June 22, 2009

Becker emails

We've gotten a spirited response to our story reporting the city will charge over $10,000 to provide Gary Becker's emails for public inspection. I believe those emails are important because of a series of stories that RacinePost has unearthed in recent months revealing questionable decisions by our former mayor.

A couple of themes have emerged in the comments and further discussions:

1. The city has the right, and perhaps the obligation, under state law to waive the fees for releasing information that's in the public interest.

2. I've been waiting, but no one from the city has responded to our story. It's a little surprising that not one City Council member is upset enough by the former mayor's efforts to circumvent the council to take up this cause. Then again, it's a risky stance that could make things very lonely for an elected official.

3. A number of people are opposed to releasing the information. Their argument is to leave the past in the past.

4. A number of people are in favor of releasing the information. Some have offered to donate money and make a campaign around this issue. Let's pursue a different course, especially in these tough economic times.

5. We will pursue release of the emails at no expense in the public's interest. If anyone would like to lend support, or advice, please contact us at: racinepost@gmail.com


  1. Advice: Let's move forward not backward. Let it die....No body really cares that much.

  2. I believe that it should be explored. The problem with letting it go is that there will never be any standard set and it will continue to be business as usual. These Aldermaen have to be shaking in their collective booths. People like Sandy Weidner who wants to wait until the former Mayor goes through his process. How much does she know? Greg Helding, How much does he know he was always in the Mayor's office. Since Sandra Tingle is under endictment, How much does she know? Maybe a way around all of the cover up is to seek a JOHN DOE, and flush everyone out that does not want to come forward voluntarily. All it takes is one person to file and it says nothing about news sources are exempt. Dustin the ball is in your court, shit or get off the proverbial pot.

  3. Like there's nothing else going on, right????????

  4. The remaining "good ole boys" are reluctant to expose the "can of worms"!

  5. IMHO those on the City Council who do not back this have something to hide. I wonder what that might be?
    Note and for the record I think sir when you get these Email you will change your mind on the ones who can not be named

  6. Let's move forward - find out the truth Dustin! The City needs to take you and your news service seriously, and if you don't work to get the truth on this, no one will. More dirt swept under the carpet while public servants in government and education commit countless new acts of malfeasance - and THOSE will be excused too because there are always more important things . . .

  7. Give it up!

  8. The Translator6/23/2009 8:21 AM

    When you shine the light on Rats they scatter, that is what is happening here. Keep shining the light Dustin. There are more low down dirty deals that the alderthugs do not want exposed.

  9. This is wasted energy, money and time - Becker's gone , move on. Get a life.

  10. These Emails IMHO would expose nasty information about
    J Wax
    Uptown Art Project

    and other info the powers that be want to keep out of our hands.

    My guess is the phones are burning with calls to lawyers about what these groups and others can do to stop these emails from coming to the light of day.
    I would not be surprised if some "happened" to the data

  11. Dustin - Keep on it & keep up the great work.

    I know of one whom worked closely with Becker and has had some mighty "questionable" dealings with him - She is nervious...You are on to exposing something & someone.

  12. Yeah Becker's gone, so the deals he brokered and the effect of his administration upon this city have vaporized with him. His emails probably vaporized, too. We don't want to know how our city operates or what kind of deals that elected officials make with our money. We don't want to know the truth. We just want to PARTY - some of us with 14 year olds.

    Party on!

    P.S. I'm good for $10 and I'm the most broke person I know. There's gotta be 999 others in this city who don't favor filth in office.

  13. The vultures of these blogs amaze me. Unless there is something potentialy bad looming you are not happy. Why don't you spend your efforts on something of value. Donate time at the Food Pantry, help at Cops for Kids, join a civic group. But please do something other than trying to dig up dirt. Move on - improve the city and give the mayor support.

  14. Every comment against this idea is 1000% more reason to pursue it. Calling citizens interested in clean government "vultures" is one way oinkers suppress the truth.

  15. "These Aldermaen have to be shaking in their collective booths."


  16. Orbs - you need to get a life. Unless you have something to complain about you are not happy. Do something constructive for a change. And you guys are dreaming -the Alderman are not shaking in their boots - oh they are sooooooo afraid!

  17. If you all can raise 10k to get the e-mails, more power to you. But you should not expect taxpayers to shoulder the expense of your personal research.

