March 4, 2009

Hughes goes public

The JT has an interview with former City Administrator Ben Hughes. To summarize an article that doesn't say much, Hughes says in not so many words that Mayor Gary Becker threw him under the bus.

One important takeaway (reading between the lines): Hughes and Becker were not friendly when the mayor was arrested for trying to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.

And an observation: Hughes left office facing two lawsuits for, basically, doing nothing. Sandra Tingle didn't respect his position and openly attacked him, while doing a lousy job at a her job. Janelle Grammer didn't show up for work for extended periods of time and filed a family leave complaint after receiving family leave time and keeping her job.

Somewhere along the way Hughes became a target. He probably made some mistakes along the way, but the biggest seems to be working for a mayor who alienated nearly all of his political friends in recent years. And that's according to the very friends who were alienated.


  1. This is one of the most poorly written articles the Racine Post has ever done.

  2. While I do enjoy reading the racinepost, one major flaw they often have is in articles like this one. Just report the news. This is an opinion piece. Bad job, racinepost.

  3. Personally, I sometimes need help reading between the lines...

  4. Anon 6:48 - I agree with you. This is all reporting on deep background with people unwilling to step forward and talk candidly about the story. It's a delicate story - hopefully we'll have something more concrete in the future.

  5. With respect is the City paying you to write this?
    Lets see what comes out in the courts with these cases.

  6. Well guess I won't be visiting the post for awhile. Talk about opinions and biased reporting. Hey post...... concerning Hughes being a saint in your eyes, why don't you do some investigative reporting in Wrightstown, talk with people, review any public records and ask about Hughes there....

  7. I think it is a decent article. It is good to read all views, even if they aren't one that you may take a "liking" to. Thanks Dustin.

  8. Sylvia

    De Lovey
    Tom Cruise
    Mc Millen and Wife
    John Barrowman

    Read here

  9. So few people responding to this article could blind readers. The post is only reporting an article in the journal. Yes I would very much like to know more too. Like why did Hughes resign? Just what did Mayor Becker do with his time once Hughes was hired? These are public figures and need accountability. What we need is to have an investigation into what was going on and to let sunshine on the records that are now sealed. The public has a right to know and the city council needs to let that sunshine show!

  10. for once the post gets something right. hughes was a decent person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. he was hired to do a job but undermined by the very person who hired him. becker is not the victim-neither is hughes but hughes was wrongly accused by two poor employees and becker threw him under the bus. if hughes was empowered to handle these problems in the proper way we would not have the mess we see today.

  11. No the post did NOT do something right. This is an opinion of Dustin Block, nothing more. This is not the way a true news source would operate. If Dustin wants to discuss his personal opinions, it should be put in an editorial/opinion section of their "paper", not trying to pass itself off as a news article.

    The former mayor and Hughes were "not friendly"? Let's expand on that. Why? According to whom? Ben Hughes? What documentation does the Post have to back this statement up?

    Mayor Becker alienated nearly all his political friends? According to whom? Did Dustin interview nearly all of Becker's political friends? Does Dustin know who Becker's political friends were/are?

    Hughes "probably" made mistakes along the way? Let's expand on that one shall we?

    Does Dustin know why Grammer has taken family medical leave? Is he implying she is doing something wrong by doing so? If so, why? What is the nature of her family emergency? Where is Dustin getting his info? So Sandra T did not respect Hughes' position? Where is Dustin getting this info? From Ben Hughes again? And a "lousy" job? According to whom? Ben Hughes?

    Seriously, this is a crap article and if the Racine Post wants to actually receive subscriptions they better start putting their personal opinions aside and start writing actual news and doing the job of true journalists.

  12. Dustin - Although I won't be as harsh as Anonymous, using "deep background" typically requires that their info can point you to the facts. (W&B didn't break the story on Tricky Dick on Deep Throat's testimonial alone.) Also, the argument presented in this opinion piece is hardly sound: where's the evidence that the complaints filed against Hughes are fraudulent?

    Policy suggestion: The publication would be stronger if editorials were limited to one per week ... and maybe they should have a minimum word count, to encourage more reporting as background to the opinion. Blogs aren't an excuse for shoddy journalism; you know that. But I'm not holding it against you. Journalism's tough, and doing it well with a 2-person staff can only make it tougher

    Keep up the good work; keep down the not-so good work.

  13. Wow, talk about completely biased and opinionated reporting. Stop pretending to be a news source. I think Dustin and Benny are buddies.