Talk:Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now/Archive 6

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Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7

Tense problem with FBI investigations

closing - same issue discussed in newer 'indexical' thread
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The article claims the FBI "investigated" ACORN, but the cited references claim the FBI "is investigating" ACORN. This is not the same thing and I feel this should be clarified. The article's current wording incorrectly suggests the investigation is complete, and begs the question of what charges, if any, were filed. Also, since announcing an investigation goes against FBI policy, the article should mention that these were anonymous leaks. —MiguelMunoz (talk) 21:37, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

If I recall, and I may not recall correctly, the current wording was selected for stylistic reasons. Encyclopedias generally state events in the past-tense. But I can't find the entry on the manual of style for current events, so I could be completely mistaken. Anyone know why that wording is in place? --GoodDamon 21:42, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
We definitely and strongly want to avoid time indexicals in the text. "Is investigating" means "at the time the reader sees this". We have no idea when that is... it might be today, it might be 20 years from now. "Investigated" is a simple past verb that points to a specific point in time. However, other editors have suggested that "Began an investigation in Oct 2008" is better, and I concur. Even if a reader finds the text in 20 years, it will still be true that the investigation began at the time indicated. Obviously, if we get more information, we might add "...and concluded investigation in December 2008" (or whatever). But that wouldn't make the version written now untrue or confusingly connected to a specific now. LotLE×talk 22:16, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Well said. We should definitely make that change for clarity. --GoodDamon 22:49, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
The trouble with that is that we have no idea when they began the investigation. The source simply states that they are investigating at the current time, which is October. It would be more accurate to say that FBI insiders leaked the news of an ongoing investigation in October, or something like that.—MiguelMunoz (talk) 09:08, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
OK. MiguelMunoz' version seems fine. Given that the whole thing is about a (probably partisan, likely illegal) leak of information, it's hard to know what is actually happening with the investigation. I continue to think omitting the sentence is better until or unless some sort of official finding or statement is made by the FBI/DoJ; but I defer to the rough consensus for inclusion of something about it... unless we can modify it per WP:CCC (e.g. scjessey weighed in against the material later than the original discussion). LotLE×talk 15:49, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, it still seems awfully notable to me, even if leaking it does turn out to be a partisan attack tactic (which is what it's definitely looking like). I think MiguelMunoz' version is probably the best compromise we're going to get until we know more about it. I suspect in the history of the organization, the investigation will turn out to be a relatively minor event, but still notable enough for a passing mention. --GoodDamon 16:42, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
All right. I went to make the change, and I'm logged in, but I don't get an edit button. I have no idea why not. Can somebody make the change for me?—MiguelMunoz (talk) 20:39, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Investigations really aren't that notable. Law enforcement agencies often investigate because the believe a crime has been committed but they don't know who. Many people get their name cleared by an investigation, which is partly why the FBI doesn't announce them. It's generally considered unethical for law enforcement agencies to imply somebody is guilty without actually charging them. Charging them gives them an opportunity to defend themselves. Implying doesn't. But if we're going to mention the investigation, we should pay attention to accuracy.—MiguelMunoz (talk) 21:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

::::::The fact that there is an FBI investigation, and investigations by 11 different states, is notable whether anyone is charged or not. Curious bystander (talk) 22:58, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Critical Information Missing

disagreement over using an opinion piece for article
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The ACORN entry does not contain much in the way of credible criticism of this group which has been heavily criticized for months. It is what journalists call a "blowjob." Readers should be able to easily find an overview of the many allegations against one of the most talked about community groups in the U.S. There is also evidence that the group is in disarray internally given founder Wade Rathke's coverup of his brother's embezzlement and the fact that its interim chief organizer Bertha Lewis risked the tax exempt status of the nonprofit by going on YouTube and explicitly endorsing Barack Obama for U.S. president, an apparent violation of U.S. tax law. This article, for example, would provide desperately needed balance: Now that the election is over perhaps it is time for Wikipedia to stop treating leftists with kid gloves. Just a thought. Syntacticus (talk) 20:42, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

"Balance" as you say, is not what's needed here. While WP:NPOV definitely needs to be adhered to, part of that policy is WP:WEIGHT: determining what weight viewpoints should have. The critical view of ACORN is already in the article, a brief description of the controversies surrounding voter registration fraud. But the majority of reliable sources have made several things clear. First, they have made note of the fact that ACORN was required by law to hand in all registrations they received, including those for Mickey Mouse. Secondly, they have made note of the fact that investigations are ongoing, not concluded. So the majority opinion seems thus far to be that things are up in the air. Since criticism of ACORN as a [[[WP:COATRACK|coatrack]] for criticizing Barack Obama is inappropriate for this article, and since most of the actual criticism of ACORN is exactly that, I see no need to emphasize ACORN's partisan critics in an article that isn't about them. --GoodDamon 21:09, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and as for that video, wake me when anything actually comes of it. Individuals from conservative, tax-exempt interest groups endorse Republicans all the time. --GoodDamon 21:16, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Syntacticus That opinion piece is a horrible place to "start." Why? It's an opinion piece. I agree that if reliable secondary sources start writing articles that indicate the organization is coming apart/morphing/collapsing/etc... that should be in the article. I'm aware of no such sources.Bali ultimate (talk) 21:14, 8 November 2008 (UTC)


