March 3, 2010

Judge sentences 'brain-dead' Becker to three years in prison after former Racine mayor caught buying women's underwear

Handcuffed Gary Becker being led off to jail

Gary Becker's mind-numbing stupidity got him arrested, and then it got him sentenced to prison.

Judge Stephen Simanek sentenced Racine's former mayor to three years in prison Wednesday for charges related to the Internet sex sting that nabbed Becker in January of 2009. Becker was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom and is on his way to Dodge Correctional Facility to serve his sentence.

Becker was so close to walking away with probation. Simanek said as much during the three-hour hearing that produced a number of bombshell developments a Hollywood screenwriter would struggle to invent.

The biggest, at least for Becker, was the revelation that 15 days ago he went shopping at Boston Store in Racine for young girl's underwear. District Attorney Michael Nieskes disclosed Becker bought nine panties and bras - some with butterflies and puppies on them - in small or petite sizes on his credit card. The Boston Store clerk recognized Becker and reported the purchases to police, noting Becker spent an unusually long amount of time for a man browsing in the lingerie section.

Nieskes even presented a display in court, left, showing the girlish-looking underwear.

Patrick Cafferty, Becker's attorney, tried to beat back the report by providing an affadavit from a 46-year-old woman who claimed the underwear was for her. The woman was 5-foot-3 and 103 pounds, small enough to fit the underwear.

But Simanek was having none of it. He said up to Monday he was prepared to give Becker probation for his crimes, but the disclosure about Becker's Boston Store shopping changed his mind. In his decision, Simanek pounded Becker for "a sense of arrogance and invincibility that is astounding to the core."

"Mr. Cafferty does everything humanly possible to avoid prison, and two weeks ago, Mr. Becker goes and purchases all of these items, knowing it's exactly, exactly what got him in trouble," Simanek, right, said. "It's almost like a death wish. It's almost like you have to be brain dead to not understand the significance of that."

In a near empty court room after the hearing, Simanek told Cafferty he would have given Becker probation. "If you would have told me on Monday this would happen, I wouldn't have believed you," he said.

Even with the three-year sentence, Becker got less time than the District Attorney and the state were recommending. The DA's office requested a five-year sentence and the state, which ran the sex sting that caught Becker, recommended a four-year sentence.

Becker's Boston Store shopping was only one of several major developments in the dramatic hearing.

Nieskes revealed Becker ran out of gas on the way to his fateful meeting at Brookfield Square Mall with an undercover state agent posing as a 14-year-old girl. He said Becker was so determined to reach the mall to meet with the girl that he first called his secretary to ask if she could call the State Patrol and ask them to bring him gas. He then got a friend to bring him gas so he could finish his trip to the mall - and his eventual arrest.

Nieskes also said Becker admitted to having an affair with his secretary and another city employee. Becker's secretary was Sandra Tingle, who sued the city for sexual harassment after she was fired from her job.

Becker scowled during most of Wednesday's sentencing hearing

81 comments:

  1. Great coverage guys. As you say, no one could have written this for TV any better. Maybe you can submit this story to Hollywood as a script.

    Gary has been his own worst enemy for years. While I have no sympathy for him, I do feel very sorry for his family. No one should have to be put through this because their son/brother/ex-husband/dad is "brain dead" to quote the judge.

    My guess is Gary is in for a long three years in Dodge. I bet he will be glad to get out of Dodge some day.

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  2. He's a democrat!

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  3. He won't serve all that time. What an idiot for going to Boston Store! Look out Dickert, your next!

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  4. Wow what a MORAN.
    The running out of gas bit is pretty pathetic.

    Dodge is just intake into the prison system after being evaluated at Dodge he will be sent to a penitentiary that fulfills his needs, whatever those may be ?
    Fricken weird how he spent all that time buying womans underwear, sure dont know many men who do that.

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  5. Does anyone have statements from these women in question or are we going to just assume Becker is telling the truth?

    He also claimed he's not interested in young women. His word is mud in my opinion.

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  6. Good coverage! Tough day for all involved.

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  7. If any of the women were willing to stand behind his story they would have been there. Likely they were used like everyone else in his life.

    Few trusted him when he was the mayor fewer trust him now. It is scary that the judge was that close to not sending him to lock up. The DA obviously worked over time on this one. Had the Boston Store clerk not reported that event Gary would be bar hopping the streets tonight bragging how he beat the rap. Instead he is literally riding off into the sunset on his way to Dodge. There is an old movie sound to that.

