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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gazette Smear On Coroner Unprecedented

EXCLUSIVE


By Richard L. Costerisan

At 5:00 a.m. today I received a call from my son-in-law Jamie Keach that both pierced my heart and made me extremely proud of my daughter Jenifer. As Jamie read to me the Gazette's endorsement for Rock County Coroner, I heard the most pathetic journalistic attack on a Democrat in my lifetime. Their vindictive assault assured me that Jenifer has threatened to expose the very core of the Republican machine that seeks to regain control of the county. She is knocking on the door of the conspiracy and corruption seething beneath the surface of the prairie farmlands and concrete industry that I called home for over sixty years. In an unheard of assault, the Gazette made a preemptive strike in fear at what they perceive is the greatest political threat to the Republican agenda for Rock County - Jenifer Keach.

Over the years we have all watched as Democrats have turned Rock County away from the Republican backroom politics that we grew up with and into a progressive community that welcomed people from all walks of life. Janesville, and Rock County became a place that we were all proud to call our home. During that time, the Gazette and Republicans became less influential and more brazenly conservative, trying to preserve their power base. Now, with the resurgence of the conservative movement sweeping our national political scene, local Republicans and their cronies at the Gazette are seizing the moment to attack the most competent Democrat to serve our citizens in recent memory. As the Republican Party puppet, the Gazette has spent whatever credibility they have left to smear Jenifer Keach with the worst piece of yellow-dog journalism to be inked on their pages in over a century. Who would have imagined that a coroner would garner so much attention from the Republican political machine? Jenifer has struck fear in deep places and touched buttons that have brought the Gazette to print the most blatant personal attacks imaginable.

For the past several years we have watched the Gazette attack the coroner and the office at every opportunity to discredit it while supporting the Republican call on the county board to switch to a Medical Examiner. Why? They are still reeling from the embarrassment the former Republican coroner left on the office. Republicans are insanely jealous that a home-grown Democrat could raise the bar of an obscure office to such heights. They are extremely disappointed that every effort to assign the former coroners illegal behavior to Jenifer did not stick. They have done their best to encourage dissention in her office and have failed to support her when blatant political accusations were leveled at the coroner. Instead, unfounded allegations were funneled to the Gazette by county administrators under the direction of certain Republican board members. The Gazette dutifully printed these baseless claims every chance they had. Eventually, the charges were revealed to be unwarranted and the Gazette was forced to recognize the state of excellence that Jenifer Keach brought to the county coroner's office. In several recent articles they have publicly recognized her success in building a team of professionals to serve the voters of Rock County at the highest level.

Now, just four days before the election, the Gazette editorial staff suddenly meets and decides to make an unprecedented recommendation in a Democratic primary for a coroner. Just two days before the election they smear Jenifer Keach and apologize for a pathetic endorsement of an unqualified and totally planted carpetbagger who worked with a financially motivated and egotistical forensic pathologist in Madison. What caused this change of events? Why this sudden interest in an endorsement for such a low-level elected office? Why has the Gazette withheld the latest politically charged allegations from two more employees that they have been sitting on for a week? The answer is simple - an independent investigation. The crony Gazette and their puppet masters are no longer in control of the investigation and for the first time a report will be generated that reveals the political ties that have been lurking below the county political scene for decades. And guess who is exposing it? Jenifer Keach. That is what has taken the Gazette to their lowest level of conduct in the history of the paper. The stakes are that high.

As Democrats we must not let the Gazette meddle in our election for coroner. They would love to dissuade you from voting at all or better yet, get you to vote for an unqualified candidate that will support their efforts to switch the office to a Medical Examiner. Don't let them steal your vote. Don't let them smear the best candidate. None of their charges are true and they know it. Keep the faith and vote Democrat and vote for Jenifer Keach for Rock County Coroner.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the rest but it was certainly a brutal unwarranted attack by them. What an absolute abuse. I, for one, am outraged. My wife commented to me that it was sickening. They will certainly never get another dime from this pocket. They should feel ashamed for what they have done to her over the years.

Anonymous said...

How disgusting! Basically the gazette is saying vote for the idiot who will probably fail instead of the "bitch" who gets the job done. The gazette sealed the deal. I'll vote for Keach just because they didn't endorse her!

Daniel said...

The Coroner system is antiquated and should be scrapped for a medical examiner system. A board certified forensic pathologist should be deciding the cause and manner of death. Many counties throughout the nation are converting to an M.E. System and Wisconsin would be better served with a regional M.E.

Anonymous said...

Corruption is endemic in the county. We should be replacing the county board, not the coroner. If we had a real newpaper instead of a politcally biased tabloid, we would know the truth.

Anonymous said...

A regional M.E.? So, we're talking about even more government centralization and more bureaucracy than we have today. For that matter, the entire Wisconsin state constitution and county system of government should be scrapped. We only think we defeated communism. With that line of reasoning, they've kicked our butts.

Anonymous said...

