The above article appeared at the top of page 3 in today's Ludington Daily News.
Apparently, contesting a bicycle traffic ticket and appealing FOIA denials amounts to being public enemy number one in this town. The City Manager realizes my regular employment is contingent on having a reputable public image, and so he has decided to protect his own interests by attacking this private citizen who is guilty only of displaying records that are available to the public, and allowing other reasonable citizens to draw their own conclusions about the legality and ethical capacity of their public officials.
Threatened and intimidated-- I sure am. But the investigations will continue.
A special thanks to Kevin B of the Ludington Daily News who once again has written a hatchet piece on me without even contacting me at the last minute. You can't learn this sort of stuff in journalism school.
How pathetic of them not to get the entire story. And to put up inaccurate info, like leaving off the ticket "on a bicycle", well bringing it up period is pathetic. The city(Shay) knows X has called them out about there unethical behavior starting with the watertower issue and moving forward to pointing out other things they are not doing properly.
Just imagine if a city this small is so corrupt what must be going on in bigger cities.
It looks to me as if the City Manager had demanded the article be a certain length, so as to attract more attention, and so used the filler material from my previous LDN story. Either that or Kevin Branisczeski decided to be lazy. A possible scenario?:
Kevin: This sounds like a good story, but I want some dirt on why this employee is physically threatened or intimidated by Tom Rotta.
John: Well... they think he does too many FOIA requests.
Kevin: Too many FOIA... anything else?
John: They... ummm... think that stop signs are for stopping, and that Tom would collide with their car.
Kevin: With his... bicycle?
John: Uhhh... forget that... just say that he runs stop signs, leave out the bicycle part.
Kevin: Is that the extent of their fears?
John: Well... the guy is obviously unstable as he thinks he's a pumpkin... and he develops hypothetical conversations between you and me.
Kevin: I'll just stick with the FOIA thing and the stop sign conviction, I've already basically written this article before-- I'll just leave out the reworded FOIA requests you gave me last time.
hahah thanks for the laugh!! it would be nice to be able to say something in the LDN in defense of this article but I doubt LDN will let an editoral be published in their paper - esp when it makes their staff and the CM Shat look bad. Maybe we should all chip in some $$ and put something in the classified section about this crap.............just a thought. I would like to know what employee felt threatened and what u did that was soooooooooo threatening?
Why didn't they say anything about the other no trespass letter too?
I realize the 't' and 'y' keys are right next to each other on the keyboard, but I just wanted to inform you that our City Manager is named 'Shay' not 'Shat'. 'Shat' is a past participle of the word...
One needs to ask, why does the LDN feel it is necessary to aid CM John Shay in defaming a private individual?
Are they still upset about this man's site beating the crap out of their ironically ill-named website Ludington Talks?
That story is just plain silly.
I love how no one elaborates on how exactly the worker felt threatened, it makes no mention of if you showed up and she felt scared by you being there or what. To not get even a quote from X is plain unethical journalism as far as I'm concerned. If I was a real journalist as the employees would like to say they are, I would be doing exactly the opposite of the article here... I would be delving into things and see what turns up. I'd rather get the Pulitzer and go work for a real newspaper then waste my career at a paper that is only going to keep you down.
I always gave the LDN the benefit of the doubt but this type of reporting is inexcusable. They should have contacted all parties involved in order to get the facts straight. If LDN will not act as a newspaper instead of a gossip tabloid then they should not have the support of the community. I don't think they understand how important their role is to help mantain freedom and integrity in Ludington society by acting as a watchdog for political policies and misbavior by Governmental agencies. What protection do we have againts shoddy news reporting by LDN let alone aggressive out of control Government agents. It's amazing how this situation has progressed from a simple bicycle citation to Gestapo type tactics by the powers in control which are then being supported by a newspaper that cannot seem to define it's reason for existence other than to sell advertisement.