  18. Why would anyone be against letting the public see public documents? This is our right as citizens of the United States of America. Telling people who are interested in open and honest government to get a life or calling them vultures or telling them to look the other way goes against everything that this country supposedly stands for. Why are there suddenly so many anonymous commenters appearing here to discourage democracy, hmmm?

  19. "And you guys are dreaming -the Alderman are not shaking in their boots"

    No doubt. I am sure that (at least most of) the aldermen are smart enough to never put anything controversial or problematic in writing.

  20. Tell Orbs that.

  21. Dustin:

    You CANNOT let this die. It is quite obvious that city govt. does not want the hard working, law abiding, tax paying citizens of Racine to know ANY truths/scandals of the past.

    Kaplan, Helding, Wiedner, Friedel (to name a few), are shaking in their sandals right now.

    What about suing Nicole Loop, Webber, Leteny, Becker, ect.... personally as well as the city?

    You may be surprised what filing a suit against personal individuals and the city might bring to light.

    It is about time that scandals be brought to light, even if J-Wax and the rest of city govt. look like turds in the process.

    Personally, I think you are a good man Dustin, however, I get the feeling that you may be hesitant to pursue this in the event that the current Mayor might also be involved in some way.

    Why has he sat silent with all of this. He could override any city cost with regard to fees for service. That is a fact!

    Racine will stay in it's current state (in ruins) unless we investigate this thoroughly.

    Where can one donate?

  22. Tim the Shrubber6/23/2009 9:40 AM

    "Why would anyone be against letting the public see public documents?"

    Nobody has said that the public should not be allowed access to the e-mails, but people have commented that it is pointless, time to move on, etc.

    If it is so important, perhaps you should be willing to pony up more than $10.

    "Why are there suddenly so many anonymous commenters appearing here to discourage democracy.."

    Yeah, because hiding behind a nickname is soooo much different. {sarcasm}

  23. Go to the Council meeting tonight at 6 PM and during public comments tell them we want to read the emails.

  24. Orbs:

    All the comments saying NOT to investigate are the people involved in the scandals.

    Again, they think that the public is stewpid!! (< that's a joke for some of you tards).

  25. "Kaplan, Helding, Wiedner, Friedel (to name a few), are shaking in their sandals right now."


  26. Hey - let's get Dateline here to investigate this major scandal.Oh, I can hear it now major corruption uncovered in Racine, WI - special appearance by Colt and Orbs who pressed to uncover the scandalous activities. The city is brought to its knees with this major coruption - will the city ever recover, alderman thrown out of office into prison, SC Johnson goes down. This is the story of the year. Ha, Ha, Ha I'm done with you clowns.

  27. Anytime anyone wants to meet me, they can email me. Just click on the avatar or send an email to
    orbscorbs@jtirregulars.com. A group of us are getting together this weekend. We announce these events weeks ahead of time. Perhaps you'd like to join us? Pete attended one of these -he'll tell you that we don't bite.

    Back to the point, my emphasis, however, was not on the anonymous part - my emphasis (of course you know this) was on discouraging democracy part.

    Again, if people want to pony up the $ to exercise their constitutional rights (do you have to pay to vote?), why are others so concerned?

  28. Tim the Shrubber6/23/2009 9:51 AM

    "He could override any city cost with regard to fees for service."

    Yes, he could...but then he would be left explaining to the public why he spent 10k of city money on a favor for a blogger.

    So, pony up some real money. There may be a real scandal in there. If you find it, good. But, you need to commit the resources. Otherwise you are just blowing hot air.

  29. Anon 9:50 :

    Either an Alderman, City Govt. employee or J-wax hack.

    Which is Anon 9:50??

    Oh, that's right, you're done with "us clowns" so there shouldn't be any response.


  30. anon 9:50 = Ass Clown

  31. Tim:

    This city pisses away more money with "consultant" fees and lawsuits settling out of court, and City Govt. doesn't explain one damn thing about these situations.

    Now, why on god's earth would you think that Dickert would have to "explain" this to the taxpayers????

    Why start now???

    Nice try shrubber.

  32. Timmy:

    This city has NEVER been accountable to ANY CITY TAXPAYER, EVER!!!!

    That's the biggets line of BULLSHIT I've ever heard!