I saw the writing on the wall when Greg Peck (Opinion Page Editor) blogged "I’ve been Opinion page editor for more than seven years, and I’ve never seen a debate that went as long and was as exhausting as this one."
http://www.gazettextra.com/weblogs/opinion-matters/2010/sep/10/who-will-the-gazette-endorse-for-coroner/

Keach is the clear choice, yet the Gazette editorial board had a tough time with the decision? If their decision was so tough, meaning they were clearly divided, why endorse anyone?

Also note that every recent article about this race has had the comments closed, even though the majority of those comments were pro-Keach. Pecks' blog entry was even closed after just 9 comments!

I've generally had a positive opinion of the Gazette, but no longer.

Lou Kaye said...

The Gazette of course has full range and control over their endorsements meaning, they have issued non-endorsements in the past (Clifford, Gableman for one) only to still tear down one of the candidates with the default - "If elected, ... things will only get worse" - like they did to Keach. They can write anything they like. I believe the Gazette's endorsement for the challenger has re-affirmed everything I've written about them on my blog. In a way I sort of thank them for that, but not at the expense of smearing any candidate or incumbent for public office. Truth is published at their discretion.

Remember when they tore into Janesville city council candidate Kevin Bishop for being an outsider, for not performing enough community service or not living here long enough or claiming that he is a carpetbagger seeking to exploit the process,a plant by the unions or Dem party to grab more power in city government? The Gazette magnified those concerns because one letter writer merely opined on his suspicions? But his suspicions fit their agenda. All of those seemingly unbiased and high standards held up for Bishop's candidacy (a person far more involved in the community than many) are thrown out the window for Holder. Why? Because the Gazette has an agenda, and Holder fits it - albeit not as perfectly as they'd like.

Anonymous said...

Another article in the Gazette about the race has been closed to comments.

Lou Kaye said...

The only reason the Gazette would not only close but DELETE the comments section is because the overall message doesn't fit their agenda and they'll be damned if they'll give anyone free publicity when it doesn't fit their agenda. You want the community to hear your message - you want to engage in spirited debate (as long as it's clean and doesn't devolve into name-calling) - waste your time at the Gazette and get deleted!!

Anonymous said...

And another one just got shut down. This was one criticizing them for their attack on the coroner. I wonder how much flak they are getting for that piece of filth. I know at a meeting this morning I was at there was talk of a boycott and many people unsubscribing. People apparently have been contacting Feingold and other officials too. That kind of mudslinging has no place in politics and it cetainly has no place coming from a newspaper. By shutting more and more down they are proving they don't value others opinions when it comes in contrast with their own. After all, they can do no wrong and they are unbiased. They have no agenda. Uh-huh

Lou Kaye said...

As far as the Gazette's editorial goes, it is free speech and the newspaper is entitled to that right like anyone else. Personally, I don't think there's anything that Feingold or anyone else can or would do. There are no laws against mudslinging, but at the same time there are no laws against boycotting their business or businesses that advertize in their paper, or a peaceful protest of their censorship. I'm a little more concerned about the marketing, the message and their hypocrisy. I'm also a believer that there are more than just two sides to every story, that there are probably closer to 15 or 20 sides for every story and that is what the internet has helped bring out. In the meantime, the Gazette is propagating just one message qualified only by their ownership of a printing press, and for balance they provide a controlled environment for an opposing view at times. Plus, the newspaper is in "campaign mode," they clearly want certain candidates to be elected. Our subscriptions help pay for that campaign.

Anonymous said...

Gazette Endorsement = Kiss of Death

Anonymous said...

I canceled my subscription on Monday. Go Keach.

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to the end of the day. Win or lose, I know I have served Rock County to the best of my ability, without bias or prejudice. I encourage everyone to serve their fellow man (and woman!) by becoming involved in their community. The reward is in knowing you have made a difference.

Please remember to vote today.

Jenifer Keach

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being the contrarian here, there are a lot of accusations against the Gazette here with no proof except for people's opinions. I happen to know most of the reporters and editors at the Gazette and they tend to be Democratic and liberal in the their leanings.
Maybe someone should visit the Gazette to see how they operate...?
And while I can understand Mr. Costerisan's anger and venom, his daughter is a public official and open to criticism from all angles. Has the Gazette printed anything that is untrue? If so, a lawsuit is in order.

Anonymous said...

"accusations against the Gazette here with no proof except for people's opinions"

Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black!

Anonymous said...

"Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black!"

No, like the man said, if the Gazette printed anything that is untrue, then the newspaper is open to a libel lawsuit. An opinion is not fact and is not, therefore, proof.

Regardless, Keach won and she should be congratulated.

Anonymous said...

Three days after the majority chose Keach, the losers at the Gazette still are fighting. They closed the comments down on yet another article.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading about this primary for weeks now. I voted for Keach mainly because of the suspicious activity involving her challenger. Something sneaky was going on and I suspect Keach opponents set this whole thing up by searching and finding a challenger, any challenger, to unseat Keach. I feel Terry Holder was pushed to compete in this race and it was a not a decision by her, but by others who did not have Holders best interests in mind, but their own to get Keach out. There was some dirty politics going on there, and that turned me off to Holder. I dislike backdoor politics. Keach has my vote all way.

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