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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Media Circus Monopolizes Politics Around Coroner's Office

How many articles from the Janesville Gazette can you count over the past two years about the Rock County coroner's office that did not contain some reference to the unfounded allegations thrown against the coroner by former employees or political adversaries? One maybe?

But such was the case when the Gazette posted their election issues story on the coroner and her challenger. Strangely absent from the story were those old and unfounded allegations against the coroner. Why? Well, because in order to repeat those ridiculously trumped-up allegations, they would have had to regurgitate the report on the challenger's recent violation of the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits individuals from gathering signatures and running for partisan office while remaining employed in the federal government. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the fact remains, the challenger violated Hatch Act provisions and eventually had to resign from her job as restitution to avoid more severe penalties. That's it in a nutshell.

Side-by-side, the challenger's Hatch Act violation poses a relatively serious lapse of ethics compared to the range of personal and administrative attacks and opinions levied against the coroner. There is no comparison. The Gazette simply reports the challengers' job status as "unemployed" without providing any historical perspective. And what does the county have to say about a candidate collecting signatures while being employed in the federal government? You can hear crickets chirping.

Lucky for us, the Gazette or the county for that matter claimed they don't have a political agenda. This stuff just happens naturally.

No matter what you might think of Jenifer Keach or her management style, two things are abundantly clear, one; she is well qualified to be the county's coroner and two; she has handled personal complaints and media attacks against the office with common sense, dignity and sound remedy without resorting to party politics or partisan hyperbole. What more can we ask for? Yet, try as they have, the newspaper, along with a few county board supervisors and their political allies continue to twist the facts without offering any substantive proof in order to deliberately over-politicize Keach and the county office. Here is just one example from the Gazette's outrageously dysfunctional political blogger...
Gazette Blog Excerpt:
There is tooooooo much smoke to avoid the sense that there is a fire. I wish more of the accusations against Kearch (sic) would have been made public earlier this year to allow for appropriate and needed investigations. I know too well the situation with our former coroner and do NOT think Rock County needs a repeat! The use of public office POLITICALLY to keep one's elective position is ILLEGAL! WE THE PEOPLE deserve to know the truth and I KNOW we will not get that TRUTH without investigations since Keach is not known to be a person who tells THE TRUTH. I am voting for Holder next Tuesday. Remember: The vote next Tuesday is the FINAL VOTE - the real election of the Rock County Coroner. Forewarned is forearmed! -- John W. Eyster
Eyster also happens to be the Gazette blogger that accused the coroner of trying to shut down an open primary for challenging her opponent's petition papers. When unbeknown to everyone at the time, it was the challenger herself who should have owned up to wrongdoing and in the interest of moral and ethical fair play, should have withdrawn from the ballot for violating Hatch Act provisions. She did not.

But, history tells me that the bad apples out to get Jenifer Keach will never stop their political revenge, hate and smear campaign against her until they use every trick in the book to steal the office away from the people of Rock County. They'll just watch the coroner's office like no other in the history of the state and file complaint after complaint after complaint in hopes that some day - one might stick. They'll politicize the office until you're sick of it. These nasty folks have the power.

Note: This posting is the sole opinion of its author and was not authorized by any party, candidate or campaign.


Richard L. Costerisan said...

This article deserves at least one comment. Thanks for telling it like it is. The worst of the bunch is the gang of five on the county board. The Gazette runs a close second for supporting their agenda. Of course, quietly and just out of sight is the Republican party salivating to recapture the county following the decline of the Democrats in the absense of the GM plant. It all starts with the coroner. They thought Jenifer Keach would be a pushover. Surprise! Now they are mad. They've thrown everything but the kitchen sink at her, but she is greater than all of them combined. Now it's vengence. What purpose does this serve the voters of Rock County - they want control at any cost. Too bad they don't recognize how fortunate they really are. The best is standing right in front of them. Jenifer Keach is a real treasure. She is a once-in-a-lifetime find. I am so proud she is my daughter. Following her win on September 14 we'll spend a day celebrating. Then, it will be back to work for her. She has a lot of things that need doing to better serve the voters of Rock County. And, I'll be cheering her on.

Anonymous said...

Listen to the podcasts, that alone will tell you who is better qualified and who really wants the position.

Anonymous said...

I think Richard L. Costerisan is right on about the republican party's influence here. All the animosity started when Gov. Doyle appointed a democrat to replace a disgraced republican for the county office. Local repubs took that as a slap in the face and will never live it down. The coroners office was their baby - it belonged to them. Keach could have a dozen master's degrees and be a forensics professor, but as long as she's a democrat they want her out.

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