    The DA did a great job on this one.

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  8. I can't believe that Simanik was going to give him probation had he not bought the items.

    WTF???? PROBATION?? REALLY??? 25 YEARS MAXIMUM SENTENCE AND YOU WERE THINKING PROBATION??? YOU'RE JUST AS SICK AS BECKER MR. JUDGE!!!!!

    Good thing he is stepping down from the bench.

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  9. Let's see:

    Becker - St. Cats

    Dickert - St. Cats

    Just sayin'

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  10. Good coverage guys but Pete needs a better camera or filter. Everything looks orange. The color rendering is horrible.
    SDJ

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  11. Having read the transcripts from Becker's interaction with the "girl", there is no doubt that this sentence is fitting. That said, the fact that the judge used a recent lingerie purchase as the determining factor is just. Lingerie doth not a pedophile make.

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  12. Having read the transcripts from Becker's interaction with the "girl", there is no doubt that this sentence is fitting. That said, the fact that the judge used a recent lingerie purchase as the determining factor is just. Lingerie doth not a pedophile make.

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  13. Pardon me...that former comment should read that the use of the lingerie purchase as the determining factor was *unjust.

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  15. Who was the other city employee Becker admitted to having an affair with?

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  16. Anon 7:35, say what?

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  17. Anon 7:35, say what???

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  18. I'm surprised that Gary didn't expose the other "city officials" that share his perversions.

    Stunning!

    That Pedo brotherhood must be like the Mafia.

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  19. What other city officials are you talking about? If you have proof, call the police.

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  20. sucks to be him, he'll be sitting rocking in a corner when he gets settled into Dodge

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  21. Sure sheds new light on what Ben Hughes had to put up with. I think you have to rethink what ill you had towards Ben since all this came out. Sure looks like he was stuck between a brain dead boss and a hard place.

    I think Gary ruined many lives beyond his family.

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  22. Wasn't another prominant politician from Racine recently arrested?

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  23. Anon 7:05,
    You are either one of Beckers former lovers, a current lover or a total liberal idiot. I am a male and would never think about buying girls undies, if my daughter needed them I would go to the store with her and have her get them! Becker is a pervert and a waste of life, the 3 years he got should have been three years of 24/7 ball kickings. Sicko's like Gary need not be rehabed they need to be terminated!

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  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  26. I believe we should now examine the other government officials like Sandy Wiedner who make comments that support Becker's negative behavior. One should ????? if she deserves to serve in the capacity of Alderman!!
    I hope that the Post or JT ask these unworthy sitting Aldermen for their opinion on this very important decision. It was Wiedner that was playing volleyball with him this summer at his residence. Makes me think maybe we need to get rid of her too.

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  27. Anon 8:49 -- I am neither a pervert nor a proponent of Becker. I am simply someone who doesn't believe that justice should be guided by extreme emotion. In addition, I am also someone who can read the story to identify that the lingerie purchased was not from the "little girls" department.

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  28. Sandy Wiedner was in the courtroom at the time of sentencing, what a poor excuse for a representative of this community. Dustin why didn't you go after the story!! She condoned all of Becker's negative behavior and all you can do is that she always runs unopposed, you and Pete are a joke!! Report the news, headline " Alderman Sandy Wiedner Supports Pedophile"!!!

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  29. Why was the comment about Ben Hughes removed? It was factual.

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  30. I bet Pat Cafferty was a wee bit pissed @ Becker for being an idiot shopping for bra's and panties when he worked to get him a probation only sentence! Wow...

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  31. Why do you guys name Sandra Tingle but not the other city hall employee? That's not fair to Tingle since she certainly had nothing to do with this case, not that the other employee did.

    Some people know for a fact that he had multiple affairs over the years yet none of them were named either.

    Becker despises Tingle now so why would you just take his word for that as truth? He's the kind of guy that would get some joy out of taking one of his enemies down with him!

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  32. curious mind3/03/2010 11:09 PM

    can someone repeat the comment about ben hughes without language that would get it removed.
    some of us would like to know what it was.
    he had to know something about all this balony becker was pulling to have had so much power in city hall. smells like blackmail to me.

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  33. The Tingle/Becker revelation certainly did paint a whole different picture of the Hughes/Tingle lawsuit. Not sure what the mysterious deleted comment was about, but the most obvious explanation to me is that Tingle thought she was queen of Racine by having the affair with the mayor. Hughes was too naive to understand that she was untouchable, and dared to hold her accountable for poor performance. Tingle fights back with the lawsuit, knowing full well no one can come to Hughes' defense given what she holds over the mayor's head. In the end, a young man's career is ruined.

