Talk:Scott W. Rothstein

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Removal of trivia[edit]

I removed some trivia from this article - a boring listing of bi-partisan political contributions, and I intend to work further on bringing this low quality article up to a readable standard. As I was reverted - and I reverted back - I'm opening a discussion here on the talk page.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:53, 16 May 2010 (UTC) Addendum: It is worth noting that this was not well-sourced information - the only source given wasn't just a blog - it was just a blog comment. It is entirely possible that one could conduct original research by going to the FEC for the raw data, but Wikipedia requires reliable secondary sources and specifically forbids original research. The reason this is important, in this case, is the likelihood of there being an intention of "guilt by association" - the suggestion that the politicians involved are somehow tainted by their association. But since this listing is of a wide variety of contributions in standard statutory amounts, i.e. routine legal political contributions, a mere listing of them is not sufficient to show that they are unusual or gave Mr. Rothstein any special level of access to the politicians in question. It's a BLP issue to list them as if they are important, and unless we can find a reliable third party source (not a blog comment) to illustrate their importance, it is reasonable to assume that they are not. (After all, none are mentioned in any reliable sources about the case, as far as I have seen.) Remember: just because something is sourceable, even to a reliable source, that doesn't mean it is appropriate for Wikipedia. And in this case, it is not even clear that this information would be sourceable to a reliable source. This is why I have removed it for a second time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:03, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

I apologize for the knee-jerk revert -I actually didn't check the source. If there is no RS for the information, better keeping it away, for sure. (This has nothing to do with the appropriateness of the information if a RS is found, in which case I'd be happy about keeping it) --Cyclopiatalk 20:09, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok, but let's talk about. Even if there's a reliable source for something, that doesn't automatically imply that we should include it. There are literally millions of sourceable statements that are not included in Wikipedia - on a regular basis - and quite uncontroversially. It is clear that we need a good argument for inclusion - particularly to overcome the clear WP:BLP issues that I outlined above. Can you give me some of your thinking on why we should do this?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:18, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Even if there's a reliable source for something, that doesn't automatically imply that we should include it. - That's what I can't get. If there is a RS for something, it means we can decide what is the best place for it, and perhaps if such an appropriate place doesn't exist yet, we are not in a hurry to include it. Ok. But that we shouldn't include such information at all, why? About the BLP issues, I don't believe in the problem of "guilt by association". We shoudn't be responsible of what our readers could think by presenting in a neutral way well sourced information. We are responsible of course of striving for having a balanced and neutral article. But we shouldn't hide information only because readers could make implications that are actually not in the article. --Cyclopiatalk 20:33, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
I've long supported the removal of trivia, so fine by me. I've never heard of this fellow, or even read the page, yet, but I', running RefLinks on it right now and see a huge heap of blog links that prolly should go. Cheers, Jack Merridew 20:16, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo's edit was technically correct in this case because the SEC filing was not sourced to the SEC but to a comment in discussions at a blog, and by rights a poorly sourced BLP fact can be quickly eliminated. However, I found a more reliable copy at [1].
Provided this source, verbatim transcripts of primary sources still may not belong in articles. Even though Wikipedia is not paper, diving through levels of sub-articles has a time cost for the reader. The best level of detail to include in Wikipedia is probably the finest level of detail that actually means something. If someone worries that this person's SEC filings will be lost to future generations or to the public domain, then they can be submitted to Wikisource.
That said, I think that the source for the list of campaign contributions belongs in the article, as it is certainly a question some people will bring up. There is also the issue of partisanship - although Jimbo described the contributions as "seemingly bipartisan", the donations to Democrats were mostly chump change offered to primary candidates, while the donations to Republicans included $70,000 and $37,000 for John McCain. Because the source puts a (D) or an (R) next to each name, I think we can count up totals without fear of violating WP:OR and put one sentence to anchor the reference. (This omits that an exception like Joseph Lieberman is no exception at all, but that's the sort of editorializing perhaps better left to the diligent reader) Wnt (talk)

Followup: in order that we can probe the details of the question, I've converted the NewsMeat list into a sortable Wikitable:

Party Election Date Donee Amount Name
D general 2009-06-01 FRIENDS FOR HARRY REID $2,400.00 REID, HARRY (D)
D general 2008-09-26 BERMAN FOR CONGRESS $2,300.00 BERMAN, HOWARD L. (D)
D general 2006-10-12 FRIENDS OF JOE LIEBERMAN $1,000.00 LIEBERMAN, JOSEPH I (D)
D general 2006-10-11 FRIENDS OF SHERROD BROWN $1,000.00 BROWN, SHERROD (D)
D general 2006-03-28 CITIZENS FOR ARLEN SPECTER $2,100.00 SPECTER, ARLEN (D)
D primary 2009-06-01 FRIENDS FOR HARRY REID $2,400.00 REID, HARRY (D)
D primary 2007-09-30 RICHARDSON FOR PRESIDENT INC. $800.00 RICHARDSON, BILL (D)
D primary 2007-03-06 RICHARDSON FOR PRESIDENT INC. $1,500.00 RICHARDSON, BILL (D)
D primary 2006-06-17 BILL NELSON FOR U S SENATE $1,000.00 NELSON, BILL (D)
D primary 2006-03-28 CITIZENS FOR ARLEN SPECTER $2,100.00 SPECTER, ARLEN (D)
D primary 1995-09-29 CLINTON/GORE '96 PRIMARY COMMITTEE INC $1,000.00 CLINTON, WILLIAM JEFFERSON (D)
R general 2009-06-30 CHARLIE CRIST FOR US SENATE $2,400.00 CRIST, CHARLIE (R)
R general 2008-12-29 MARTINEZ FOR SENATE -$2,300.00 MARTINEZ, MEL (R)
R general 2008-06-30 TOM ROONEY FOR CONGRESS $2,300.00 ROONEY, TOM (R)
R general 2007-02-21 MARTINEZ FOR SENATE $2,300.00 MARTINEZ, MEL (R)
R general 2004-10-07 FRIENDS OF CLAY SHAW $500.00 SHAW, E CLAY JR (R)
R primary 2009-06-30 CHARLIE CRIST FOR US SENATE $2,400.00 CRIST, CHARLIE (R)
R primary 2009-01-26 REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA (R) $10,000.00
R primary 2008-10-14 MCCAIN-PALIN VICTORY 2008 $37,500.00 MCCAIN, JOHN S. (R)
R primary 2008-07-31 MCCAIN VICTORY 2008 -$2,200.00 MCCAIN, JOHN S. (R)
R primary 2008-06-30 TOM ROONEY FOR CONGRESS $2,300.00 ROONEY, TOM (R)
R primary 2008-05-07 MCCAIN VICTORY 2008 $70,000.00 MCCAIN, JOHN S. (R)
R primary 2008-04-30 REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA (R) $10,000.00
R primary 2007-07-17 REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA (R) $10,000.00
R primary 2007-03-23 JOHN MCCAIN 2008 INC. $2,300.00 MCCAIN, JOHN S. (R)
R primary 2007-02-21 MARTINEZ FOR SENATE $2,300.00 MARTINEZ, MEL (R)
R primary 2005-12-21 NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE (R) $500.00
R primary 2004-07-30 NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE (R) $1,000.00
R primary 2004-06-23 MARTINEZ FOR SENATE $1,000.00 MARTINEZ, MEL (R)
R primary 2004-05-03 FRIENDS OF CONNIE MACK $1,000.00 MACK, CONNIE (R)
R primary 2004-03-25 FRIENDS OF JOHNNIE BYRD $1,000.00 BYRD, JOHNNIE B (R)
R primary 2004-03-11 NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE (R) $500.00
R primary 2004-01-28 FRIENDS OF CONNIE MACK $500.00 MACK, CONNIE (R)
R primary 2003-06-30 BUSH-CHENEY '04 (PRIMARY) INC $2,000.00 BUSH, GEORGE W (R)
R primary 2002-09-25 REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA (R) $5,000.00

Now the raw totals (from NewsMeat) are $17,600 for Democrats and $162,300 for Republicans. But this can't avoid a few decisions. The Republican donations as summed by OpenOffice cancel out $2300 donation to Mel Martinez and $2200 to John McCain that were returned in 2008. This may be the wrong way to do it, because if the Republicans follow through and return all the money, then the amount could go to zero (or negative, because somehow this NewsMeat search doesn't get anywhere near $500,000!) The other issue is that $4200 to Arlen Specter in 2006 is listed as part of the Democratic donations, but he was a Republican at that time. Then again, one might argue, with little exaggeration, that as Specter was a pro-science Senator and not a complete drooling idiot, that a reasonable man should have been able to foresee that he would be ejected from the GOP. If the complete dataset is used, we can avoid any possible allegation of WP:OR and so on. But if we wish brevity, we need to make a few decisions. In this case I shall decide that returned donations still count toward a total, but that the NewsMeat designation of party is final. In this way I reach something like:

"Newsmeat tracked a list of SEC filings for a total of $166,800 to the Republican Party and candidates, including $109,800 to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, and $17,600 to Democratic candidates.[1]