{{sudo}} Can someone please run this article through WP:CHECKLINKS, there are a few deadlinks and such. --Closedmouth (talk) 08:20, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Please either list specific issues (by making a /temp subpage, perhaps?) or wait until edit protection expires. Thanks! --MZMcBride (talk) 17:45, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Unproductive discussion by banned sock.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Readers will want to know why 400,000 registration forms were rejected. Thousands of them were fraudulent. According to the McClatchy news service as reported in the Kansas City Star, Michael Slater, executive director of Project Vote, admitted that 13,000 of them contained fictitious information.[1] This is enormously notable, even if we don't use that specific statement. Some usage of the word "fraudulent" therefore should be used in reference to part of these 400,000 rejected registrations. Also, removing well-sourced and notable negative information strongly suggests favoritism by Wikipedia. This is well-sourced and notable negative information: [2] [3] [4] [5] Without them, for example, one gets the mistaken impression that charges are still pending on all seven former ACORN workers in Washington state. The fact is that five of them have been convicted and it is proven by a reliable source. You may find it unpleasant to rely on Fox News. I think that as part of this mix and in this limited context, it is acceptable. Without these four additional sources, one also fails to find out about the pending charges against four more former ACORN employees in Michigan and Wisconsin, or the two convictions in Colorado; and these are not being reported by Fox News, but by the mainstream daily local newspapers. If we are going to weasel and parse to make them "former ACORN employees," even though they were current ACORN employees when they committed these crimes, then the efforts of convicted criminals should be reflected by using the word "fraudulent" to describe part of the 400,000 rejected registrations.
Some may object to the citation of eight consecutive references: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] If you don't like them that way, then perhaps we should consider listing the eight cites this way: [9]
Now, on to the "publicly supported and cooperated in investigations" material added at the end. The first source cited [6] does not mention these positive actions by ACORN. The second [7] references marginally relevant statements by an ACORN spokesman named David Lagstein that do not fully support the sentence of Wikipedia text that has been suggested. If we use it, then we must accurately reflect what Lagstein said as reported by the Detroit Free Press, not what an ACORN press release said; and we must clearly identify Mr. Lagstein as making this statement, rather than present it as a verifiable fact. Editors are urged to refrain from misrepresenting sources. That is tendentious editing. Also we would have to counterbalance this with some relevant, well-sourced statement by an ACORN critic such as Anita Moncrief.

::The "bit about ACORN targeting young and minority voters" has fallen by the wayside because it relies entirely on a self-serving primary source. If it is reported in a reliable secondary source then it could be included, but if so, it should be counterbalanced by a statement from one of ACORN's critics. This could be Ms. Moncrief, or it could be some other critic who may be more notable, but it would trigger a new round of recriminations against a certain group of editors, deprecations of Ms. Moncrief, and other attacks. GoodDamon has explained that it's OK to discuss tendentious editing by other editors on the Talk page, and that is tendentious editing. Pushing for the inclusion of "50% minority and 70% youth" or whatever will only lead to more bickering. That is also tendentious editing, because it will inevitably lead to more conflict. For all these reasons, the version finalized by Marx0728 that had positive input from so many editors is the best version that we can agree upon. We should agree upon it, and move on. Kossack4Truth (talk) 10:57, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

NO. I am trying to address the concerns expressed by quite a few editors here with that version. Stop pretending consensus was achieved with it. It is NOT the "finalized" anything, and saying so doesn't make it true. That version, while tentatively supported by yours truly, has obviously not reached anything resembling a "final" state. I've addressed some of your concerns, as several do appear to be valid, but please stop harping on this. --GoodDamon 14:57, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Unproductive discussion.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

::::Kossack's proposal is very sensible. Editors who are in the minority here must stop making accusations and discussing the conduct of other editors on this page. It is disruptive and tendentious. Marx has proposed an adequate version. WP:WEASEL directly addresses the frequent practice of presenting ACORN press releases as facts: "Weasel words are words or phrases that seemingly support statements without attributing opinions to verifiable sources. The 'who?' link is used because a Wikipedia editor feels that the preceding statement uses weasel words. Weasel words give the force of authority to a statement without letting the reader decide if the source of the opinion is reliable. If a statement can't stand on its own without weasel words, it lacks neutral point of view; either a source for the statement should be found, or the statement should be removed." So let's all stop weaseling, and stop presenting ACORN press releases and claims by ACORN spokesmen as facts. 300wackerdrive (talk) 14:40, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

It's hard to keep track of what this kossack/wacker person is proposing, lots of words, lots changes over time, etc... As far as i can tell i remain opposed to his/their proposal (whichever version is currently in play). Could live with gooddamon's proposal, though i prefer the article as currently worded.Bali ultimate (talk) 16:09, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

:::::::I am not Kossack. Your accusation is a personal attack. Stop it now. 300wackerdrive (talk) 16:33, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

There are problems with the prose in the current version. It's a little clumsy, and there are ACORN press releases used as references, which in a situation like this should be considered a no-no. My version isn't perfect, either, but I think it's workable. --GoodDamon 16:29, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • meh, support The above proposal is about the same as the first one. Once again, very well sourced, neutral, informative, and to the point. Nice. DigitalNinja 16:21, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Further more, I definitely don't like the weightiness of how the article is written now. Although I like the above Kossack proposal the best, Gooddamon's isn't too bad and would be a good place to start improving on. It's much better than the current write up. DigitalNinja 16:23, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
How do you feel about my re-write/consolidation above? I've tried to make it less weight-y, with an emphasis on clean prose. --GoodDamon 20:10, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Leaky investigations