    All speculation, but that's what the tea leaves look to me. Experienced something similar at a company I worked for, where a secretary had an affair with the president and suddenly thought she was #2 in the company. Maybe the full truth will come out some day...probably not though.

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  34. nah nah nah hey hey hey GOOD BYE!!!

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  36. I know enough about everyone involved to say both Becker and Hughes had problems. Both had completely different problems, but all the same, they each had problems. One person's behavior does in no way absolve the other's.

    The "speculation" by anonymous poster 11:34 pm is completely off-base.

    I knew and dealt with Sandra often and she was anything but the person anonymous 11:34 described. On the contrary, she was courteous, helpful, friendly, and very down to earth. Hardly the attitude of a "queen".

    Also Hughes (hardly a young man since he's pushing 40) has done a good job of ruining his own career by having a case filed against him not only in racine but in the company he worked prior to racine. coincidence? I think not.

    But back to Becker - I'm ok with the 3 year sentence, providing he actually serves it and doesn't get out on appeal.

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  37. Some of the chat transcripts that came up during the hearing were unbelievably bad.......It was even worse than I thought.

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  39. Anon 7:09 you are grasping at straws and your comments totally inappropriate. I think your comment should be deleted.

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  40. I heard that Becker just bought a house in North Bay ...does anyone know what the story is with that?

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  41. Dustin, the Milwaukee paper says the transcripts show that Becker used prostitues for over 20 years and then hired some of them at City Hall. Was that in the transcripts? If true, wow.

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  42. I think it's just another house he was rehabbing to sell, probably to make money to pay the attorney fees.

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  43. Tim the Shrubber3/04/2010 8:31 AM

    "He's a democrat!"

    And that is pretty much irrelevant. Paedophiles hold all sorts of political views.

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  44. Tim the Shrubber3/04/2010 8:34 AM

    "What other city officials are you talking about? If you have proof, call the police."

    Proof? Proof? But Racine Post comments are all about unsubstantiated inuenndo...not reasoned commentary!!!!! {Had to vent}

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  45. "a sense of arrogance and invincibility that is astounding to the core."
    I think that quote from the judge sums it all up. I think he did a good job presiding over this case.
    When Becker is free he will need monitoring because he doesn't seem like someone who just made an error that they regret. He is a child stalker.

    Who is the other city employee? Why are there not policies against sleeping with married mayors? Kinda hard to be in charge of human resources in that place.

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  46. 8:34,

    It is also about hating on everyone who has ever served the community including Mayors, Alderpeople, anyone in city government, past or present, democrats, anyone who can spell Obama, and generally anyone who has ever come in contact with the 4 miserable trolls blogging in their basements.

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  47. It's sad that Racine goes from Becker to Dickert. Can a REAL mayor step up next year please?

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  48. Tim the Shrubber3/04/2010 9:16 AM

    "Can a REAL mayor step up next year please?"

    We are waiting for you to file your election papers.

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  49. Anon 5:18, you make everyone who isn't a Democrat look like an idiot. You have to be pretty stupid if you think trying to politicize this issue with ignorant remarks like that is going to sway anyone over to the Republican or Independent conservative side. Please go away, you are not an asset to anyone.

    I think judge Simanek was probably trying to take into account that becker hadn't actually made contact with a real live 14-year old girl and that no other young teenaged girls had come forward with complaints, thereby he was going to be lenient with him. However, I am inclined to believe that part of it was because they're both members of the Good Ol' Boys Club and, no matter how misguided, honor bound to CYA for each other. Then, with the additional suspicious activity bordering on pedophilic behavior at the Boston Store, he had no choice but to impose a jail sentence, or look extremely bad in the eyes of the citizenry.

    At any rate, Simanek was still too lenient with this child predator. becker's arrogance and air of invincibility should have shown Simanek that this pervert was not remorseful or repentant of his deeds. This sentence should have been no less than five years imprisonment, without early parole, plus an additional ten years of supervision. The fact that he was a public figure, a political leader, a roll model for the community, his sexual relationships with subordinate city employees, and his attitude should all have been taken into consideration. Before this I had no opinion on Simanek, but now I think I’m glad he is retiring. I think I will remember him as “Softball Simanek.”

