conflicting viewpoints among our community’s news source...
So this is me, Keri Welch, dissenting to the paper’s response to Custer. This man has the right to fess-up to his mistakes if he wants, and similarly point fingers if he so desires.
However, I call upon the paper, which bears the name “Commonwealth,” classically meaning greater good, to respond more appropriately.
I call on the Commonwealth to focus on the goal of upholding this community’s moral standard rather than stooping to rude words to make a point of being right.
I call upon both the community to demand and the Commonwealth to uphold the “greater good” rather than the “greater right.”
Read the full letter in the Jan. 7, 2010 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.
#5 Jan 10, 2010
1/6/2010 3:00:00 PM
Letter: City officials deserve apology
TO THE EDITOR:
Dear Mr. Davidson:
... Your letter to the editor in last week’s paper (“Mayor hasn’t adequately answered questions about Boca situation,” Dec. 31) demands a response, if not an apology from you.
First, I knew well that my decision to take a position in Prairie du Chien, with my family’s best interests at heart, would be interpreted by some as an effort on my part to capitalize on the Boca Grande project, a positive theory, or as an effort to bail out of town before it all falls apart, a negative theory. I doubt anything I say would lead you to a different conclusion than the one you have offered....
Second, as for my comments, the fact is that you have never once contacted me or talked to me but yet seem to know the very meaning of my words and thoughts. At a forum of city, school and county leaders in late October, I made the first comment you quote:“I realize there will never be unanimous public consent on this project. It has never been my goal to seek 100 percent approval.” Ironically, you were at that meeting, I believe two tables away from me, and, once again, chose not to ask me one question about the project....
Third, in your letter, you questioned my decision to shut down my mayor’s blog in October. I shut down the blog based on legal and professional advice, after one of the “anonymous” posters began to question our land acquisition efforts for the Blackburn Street parking lot....
Jerry, I don’t expect you and I to ever see eye-to-eye on the Boca Grande project. What I cannot accept, whether I am mayor or not, is your use of the word “castrati” to describe those who have supported me, my “choir” as you have called them. For those readers who are not aware of what you have referred to, castrati is the plural of castrato — a singer castrated as a boy to preserve the soprano or contralto range of his voice, especially in 16th-18th century Italy.
For you to refer to my supporters as castrated is clearly repugnant and malicious. I will never ask for an apology from you, but, at the very least, I would hope that you have the decency to apologize to the Common Council and my friends who you have labeled with a disgusting term in a very sophomoric attempt at humor....
Deadline for you to run for council or mayor has passed. Rather than print disgusting and derogatory remarks, you could have chosen to run for those very positions of power and decision-making in order to make positive and meaningful changes. There is always 2012.
— Mayor Aaron Kramer
Read the full letter in the Jan. 7, 2010 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.
#7 Jan 11, 2010
That wasn't much of an apology on the Commonwealth's part. Sounds like Tim Lyke blamed his own childish fingerpointng on Mr. Custer's online invitation for people to discuss issues on Topix. Mr. Lyke is a journalist and his failure to check the facts of a comment he picked up from an anonymous blog seems more than a mistake or an error. It was extremely poor judgement and extremely poor journalism. Lesson learned on Mr. Lyke's part? What about Mr. Custer's reputation? What about readers' opinion of Mr. Lyke and the Commonwealth?
#8 Jan 11, 2010
"What about Mr. Custer's reputation?" - Can you make us laugh any harder???????? HE BROKE THE LAW...MORE THAN ONCE. HE DIALED 911, HE ADMITTED TO PUBLIC URINATION, HE HAD A WARRANT OUT FOR HIS ARREST. What reputation? If he had a reputation to worry about, his actions did considerably more damage to it than an editorial in the local paper.
Do you really read what you write before you post it?
#9 Jan 11, 2010
The Grinch with his heart two sizes too small. Afraid of little Susie Who from Whoville.
#10 Jan 11, 2010
Thank you MICHELE for another post filled with your wisdom and vision of the future - Does Thorne Street run through Whoville?
#11 Jan 11, 2010
Warrant out for his arrest - give me a break. The guy peed in public and paid the fine a little late. The Commonwealth's Tim Lyke practiced shocking substandard journalism and hurt his newspaper's reputation and Mr. Custer's reputation after the guy conceded from the race. The Commonwealth's retraction was on the sucky side. Mayor Kramer's "blame game" has worn thin for a very long time. Commonwealth should be reporting on that.
#12 Jan 11, 2010
Thank you MICHELE for another post filled with your wisdom and vision of the future - when it comes to the blame game, you win the gold medal, and, once again, you don't check your facts before posting....he had more than one warrant issued for failing to pay his fines "a little late". I am sure if this had been Mayor Kramer or Alderman Pape paying their fines "a little late", you would have been calling for impeachment or worse. You stay classy in 2010.
#13 Jan 11, 2010
I AM NOT MICHELE YOU JACKASS! So the Commonwealth reported on stuff so readers would question the kid's judgment but Commonwealth went too far and showed malice after Mr. Custer conceded from the race. Mr. Custer has minor violations for peeing in public and underage drinking. Underage drinking - oh no! Peeing in public - oh no! What violations does Mayor Kramer have on his record that aren't minor? Did the Commonwealth also ever poke its nose into Mayor Kramer's name on Wisconsin Circuit Court's website for Ripon residents' benefit? Just pointing out the changing rules and lack of fairness.
#14 Jan 11, 2010
Thank you MICHELE for another post filled with your wisdom and vision of the future - when it come to playing by the rules and being fair, we know you are the classiest of them all.
#15 Jan 11, 2010
Then justify the 911 call.
#16 Jan 13, 2010
And for those who believe those were well-written letters, there is an opposing view:
#17 Jan 13, 2010
1/13/2010 3:00:00 PM
Letter: Commonwealth absolutely correct to publicize candidate's criminal record
TO THE EDITOR:
...The mayor is expected to not only uphold the law, but to promote the public’s upholding of the law by advocacy and example.
Perhaps when Ms. Welch and Mr. McMurray purchase homes and raise families, they will discover why that’s important. Hopefully for their sake, they will live somewhere where the local newspaper is doing the job its readers expect it to do.
— Steve Prestegard
** Agree. The Mayor is expected to uphold the law and lead by example. People are also expected to voice their opinions so that laws are upheld and voice concern with any questionable examples a mayor is repeatedly setting.
** Agree. Let's hope college students do plant roots in a town that has a newspaper that does the job its readers expect it to do. I guess these college students won't be living in Ripon after graduation.
#18 Jan 24, 2010
You're wrong "BacktoBasics" in every aspect.
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