Closing as messy, per final comment by Bali
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Scrap the leak. Leaks and what not has nothing to do with ACORN. Mention it on the FBI page if you want to include it.Die4Dixie (talk) 04:17, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Ugh. Unfortunately, I think we need to at least mention the leak. I personally would like to cut it out as useless bluster. However, it is highly unusual when the FBI leaks information to the public, and that in itself deserves attention, and I disagree that it isn't related to ACORN: it is, in a very dramatic way. However, the way it's been proposed is very low weighted, and neutral. Please reconsider, we're really getting close to consensus here and I think GoodDamon's made an excellent compromise towards reaching such a consensus. DigitalNinja 04:36, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
It would be notable on the page that I suggested the user create :" FBI leaks". Not here. this can wait awhile and build a good concensus. We need considerably more editors to weigh inDie4Dixie (talk) 04:40, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Proposed compomise : Replace "leaked" with "revealed". This would remove the weight problems and I would be willing to accept that you can't always get what you want if other editors can.Die4Dixie (talk) 05:09, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely! I feel much better about revealed in lieu of "leaked". I completely understand your issue with shifting weight by using "leaked". I personally think the mention of the FBI should just be excluded, however I concede GoodDamon brings up a good point, and I'm glad we've come across something we can all live with. I also feel that if we don't bring up this issue and find something tolerable now, we'll be swamped endless revert wars of people trying shove a POV'ish statement regarding the FBI into the article. Now, we can just say "consensus has been reached, please refer to [link:this discussion]. I'm surprised I didn't think of reveal eariler, it's dreadfully obvious it should be used IMO. Good work! DigitalNinjaWTF 05:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Suggesting that the leak of an alleged ACORN investigation belongs on the FBI article is more-or-less a cyncical non-starter. Obviously, one anonymous leak on one issue in the current year is completely undue weight in an article on the 50+ year history of the FBI. However, the fact that this is a leak rather than an official statement is quite germane to the mention in this article (well, inasmuch as any mention of the FBI bit is relevant to start with, given the absence of official statement). "Revealed" is definitely the wrong word, since it would insinuate or even directly state that the "revelation" was in an official statement. That's definitely not currently the case: no named FBI source has yet been willing to confirm the existence of an investigation, only two anonymous allegations. "Leak" is as neutral as we can get... in fact, if the sentence needs to be there at all, something like the Conyers statement above wouldn't entirely hurt to put context on the fact that the leak was itself illegal and a politically motivated campaign stunt by the Justice Department. LotLE×talk 05:40, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't think we can say that it was illegal if we do not know by whom it was revealed. You statement presupposes that it was revealed by one with out the authority to do so. I think that that assumtion is not based in an objective viewing of the facts.Die4Dixie (talk) 05:47, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Unofficially revealing an FBI investigation is illegal, Dixie. In that light, "leak" is the most neutral term I can think of. "Revealed" carries connotations of an official statement, which as Lulu aptly points out, is not the case here. I maintain that the existence of an FBI investigation into the group is notable enough for inclusion in the article, but I must insist that any description of that investigation be in the most neutral applicable terms possible, and "leak" fits the bill in this instance. --GoodDamon 05:52, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
PLease cite staute or US code and I will concede to leaked.Die4Dixie (talk) 05:56, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I would have to disagree that "leak" is the right word. If it was a released statement, we could say, "the FBI released..." but it's not. So, "revealed" is perfectly appropriate as the very definition of revealed prevents it from adding innuendo and can't insinuate anything IMO. I've had bad feelings about the way the FBI investigation has been mentioned in the first place. I made up my mind to compromise with the suggestion Gooddamon put forward, which was improved further with Dixie's replacement of "leaked" with "revealed". I think we've all given significant compromise here. I urge you to reconsider the proposal, as I feel very strongly against using "leaked". In fact, I go so far as to call it a weasel word, drawing attention away from ACORN. Please reconsider the compromise. DigitalNinjaWTF 05:55, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
[8] This doesn't really sound like "leak" to me. This sounds more like government officials "revealed" the information. A leak would consist of someone accidentally or unintentionally providing information regarding the investigation. However, this was clearly revealed. DigitalNinjaWTF 06:03, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I think your definition of "leak" and mine are a little different. In this context, to "leak" information is to tell someone something you're not supposed to tell, anonymously, which is exactly what happened. In fact, if you do a Google News search for "FBI Acorn leak" you'll find a whole lot of news articles that use exactly that term. Since the FBI is actively investigating ACORN, there's almost certainly a grand jury convened over the matter, and that's where illegality comes into play (Dixie, this part's for you). Law enforcement personnel aren't supposed to reveal any details of matters before a grand jury - see Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure: Rule 6. The Grand Jury for the specifics. In any event, considering the circumstances and the fact that the media generally refer to it as a leak, I still can't think of a better term, and I do think that "revealed" is a worse term. But I'm still definitely open to suggestions. --GoodDamon 06:25, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

If you can show a link to a reliable source that says a grand jury has been empaneled, I'd be more inclined to not view this as some original research which would make me less inclined to include leak. This smacks of conjecture.Die4Dixie (talk) 08:06, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Further; Reveal[ed] -- make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret[9]. Please reconsider. This is all I'll add to this argument since I'd prefer not to appear relentless and persistent. Ultimately, I'll just have to live with whatever happens. DigitalNinjaWTF 06:14, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

The fact that we found out about it via a leak is irrelevant. After all, we found out about Bush's illegal wiretaps and torture at Abu Ghraib via leaks, and everyone agrees that was a good thing, right? Nevertheless, I am prepared to concede the point if we can achieve consensus for the version proposed by Marx0728. Kossack4Truth (talk) 11:49, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Gooddamon, is there any other word you'd consider? The word "leaked" unloads weight that an investigation is taking place. The point of the entire sentence is to inform the reader that an investigation is proceeding. I'd be interested to know what other words you might suggest, if you have anymore. Cheers, DigitalNinjaWTF 16:24, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I've tried to come up with one, but everything I can think of seems to serve only the purpose of obscuring the circumstances in which the FBI investigation came to light. Sigh... Maybe I should rethink the inclusion of that information at all. I contended that the existence of the FBI investigation is itself notable enough for inclusion, but maybe it shouldn't be included until it is either formally announced or reaches its conclusion. --GoodDamon 16:53, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Yep... that's right, and why I've been saying it. :-) LotLE×talk 17:00, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