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  50. Becker Is a ill individual. He needs help. I feel bad for his family. A prayer for his wife and kids is in order over all this blind hate.
    If your born with a predisposition to sexual preference as the gay population claims, then pedophiles should be lock away for a life sentence. You libs can't have it both ways.

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  51. That's right, because gay = pedophile.

    Moron.

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  52. You guys have GOT to get rid of anonymous posting. Aren’t you getting sick of editing this crap by now? It will really raise the level of discussion around here.

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  53. I have no problem with Becker getting 3 years...that should have happened anyway.

    But I am a bit disturbed that the underwear shopping trip is being given as the reason. If Becker is really in a relationship with that 43-year-old woman, then I do not see how this can be evidence that he is somehow more dangerous than he would be had he not gone underwear shopping.

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  54. Let's see, spending an inordinate amount of time in the women's underwear department (enough to draw the suspicions of the clerk), buying the smallest sizes available (with puppies and teddy bears on them, no less), claiming they're for a 43-year-old woman who doesn't seem to exist, and two sexual affairs with subordinate city workers while he's mayor. And you're disturbed about the underwear shopping spree being a deciding factor? I'm certainly glad you weren't the judge in this case.

    The most disturbing thing to me is that with a three year sentence he'll probably be out in 12-14 months. I think that when someone is given a jail term they should have to serve the entire time. If you have good behavior you get out on time. Bad behavior can add time to your sentence.

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  56. Becker bought a house in North Bay to be close to his pal Mayor Dickert. A bit easier to run cover for each other.

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  57. Actually, 11:02 a.m., yes, many gays are pedophiles. They just hide it better.

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  58. "And you're disturbed about the underwear shopping spree being a deciding factor?"

    Yes. I think the judge's logic is flawed here, and I want a court system that is objective, reasonable, and thoughtful. I do not see anything about the shopping spree that should have swayed the judge's mind so much.

    Becker got the right sentence, but for the wrong reason. He should have gotten the prison time even if the shopping spree had never happened. I am glad he is going to prison, but I am also glad that this judge is retiring.

    "Let's see, spending an inordinate amount of time in the women's underwear department (enough to draw the suspicions of the clerk),"

    I have got to wonder if Becker's behavior was really so 'suspicious', or if it only seemed especially suspicious because the clerk recognized Becker.


    "...buying the smallest sizes available..."

    Sorry, but the story said that the underwear would fit a 5'3" and 103 pound woman. That is not an unreasonable size for a grown woman. It pretty much describes the size of my wife.

    "(with puppies and teddy bears on them, no less),"

    The report was puppies and butterflies, not teddy bears. The puppies thing does seem a bit weird, but butterflies would not be so unsual. From the few pictures on Racine Post it does not seem that the underwear is anything too 'young' looking...I could see my wife wearing it...and she is in her 40s.

    "claiming they're for a 43-year-old woman who doesn't seem to exist,"

    A signed affidavit would seem to indicate that the women does exist. This does not prove that the underwear was actually for her, but there is a real person out there claiming that it was.

    "and two sexual affairs with subordinate city workers while he's mayor."

    Irrelevant to the case, unless the city workers were underage.

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  60. PLEASE STOP listing names of people who have not been mentioned in the court proceedings as having had a relationship with Becker.

    Don't force us to shut off comments completely.

    pete

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  61. Ummm Pete where have you been? These people have indeed been mentioned in court proceedings as having a relationship with Becker. The bras were for who? The "intimate relationship" with a city hall employee was with who?
    Are we to pretend these were fictitious people?

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  62. Names were not mentioned, except for Sandra Tingle, who has a lawsuit pending against the city.

    Nor was the name or affidavit from the 43- or 46-year-old woman friend made public.

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  64. No, Tingle's name was not mentioned, only implied. It was not based on fact, merely something slleged by Becker.

    Me thinks someone should call their lawyer.

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  65. oops slleged = alleged

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  66. Graham he will be out in 3 yrs.

    Truth in sentencing.

    No time off for good behavior either because this was a felony conviction.

    Look it up

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  68. Truth-In-Sentencing
    Under the new Truth-in-Sentencing laws, any person who commits a felony offense on or after December 31, 1999, and is sentenced to at least one year of confinement in prison will not be eligible for parole. They are required to serve the entire sentence imposed by the Court. However, offenders who violate prison rules may have additional days added to the confinement portion of their sentence.