Wnt (talk) 21:52, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

I think you've given testimony here that clearly indicates what's wrong with including any of this information at all, without a serious reliable source to suggest that it's necessary. It is very difficult to get from "as Specter was a pro-science Senator and not a complete drooling idiot, that a reasonable man should have been able to foresee that he would be ejected from the GOP" to a conclusion that a desire to link Republicans (presumably all either anti-Science or drooling idiots, or both?) with a convicted criminal is in any way neutral. There is no evidence in reliable sources to suggest that any of these politicians are in any way implicated in this man's crimes. If you can find a reliable source which offers evidence of a connection (did anyone intervene on his behalf with the authorities? did he have any special legislation passed which help hide is crimes?) then of course it becomes relevant. If not, it's just a smear.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:20, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Leaving unanswered the question, "So what?" Your earlier comment was "That said, I think that the source for the list of campaign contributions belongs in the article, as it is certainly a question some people will bring up." When enough people bring it up, there should be reliable secondary sources to refer to concerning the relevance being attributed to the contributions, which would provide the basis for a text-form discussion of the issue. At this point, all we have from the two primary sources (the second is effectively a mirror of the first, not a true secondary source for this information) is a simple list which means nothing. The same information would be available by searching for the subject of any biographical article; should we modify all our biographies of living (and possibly recently deceased) Americans to include a list of political contributions they have made? Or would that only be appropriate for contributions which serve to make a point, like that criminals and "drooling idiots" support Republicans and "pro-science" non-criminals support Democrats? Fat&Happy (talk) 22:22, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
I am obviously sympathetic to your point, but in the interest of compromise, I can say that it might be interesting to note where Mr. Rothstein's money was going, and of interest to know his political leanings. My objection is to a writeup which doesn't make clear that there is no evidence in reliable sources that this is in any way a political scandal, per se. What I've done just now is move the paragraph up that explains that the Republicans pledged to donate his money to charity, and the Democrats (interestingly) pledged to give his donations back to him.
I do see a real problem here, one which suggests that our WP:OR here is a bad idea altogether - the Republicans are giving back $600,000, the Florida Democratic party is giving back $200,000... but WNT's original research suggests that he only gave a lot less than that. Thus the perils of original research. This may suggest removing even the summary of the amounts.
Finally, let me express softly one last opinion. While I'm willing to compromise on having some information about his political donations in the article, as per my comments above, this actually is a compromise: that is to say, I think the article is weaker for having it, not stronger. Unless there is some relevancy that hasn't been brought up right now, I would say this is an example of "data bias" - i.e. including something not because it makes for a better biography, but including it simply because we have data about it.
I can say that if anyone were to look up my own political contribution history, you'd be entirely unable to glean any correct political information from it at all, and including it in an entry on me would be an enormous disservice to the reader, who would naturally draw the wrong conclusion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:34, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Once we present information in a NPOV fashion, we are not responsible of what conclusion readers "naturally draw". If information is verifiable and sourced, presenting it is a service to the reader. I am astonished that someone can think that hiding things is a service to the reader. --Cyclopiatalk 01:14, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I agree that there are perils in this process, but I think it is still better than the alternatives. Summarizing the contents of primary material soon shades into dubious original research, but this can be countered by suitable description of what is actually covered — for example, that NewsMeat indexed a certain amount of campaign contributions, rather than a flat statement that this is the total amount. After all, I added my statement after the sentence "In June 2009, Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader received a contribution of $4,800.[39]", which is very misleading, as it was one of very few contributions to a "real" Democrat. I'm tempted to think that there might have been political motives when that one little bit of information was added.
I believe that many (likely most) contributors to political articles have strong personal biases, though many aren't eager to admit them. Even so, I do want to see all the data that we can get our hands on. I think that editors with different strong POVs can build a much better NPOV article by using their personal strengths to pull in and add references from different points of view, than they could by trying to negotiate deletions of relevant content until some sort of "balance" is struck. This is especially true when an inclusionist spirit prevails and persuades editors to put in sources supporting either point of view, rather than rationing their efforts to the handful of facts they are willing to fight for. By contrast I think that a "balance" of selected sources chosen by editors tends to very closely reflect the amount of edit warring that each side is willing to do, rather than the truth. Wnt (talk) 01:15, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from WilliamJacoby, 10 June 2010[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} Please change / update : "His sentencing is scheduled for June, 2010.[2] " to now reflect "received a 50-year prison sentence Wednesday after a hearing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale."

Cite: Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/09/1671305/ponzi-schemer-scott-rothstein.html#ixzz0qS2iorLo


WilliamJacoby (talk) 12:09, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Done Tim Pierce (talk) 15:09, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Information should also be added about his sentence reduction recently requested by federal prosecutors, I believe. I don't have access to edit that part it seems. Here is one article, but there are many others: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-06-08/news/fl-rothstein-ponzi-sentence-reduction20110608_1_ponzi-schemer-scott-rothstein-marc-nurik-fort-lauderdale-attorney — Preceding unsigned comment added by JeffreyW75 (talkcontribs) 14:10, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Pending changes[edit]

This article is one of a number selected for the early stage of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

Comments on the suitability of theis page for "Penfding changes" would be appreciated.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any much more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 23:58, 16 June 2010 (UTC).

Boeing 727[edit]

/he did not own a boeing 727. Jeff Epstein did. Please re-read that footnote. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.207.194.17 (talk) 21:04, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 14 October 2014[edit]

PEARSON Daniel (talk) 11:19, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Cannolis (talk) 11:25, 14 October 2014 (UTC)