As pointed out above, the bulk of reliable sources use the word "leak" (e.g. [10]). No sources use the word "reveal" in its place. It's not our place to try to find a word that seems more sympathetic to the FBI leak. LotLE×talk 16:55, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Sure, we should keep the mention that the information was leaked - no consensus to remove it. If we were editing the Guantanamo article and could source it, we could fairly say that the scoop was leaked there too. It's a pretty important part of telling how the matter came to the public's attention. As an side, I don't think we should seriously consider any proposed changes to the article until page protection expires and the present AN/I discussion gets resolved - whichever comes second. It casts doubt on this whole process. Let's call it a day for now. Wikidemon (talk) 17:05, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
then we need to attribute directly in line who calls it a leak . Weasel words should be avoided. How we came to know of the investigation has no relevance to the fact there is one. To use the word "leak" here is not merely semantics, make no mistake. It's pragmatics designed to deflect attention away from the investigation of impropriety. The Catholic Church is obviously concerned:[11]—Preceding unsigned comment added by Die4Dixie (talkcontribs)
  • support wikidemon that we take a break until the AN/I is sorted out.Bali ultimate (talk) 18:40, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • support the world "leak." It's not only how we know there's an investigation, but it was the only way we could have known, since it was an illegal leak. I'll note this illegal leak came in the middle of a presidential campaign via a justice department that was found guilty of seeking illegal political advantage for the Republicans in the last election cycle by pursuing an unwarranted investigation of acorn (then fired a federal prosecutor when he declined to prosecute in the face of insufficient evidence). The fact it was leaked also answers the question as to why there aren't any more details. I don't think this level of detail belongs in the article, but the word "leak" at least hints that this might have been controversial.Bali ultimate (talk) 18:25, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
    Your interesting original research into the field of law, while amusing, has no place in an encyclopedic endeavor. A reliable source stating that this being revealed was "illegal"( fringe blogs are not reliable)would be neccesary for you legal opinions to have any weight in any article.Die4Dixie (talk) 18:41, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Please look upthread for the comments and source of comments from house j chair conyers. At any rate, i'm not proposing this text for the article. I'm supporting the use of the word leak and explaining why, HERE, on the talk page.Bali ultimate (talk) 18:49, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Bali, strike that bad faith accusation before I delete it myself. That is highly inappropriate and strains any credibility you might have in the ongoing AN/I, not to mention detrimental towards building consensus. I can vouch that Dixie, although does express strong feelings, is a well known established editor. DigitalNinjaWTF 19:16, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Done, as a favor to you ninja. As a favor to myself (and to spare us all unhelpful drama) i will have no further direct interaction with that user.Bali ultimate (talk) 19:22, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
To whom do you refer?Die4Dixie (talk) 18:51, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
There is currently an AN/I report that seems to be heading towards a ban on five editors here as sock/meatpuppets. Bali is probably getting a little hot under the collar because we -- being Wikipedia -- have been abused by this particular puppeteer for literally years now. Bali, there is no evidence that Dixie is a sock of this abusive user, so I suggest calming down. If it turns out that he is, then he should be blocked on sight, obviously. But I'd rather wait and not insult someone who may simply be in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with an abusive sock-puppet. --GoodDamon 19:19, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • weak oppose - The fact that most sources use the word "leak" makes me feel a little better about it, however I still like "reaveal" since obviously news papers are going to use the word "leak" to sell more news papers. I could live with leak if I had to. DigitalNinjaWTF 18:37, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support break from this topic. I might pipe up if something else unrelated to voter registration gets a mention. --GoodDamon 18:38, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • propose that we close this thread on the word "leaked" mostly because its long, and has a lot of back and forth not related to the merits or otherwise of the use of this word. If no one objects in the next day or so I'll close this but with the understanding that a new thread on the word "leak" might be opened if any editor feels the use of this word needs to be hashed out.Bali ultimate (talk) 21:33, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Update the article to see how it looks?

Superseded wording proposal
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Does anyone mind if I stick the following into the article to see how it looks?

ACORN has conducted large-scale voter registration drives since 2004. During 2007 and 2008, ACORN gathered over 1.3 million voter registration forms in 21 states; this number included 450,000 first-time voters. The remainder included address changes, as well as 400,000 forms rejected among other things as duplicates, incomplete submissions, and fraudulent submissions.[10] San Diego County, California officials stated that ACORN-submitted registrations had a rejection rate of 17 percent for all errors in 2008, whether innocent or intentional, compared to less than five percent for voter drives by other organizations.[11]
ACORN's registration efforts have been investigated in various cities and states, in some cases as a result of ACORN-flagged registration forms, and some ACORN workers have been convicted of voter registration fraud.[12][1][13][14] [15][16][17][18] In a case in Washington state, ACORN agreed to pay King County $25,000 for its investigative costs and acknowledged that the national organization could be subject to criminal prosecution if fraud occurs again. According to the prosecutor, the misconduct was done "as an easy way to get paid [by ACORN], not as an attempt to influence the outcome of elections."[19][20] In October 2008, FBI insiders leaked a story of an ongoing investigation into whether ACORN coordinated any registration form falsification, and 11 state authorities are also investigating former ACORN employees.[21][22][23][24]

Please list oppose or support below:

  • Support, take it for a test drive before you decide. DigitalNinja 18:17, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - At this point, I'd like to see the version I've proposed above taken for a "test drive." It's cleaner and more concise. --GoodDamon 20:46, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh oh oh, I'd go for that. Anything over the current. Besides, ILIKEIT too. DigitalNinja 22:26, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Consensus request

I'm in no hurry to get my version into the article, but I think now that I've worked on it, I think it has the best prose, weights things the most appropriately, and remains neutral while explaining in sufficient detail the problems reported with voter registration. At this point, I would like to see if other editors agree, and will ask for the edit to be made if involved parties agree to me making the request.