    Upon completion of the confinement portion of their sentence, an offender must serve a period of Extended Supervision in the community under the supervision of a Department of Corrections Community Corrections agent. At the time of sentencing, a judge determines the length of confinement and the length of Extended Supervision an offender must serve. By law, the length of Extended Supervision must be at least ¼ of the time of confinement.

    For offenders that have committed a felony on or after 12/31/99 under the new Truth-in-Sentencing law, early parole consideration is not available. Again, the judge determines the length of time served in prison and the length of time on Extended Supervision.

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  69. Pete you are incorrect - Sandra's name was not specifically mentioned. The more I think about this the more I hope she forwards this blog to her attorney.

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  70. Earned release program should not be available according to the statute listed below.

    Disqualifying Crimes. An inmate is not eligible for the ERP if convicted, at any time, of any of the following crimes:
    S Crimes listed in Chapter 940, Wisconsin Statutes, including homicide; causing injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle or negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives
    or fire; battery; sexual assault; and other crimes of violence against life and bodily security.
    S Certain crimes against children listed in Chapter 948, including sexual assault of a child, physical abuse or sexual exploitation of a child, incest with a child, child enticement,
    soliciting a child for prostitution, and sexual assault of a student by a school instructional staff person.

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  71. Anon 3:05: You may be correct, although things Nieskes said in court could only refer to her. In any case, Sandra Tingle's sexual discrimination suit against the city comes to court in April.

    Now, please, all of you: Do not mention the names of anyone you think had any illicit relationship with you-know-who. No names, no first initials, no occupations, no identifying details.

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  72. Sandra's case I'm sure does not mean anything is fair game to be said about her.

    The fact is her name was not mentioned in court - therefore it should not be mentioned here, unless all names are mentioned.

    You are making assumptions that can not and should not be made. Not to mention the fact this is merely an allegation, or perhaps even a fantasy written in Becker's notebooks.

    No name, no proof, no nothing. Merely allegations from a convicted sex offender.

    I also noted the over-protectiveness of deletions of posts that had anything to do with Mr. Hughes.

    And why delete the first name of the woman who received the bras? Her name can be found on the live blogs.

    The personal opinions of the racine post always seem to get the best of them.

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  73. I hope someone reminds the former mayor to brush and floss regularly while he's incarcerated.

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  74. Didn't anyone read the original transcript? I've been saying for months that I wanted to know who his girlfriend on the side was because he actually brought her up when talking to the person he thought was 14 year old girl. He mentioned that the girlfriend might be interested in meeting the girl as well. Didn't anyone else wonder why the media didn't pursue that potential piece of information?

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  75. Pete-

    I'm rather surprised at your reaction to comments on this page. You seem to have one standard for yourself and another for your readers. And, as usual, you are censoring comments and threatening to shut down all commenting based on your emotions.

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  78. Anon 3:03/3:05, thank you very much for that comforting news about the "Truth in sentencing," laws. May he live in misery for the next three years.

    To all the rest of you, no matter what you think, this site belongs to Pete and Dustin and they are entitled to use it in any way they see fit. If they want to editorialize every article, that's their business. If they name names and want us respondents to limit our use of names only to the ones they have already cited, then so be it. This is not a "public" forum paid for by tax dollars, so quit telling them how to run their site.

    I often see things they post that I don't agree with, or are wrong, and they have never denied me the right to call them on it or make note of it. They have, in my opinion, wrongly removed comments that I've made, but I don't argue with them about it. I may make a single comment about it, but that's where it ends. Neither I, nor you, have the right to make the rules for them and are bound by the rules they set down. If you don't like them, leave.

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  79. Graham, it may be their site but if they are trying to operate as a legit news site they need to start behaving like one.

    If they were only striving to be yet another opinion based blog site then they can keep their standards and our expectations low.

    Otherwise, they need to take a closer look at their methods and perhaps come up with standard criteria for deletion of posts among other things.

    As it is, they base their deletion decisions on their personal feelings. Hardly professional on their part to allow anything about some individuals yet delete the slightest criticism about others.

    Maybe it makes them feel more powerful, who knows. But they will never be any more than what they are if they do not hold themselves to a higher level of professionalism.

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  80. Anon 10:27, I have never read a statement from Pete or Dustin claiming to be a legitimate news reporting organization. But then, I don't think that since the mid-60's I've ever seen a truly unbiased news reporting venue. Most of the mainstream media are blatantly liberal biased. The few that aren't seem to be more conservative biased. Can you name one news source that isn't biased one way or another?

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  81. RACINEPOST : POST TRANSCRIPTS PLEASE!

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