    Now the city is going to feel remorse and find some ethic morals???

    I just pissed my pants laughing!!!

  33. $55,000 for scrap metal art, but not a penny for open government.

    Party on!

  34. Tim the Shrubber6/23/2009 10:08 AM

    You all are funny.

  35. I will have to dig out the law on this, Citizens for responsible government would be happy to. Keep in mind it does not have to be in hard copy. It is cheaper to do on a disk and you could provide the disks. I do voluteer for many organizations. Too many to be exact. That is why it upsets me to see these ninnys wasting money on political favors. Lets clean house and have more to give to the deserving. Dustin and this blog have provided a voice to those who are usually edited or ignored in Racine.

  36. Hey - where's Jody on this subject or maybe I should say Rich her husband. Apparently he is speaking for her these days. Ha! Have you fixed up that house yet?

  37. concrete katie6/23/2009 12:04 PM

    I want to know.

  38. Do we need to put out a missing persons report for Jody? Or is she finally doing her work at CNH trying to keep her job secure.

  39. We need to see the emails from both Becker and Smith! This is the most important thing facing Racine right now! The city is plagued with corruption and if the people running it cant do it right that would be the main reason we have high crime, taxes, unemployment, poor schools amongst many other problems this city has been facing for over the last twenty years.

  40. As was stated in Dustin's original article, this is not as simple as handing over a disk of emails. These "emails" are compressed down, put on a tape, and sitting in storage. If Dustin, or anyone else, wants to pay to have someone go down to storage, pull out the tape, uncompress the data, put the data onto a hard drive, go through the emails to make sure personnel info and other confidential information is not released, and finally put the emails onto a disk; have at it.

    I for one, do not want to pay $10k+ of my tax dollars, because some blogger assumes there is stuff on there.

  41. I dont think Smith knew how to use a computer very well so I doubt you'd find much there. I also heard he emptied out all the file cabinets before he left office so he'd leave no records behind (illegal!)

    Becker may have been overly blatant and too self confident, but I highly doubt he left much evidence on emails that could be used against him. From my dealings with him, he liked to meet people face to face for negotiations.

    What do you really hope to gain here Dustin? Becker's already been ousted, career and marriage destroyed. While I am mildly curious about things that went on, I think you are wasting your time and I do think it's time to move forward.

  42. What is out there to make such an effort to stop it?
    Thinking its time for a storm Racine show!

  43. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Storm-Racine/2009/06/24/Beckers-Email-

    8:30 AM Wednesday

  44. If I recall the previous article correctly, the real issue at play here should be the ostensible irrelevance of retrieving the emails. It would cost $10,000 -- but didn't a city administrator cite the labor involved in emending and excising text from the emails as part of the cost? So, even if the public gets access to the emails, whether by open government procedures or by fiat, we're still not getting the whole story. And as Colt said, it's likely that RCEDC, WDC, J-Wax, etc. make some compromising appearances that will raise eyebrows. Most likely, these would be among the redacted passages.

  45. If there was nothing to find there wouldn't be such a firestorm on here. We really have very little to lose and more to gain by making sure we have the full story.

  46. Downtown Denizen6/25/2009 8:58 AM

    I wonder how many of these "anonymous" responses urging us to drop this and "move on" or "get a life" are aldermen themselves or their cronies. I can think of no one with such a fervent appeal to drop this, as is displayed here, than those that are involved, and probably shaking in their boots.

    You liberals are always screaming that "the public has a right to know." Funny how that seems to go away when it's your buddies that are being scrutinized.

  47. I doubt Becker's "buddies" are the ones writing against doing this. Truth be told, the guy doesn't have many buddies left. He ditched his real friends years ago and replaced them with political hacks and wannabees who were never his friend in the first place.

    I am not one of the "buddies" either, but I still think it's time to move on and keep a better watch on not just the mayor, but the aldermen and what's happening in the city from now on.

    Becker's gone, we are beating a dead horse.

  48. The emails need to come out! Why? This was done on out tax dime and we cannot forget this and become desensitized. Desensitizing the matter will result in a hush sentencing. This guy is a sicko and did it on my friggen tax dollar!

    The 10K is a typical attempt to withold the emails. I wonder how much of them have already been sifted through and destroyed. Yes folks, it does happen. Especially in big business.