  • Support - As the editor making this proposition. --GoodDamon 23:01, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Most of my comment is in general and doesn't apply to your proposal unless clearly mentioned. My biggest problem here is the "art"of implying and "emerging" the FBI investigation as a given proof of guilt. Considering myself (as an non existing example of course)I would be furies getting "judged" not only by the media but also having my good name diminished in WP (an encyclopedia by the way) by implying guilt on my side before I even have the chance to proof "them" wrong in court. That is what [[[WP:NOT NEWS]] is about and the further the discussion is going, the less I'm for including any but a side note of this. Instead of open up to make improvement possible I'm closing up, being less supportive to ANY change for now. There is no deadline and therefore I don't feel any rush at all besides considering GoodDamon's last Proposal as a possible improvement I might support. But without seeing other open editors that are willing to compromise I "shut down" and refuse to support :ANY change to the article. I would like to see open minded editors who work on a proposal that is at least helpful for now (like GoodDamon's one for example or any other one as long as NO ONE just declares consensus where there is none.
IMO there is only one other option which would be to shut this talk page down for at least a few days and start again (hopefully for the last time.... getting tired, so tired...).
Made my point and wish you all a good night/good morning or else,--The Magnificent Clean-keeper (talk) 00:28, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I kind of agree that we should wait. I don't think this version is perfect but I wouldn't object to it, or to waiting, though. Wikidemon (talk) 00:33, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • support Gooddamon's proposal. I'm personally agnostic on the need for change in that whole area, but this i can live with, and hopefully we can move on.Bali ultimate (talk) 01:39, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

San Diego rejection rate

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I know some editors have not been thrilled by the sentence on San Diego that I dug up a while ago. Specifically, there was a sentiment that it would be a heck of a lot nicer to have broader figures for the country as a whole, since it is not obvious that SD is representative of anywhere else. I entirely agree, but just haven't found any such more general source.

In any case, I think the sentence we have now (not sure if it's exactly as I wrote it, but it's what is there in any case) seem prone to misreading:

San Diego County, California officials stated that ACORN-submitted registrations had a rejection rate of 17 percent for all errors in 2008, compared to less than five percent for voter drives by other organizations.

This might be read as SD officials making a claim about the country as a whole (e.g. maybe they did a nationwide study), which is not the case. I think a slight rephrasing would avoid this danger:

In San Diego County, California, officials stated that ACORN-submitted registrations in the county during 2008 had a rejection rate of 17 percent for all errors, compared to less than five percent for voter drives by other organizations.

Any objections to that change? LotLE×talk 20:27, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

If i read right, you're asking for a consensus strawpoll on whether to add the words "in the county?" Leaving aside any discussion of the pros or cons of this content, can't the small matter of "in the county" wait until the article is unlocked? I submit this particular matter isn't worth either our or an admins time if consensus on this is achieved.Bali ultimate (talk) 20:33, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh definitely, it's no big thing if this is there for a couple days until it's unlocked. Just making sure no one will get upset when I change it once unlocked. Technically though, I also want to add the word 'In' and a comma :-) LotLE×talk 20:39, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Cool. Can we close this section, then? I can't imagine anyone objecting to the addition of those three words at a later date (they may or may not have concerns with this info for other reasons, but not for this one) since they only clarify the existing and intended meaning. As you can see, i've become obsessed with talk-page discipline.Bali ultimate (talk) 20:53, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
I think we've gotten a little carried away with the closing sections, actually. Normal archiving seems OK for the "normal" case... having to deal with all those disruptive socks gave use itchy trigger fingers, I think.
I'm not so attached to the great wisdom of my comments in this section, but leaving it for a few days might, for example, encourage someone to locate that fabulously general source about all the different rejection rates around the country. LotLE×talk 21:00, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Just wanna register my agreement with adding those three words, and leaving this section to be archived normally, now that things have died down. Manually archiving all the junk from before was definitely the right move, but I think we can afford a more leisurely pace now. There's a core group of editors who seem to be getting pretty good at working out their differences and getting to points of consensus, so unless we see another sock-army invasion, things should be a lot more amicable all around now. --GoodDamon 08:04, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Cheers to that! I have to admit that as much as I disagree with others opinions on this article, it's nothing like it was before. I couldn't even follow a conversation. Hopefully the sock armies won't return (fingers crossed). DigitalNinjaWTF 19:15, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Can you try to rewright it with out the redundant use of county twice in one sentence? How about:

In San Diego County, California, officials stated that ACORN-submitted registrations during 2008 had a local rejection rate of 17 percent for all errors, compared to less than five percent for voter drives by other organizations.

Die4Dixie (talk) 20:55, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't love the slightly redundant "county", but "local" is too slippery in meaning. It could mean SoCal more broadly, or it could mean SD city only, etc. In this case, their data is exactly for the whole county, but for nothing outside the county. I think precision beats avoiding a repeated word. I guess "in the jurisdiction" would be unambiguous, but I suspect that some editors don't like my $10 word where a nickle-and-dime one will suffice :-). LotLE×talk 22:32, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree that country is redundant, and I also agree that "local" won't do either. However, I actually like "in the jurisdiction" and then blue-linking it somehow to USA or whatnot.
Also, I'm going to be doing some vandal fighting, new article patrolling, and helping out with the AfD backlog. If anything crazy happens if someone drops me a friendly note that would be great. Good work on this article, all around. DigitalNinjaWTF 23:16, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
County not countRy, DigitalNinja. Not sure if you just made a typo or were confused about what was being clarified.
Thanks, for some reason I totally read "countRy". I must be tired. Although, I still think simply writing in "jurisdiction" then blue-linking it to the associated county would be the way to go here. Sorry for the confusion, that's what happens when you sleep until noon and eat nothing but coffee and chocolate all day. Needless to say, I have plenty of energy to work AfD's for a while! DigitalNinjaWTF 00:20, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I think don't think "jurisdiction" should be linked to anywhere but jurisdiction. The links should be links, not information holders; if you think it needs to mention that the jurisdiction is San Diego County, it should say that after all the links have been stripped out.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:55, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I've just changed the wording in a way that hopefully makes the point moot. Take a look, see if you like it. --GoodDamon 19:04, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
GD's wording looks fine to me. It still uses "county" twice, but puts them at opposite ends of the sentence which is, hopefully less jarring (I didn't really mind the two uses a few words apart since one was the proper name of county, the other a reference to it as a general noun). Still, GD's flows nicely. LotLE×talk 19:14, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Spinning with bad grammar

The AP source on the FBI "investigation" that D4D praises reads (and I quote): "A second senior law enforcement official says the FBI was looking at results of recent raids on ACORN offices in several states for any evidence of a coordinated national scam.". The version he sticks in doesn't even make sense semantically ("investigating the investigations"?!). Can we just follow sources rather than try to find a word that spins the leak as more than it is.

It seems pretty clear from the source that the leak was intended to insinuate more than what actually occurred. Reading the source a bit more carefully, it says that the FBI asked to be CC'd on state investigations. What the leakers presumably hoped to get into voters minds before the election, and what D4D is hoping to convey to readers, was the idea that the FBI was launching its own special task force in some RICO-style manhunt. But the leakers were careful enough to avoid outright lying about what they were doing. LotLE×talk 19:24, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

"The FBI is investigating whether the community activist group ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election. A senior law enforcement official confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press on Thursday.

A second senior law enforcement official says the FBI was looking at results of recent raids on ACORN offices in several states for any evidence of a coordinated national scam."[[12]]

Please do not misrepresentt the source that I used before your last "good faith " revert. "Looked into" is unencyclopedic. If I were to buy a set of Brittanica and saw "looked into " instead of "investigate", I would want my money back. Please take this in the way I mean it , which is to say to improve the article. You have, for what ever reason, abadoned academia and academic writing in favor of journalism. The things that are written in newspapers are not always phrased in the same way that one would use in academia. The source says investigate. This is atributed to the first official. My assumption of good faith is being strained here and I fear that your actions are boardering on disruptive. Now, if this is going to abe an ongoing problem , I will have to concede your ownership of the article because I do have have a paper that I have to finish for an academic conference that will be peer reviewed.Die4Dixie (talk) 19:32, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

This is really getting depressing. D4D is right, "looked into" isn't something I would stick into an encyclopedia. And quite frankly, neither is "leaked". Those are not quality writing material. Also, why can't we just start what the sources state? I don't understand why we can't just use a quotation or something. DigitalNinjaWTF 20:31, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
What this all amounts to is that the whole sentence, in any form, still has no place in this article. The only reason it exists at all here is because the sock army wanted to try to get in material to discredit ACORN, and tried desperately to spin obviously partisan, and almost certainly illegal, leaks by the Bush Whitehouse into something they weren't. For whatever reason, D4D is still pushing that same agenda. If you read the actual sources, it's pretty darn clear that all the whole thing amounts to is requests for report copies from the FBI to local investigators... not anything remotely approaching actual encyclopedic significance. Until or unless there is something official, there's no way in hell that this reaches the encyclopedic "view from the future" that we're supposed to have. "Leak" is a bit more formal than "looked into", but neither are the problem: the problem is that we're trying to turn campaign slogans into historical material without any actual evidence or citations. All the rest of fake phrases that try to turn a leak into an official announcement are even worse than sloganeering, they are outright fabrication. LotLE×talk 21:04, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
OK, I yield, I give, it's just too big of a magilla. Let's just take the damn thing out until an investigation, not a "looking into", is officially announced. --GoodDamon 01:36, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Damon. At this point, lets just strip out all reference to the FBI thing until there's official confirmation (I had argued strenuously against this in the past, but it's become too much of a distraction.) One day soon, probably in the next 3 months, either the investigation will be squashed or something formal and official related to it will come out, and this issue can be dealt with then.Bali ultimate (talk) 02:22, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Responding to comments by ninja in a lower section: In the recent past (starting a few days ago, and perhaps much earlier) lotle had argued strenuously for not including the FBI info and, if i remember correctly, GD had said he saw merit in that arguement, if not outright supporting it. I have been fairly consistent all along in insisting on describing it as a leak, or as a compromise position "anonymous fbi sources said" and have also said that I would not be comfortable with any mention unless described as above. I now support just pulling the plug on it because it's creating a lot of semantic confusion. This confusion/disagreement looks to me like a conesequence of the vague reporting on the nature of the sources (who are these folks really?) and what they really meant (a fed level investigation? An investigation of other, local investigations? Something related but different?). This has convinced me the best course is to wait until the reality becomes clear. For now, it seems the nature of what is going on is open to various interpretations, making consensus on this issue hard to reach. The good news is that there WILL be clarity on this in the not particularly distant future, and the correct wording can be dealt with then (i.e. either, "the DOJ said the reoporting was bad and there was no investigation," or "there was an investigation, but DOJ said it found no evidence of wrong doing," or "charges were filed on date xxx after an FBI investigation found ACORN had likely violated law x, y or z").Bali ultimate (talk) 03:34, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you on several points. However, all that aside, doesn't this source put all that to rest? It even names the FBI spokes person who verified the investigation. Now, we can just add conclusive information that there is, in fact, an investigation, right? DigitalNinjaWTF 03:48, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
The article says mclatchy confirmed what the AP had reported, via anonymous sources of its own. It leaves in the same place, as far as my views are concerned. Also, you must have closed this discussion while i started adding in my last comment. No opposition to closing, as this can be carried on elsewhere/later. Was just weird (I hit save page and saw i'd saved comments inside a closed thread, when i swore it was open when i hit the "edit" button).Bali ultimate (talk) 03:55, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
We definitely shouldn't have the information in here until it's actual information. FWIW, McClathcy seems to be the name of the publication, it has nothing to do with the name of the leaking agent. The source is badly written, but you should really read it.LotLE×talk 04:04, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Just as general information, [McClatchy] is an ownership group for a bunch of US papers that runs its own in-house wire/news distribution effort. This newspaper-linked news service used to be called "Knight-Ridder" (always called "Night Rider" in the trade) until McClatchy bought them 2 or so years ago.Bali ultimate (talk) 04:13, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Why the F would someone name their News Distribution effort "McClatchy"? Oh well, you're right, I don't see anyone named in that report. However, the report still uses the term disclosed. I don't see why we can't use a professional term like all the other news papers. I'll stand by that. However, consensus is clearly against me so I'm moving on form this particular issue. There are more pressing pieces of improvement that can take place anyways. DigitalNinjaWTF
To Ninja -- Why? For the same reason they would call it "Reuters" or "Bloomberg."Bali ultimate (talk) 05:10, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm gonna name a news organization "Gvertzdemitrygvarrsonson," just so I can make other news organizations running with my stories try to pronounce the name. :) --GoodDamon 15:03, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Protected again?

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

What's that about? While I confess minor annoyance at what I feel is POV-pushing by another editor, it's a pretty darn low-level thing in all truth. D4D and I each made a couple changes to a phrase in a couple different directions, but neither of us is close to 3RR, and basically it's being discussed on talk. It seems more civil than 95% of the pages I've edited over the years (yeah, yeah... I'm prone to a little rhetorical flourish, and I'm not alone in this, but hardly the attacks one sees on half of WP between editors who feel really deeply about just how many Power Rangers there are :-)).

On the other hand, I also do not feel any actual harm will come of the page being protected for a few more days. Still, it's slightly weird. Was there some admin report filed by someone to make this happen?

Hmm, I guess it has something to do with this 3RR report on Die4Dixie. The robot seems confused to me, FWIW. D4D made a number of entirely different edits, most of them non-controversial ones that I am perfectly happy with. Only one edit seems to be a reversion; and that's what the admin at 3RRBot reported (a page I had never heard of before just now). LotLE×talk 02:24, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Ditto. Everyone here seems to be editing with improving the article as their primary concern, and I don't see anything even remotely resembling an edit war beginning. It's been nice and calm. --GoodDamon 02:36, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. It looks to me like a series of vigorous, healthy applications of BRD in an effort to improve the article. The editors here are getting along, and nobody is edit warring that I can see. Especially if we can get Die4Dixie to confirm, we ought to approach Chase me ladies and ask if he (I assume) will lift the article protection. Wikidemon (talk) 02:46, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
WTF? Someone should file a bug report on that bot. And about the conversation from above, I can't believe you're seriously considering leaving important, verifiable information out of the article until the information "changes" to less controversial wording. If leak is insisted upon by the majority of editors, then so be it. However, it was never a matter of serious discussion to leave the information out of the article. In my opinion, the problem isn't the wording, or the fact that the investigation wasn't been officially released, but more so being interpreting the context of the AP report as a "leak" when in reality, our business is only to tell it like it is; "An FBI spokesperson confirmed the investigation disclosed Thursday and released to the Associated Press alleging ACORN activity in federal voting fraud."[13] (summary). Can we please just update the article already? The report even mentions an FBI Spokesperson by name, McClathcy. DigitalNinjaWTF 03:02, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry ninja, but i just read that report (i'm assuming we're talking about the McClatchy wire report via the Miami Herald)... I see no mention of an FBI spokesman, named or otherwise. Perhaps i missed it?Bali ultimate (talk) 04:09, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
The bot is working fine, don't file a report! The problem is with me, the admin. I'll explain further, if you give me a minute or so to type out my reasoning. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 03:59, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
The enclosed comments have been retracted by the author. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 20:48, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
3RRBot is a relatively new invention, and one which is helping us admins an awful lot. It merely spots lots of edits made together, and thus alerts us to potential edit wars. A nifty piece of kit, and one which has no problems with it, as long as it's used correctly. I was alerted to the page by the bot, but did not protect over a 3RR, I protected over a possible' flare up of what looks to be a long-standing difference of opinions, particularly I thought that this edit might end up being reverted by Die4Dixie (talk · contribs), who seems to be an almost single-track, religious extremist editor with right-wing views and a block for incivility. You can see how an uninvolved admin might jump in to the situation, especially considering that the three main articles edited by Dixie are ACORN, Barrack Obama and Illegal immigration to the United States, along with edits such as this. However, on closer inspection, you do seem to have this all under control, so I'll happily unprotect - thanks for telling me, and sorry if I upset anyone or delayed edits! Regards, Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 04:16, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Does anyone see a problem wiith the preceding edit by this adminstrator and his personal attacks? I have requested that he edit the comments on his talk page
It does seem harsh. I've looked at your editing history, and while I wouldn't characterize his description as strictly inaccurate per se, it certainly takes an unwarranted negative tone, especially in light of the fact that thus far, your edits here have been quite collegial. --GoodDamon 19:05, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I've replied and apologised on my talk page. Please consider the comment rescinded, however, bear in mind that you might come up against problems of this nature in future, given that most people on Wikipedia are more centrist-liberal in political views. If you do have any more problems at all, let me know, and I'll be glad to point out this incident as an example of 'jumping to a conclusion'. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 19:40, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Understood. Thanks for the explanation. Just as a reminder to all, best not to judge a book by its cover, particularly not the the Good Book. Wikidemon (talk) 06:37, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Archive/close discussions, establish goal, list ideas on how to achieve

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Gooddamon (or someone), could you close and archive some of these dead discussions? I think we're all getting distracted (as Bali said) regarding all this tangents and differences in wording and things. I'm not very good at archiving things in any chronological order and will likely screw it up if I try.

I propose we work towards a goal of achieving GA status with this article. I'm going to copy the entire text into MS Word, sort any grammatical errors and structure, and make sure all the ref formats are in correct cite formula. In the mean time, it would be nice if someone could tackle neutrality. I admit that I might be a little too conservative to be effective in that respect. Additionally, most likely I'll disagree with some parts of the article. For the sake of progress I'm going to be fairly tolerant on what I view as NPOV problems. However, it would be good for someone to simply run through them.

Anyone have an opinion on this? I'd really like a userbox that reads "this user contributed to a GA article" or something to that effect! :) DigitalNinjaWTF 04:36, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

And I have to get this edit off my chest. This was hardly a good revert. You reverted the material to something more similar to that found in a 5th grade news letter. I feel like I'm talking to my dog, "It's ok Mocha, they're just looking into it". (no, I don't normally talk to my dog) I'm just trying to get a point across. We can cut out the FBI bit for right now, but please, lets at least use encyclopedia-worthy language. DigitalNinjaWTF 04:41, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Y'know what... the version I got rid of didn't make sense semantically and read like crap. The version I put in reads in a neutral, encyclopedic tone and follows sources. The "5th grade newsletter" thing is asinine. I really don't want this tone addressed to me. I guarantee I'm more frickin' widely published than DN or D4D, and in more academically-toned publications; and no, it's not writing 5th grade newsletters. Ah well, venting done, good faith assumed. LotLE×talk 04:51, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, you're probably correct in assuming your more published than myself. I've never written anything outside of college (besides cash flow statements and expenditure reports...hardly writing). I wasn't trying to insult your writing, not in the least. I completely understand the difficult situation we're all in trying to make each other happy, and through common sense that undoubtedly reflects in our edits. I was simply pointing out my displeasure in that revert, and in my opinion the D4D edit was factual and read well.
That being said, the difference between criticizing an edit (in this case a revert) and criticizing someone writing style are two completely different situations, and I just want to assure you my intent was not the latter by any means. Please don't take anything I say personally. I have more sense then to criticize an anonymous individual editing a free encyclopedia! :) DigitalNinjaWTF 05:12, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

ACORN and the New Party

There was a period in the history of both these organizations when the overlap was pretty large; the New Party article is currently clearer on this than the ACORN article. Could folks please leave the current edit alone for a few days while I look up some references to add to the one I put in today? --Orange Mike | Talk 01:21, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Why don't you re-propose the material once you have the references and can make a strong case for it? There's some sensitivity because both ACORN and the New Party articles were used for some coatracking against Obama during the election, and the New Party article saw quite a few attempts to add fringe-y poorly sourced stuff about Obama. I think people are eager to assume good faith as far as editors, but not to assume verifiability without the sources actually being there. Hope that explains any strong reactions. Wikidemon (talk) 02:53, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
You also need to check the source you used. It simply doesn't support the contention in your text. If it did, there wouldn't be a problem; I have similar recollections, actually. But before the two organizations can be associated in prose, support for that association has to come from a reference, and the reference you're using doesn't fit the bill. Editors are under no obligation to leave unreferenced or improperly referenced material in the article. Don't worry, it'll still be here in a couple days when you've managed to accrue the right references; there's no deadline for inclusion of material in Wikipedia. --GoodDamon 07:44, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
I won't touch it. Improvements are always welcomed.Die4Dixie (talk) 09:43, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Relations with Catholic Church

I heard that the Church had stopped all funding of the group. Maybe the article could look into that. ADM (talk) 18:09, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Get the sources and add it. I'm to weary to fight anyone about it, but it does belong.Die4Dixie (talk) 18:26, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't think battle is necessary. I'm not sure how much funding from the Catholic Church ACORN relied on, so I'm not sure how much relevance it has, but I'm certainly not opposed to a well-sourced addition about it, especially if that relevance can be demonstrated. --GoodDamon 18:32, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
[[14]] (the horses mouth , as it were) and [[15]] ( I don't particularly like CNN, but most would say it is at best "sympathetic") The loss of a multi-million dollar sponsor, and their resonsons are notableDie4Dixie (talk) 05:05, 22 November 2008 (UTC)


I removed this word from the text, as the cited material does not support it.These AG's serve at the president's pleasure, and can be terminated at anytime with or without cause.Wrongly is original research. There is no remedy for these firings because they fall under executive prerogative.Die4Dixie (talk) 23:39, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

What does the source say? Since we're talking about what the inspector general said, not what we think, exactly how would one summarize the conclusion of the report? There was certainly some sentiment that the terminations were improper (people who serve at an executive's pleasure can be fired at will, but not for the wrong reasons). There's another question about whether the whole thing is worth including or whether it's too far removed from ACORN to get into a side issue about US attorneys and their careers. Wikidemon (talk) 23:44, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand the complaint. The Department of Justice report on this says the following of Iglesias' removal: That it was politically motivated, the official reasons given for the removal were false, "the real reasons for Iglesias' removal were the complaints from New Mexico Republican politicians and party activists about how Iglesias handled voter fraud and public corruption cases in the state," that his removal reflected a "troubling derelection of (doj officials') responsiblity to protect the integrity and independence of prosecutorial decisions," that he was fired because of political pressure being brought to bear to pervert the course of justice, that this pressure and its ultimate outcome "were an abdication of senior Department leaders' responsiblities, independence and integrity;" and it said this was all done in violation of DOJ guidelines of performance reviews, hiring and firing, and the Inspector General appointed a special investigator to build a criminal case against Gonzalez as a consequence of the firing of Iglesias and others. Now, if we don't want to just simply say "wrongfully fired" we can say instead "was fired for failing to bow to pressure to pursue a politically movitated prosecution against Acorn, the Department of Justice found."Bali ultimate (talk) 00:30, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
"Bow to pressure" is a unencyclopedic. Your suggestion reads terribly, Bali. It is never "wrong" to dismiss a political appointee at anytime.I tend to agree with Wikidemon about importance, but it is quite differnt to say the reasons were different than the ones given and that an action was "wrong". Your personal moral judgements about an action have no place in the building of an encyclopia.It is never wrong to fire a political appointee at anytime, in fact most presidents do it at the beginning of their terms. This is no different.Die4Dixie (talk) 01:16, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Please discuss fully here before editwarring and reverting my edit, Bali.Die4Dixie (talk) 01:20, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

The word used in the text had been "wrongfully", not the word "wrongly" that D4D indicates in this section title. These are very different matters. "Wrongfully" has a specific meaning in employment law (wrongful termination). While D4D is also incorrect in stating that Justice Department staff below the AG serve purely "at the pleasure of the president", narrowly there does not seem to be support for the claim that this was wrongful termination. The relevant sections in the report itself include:

This list, and McNulty’s subsequent briefing of Congress using this list, stated that Iglesias was removed in part because he was an “underperformer” and an “absentee landlord” who over-delegated authority to his First Assistant U.S. Attorney. Similarly, Moschella stated in his congressional testimony, again based on the information from this list of reasons, that Iglesias’s removal was based in part on concerns about his management and that his office was in need of greater leadership.
Based on our investigation, we concluded that these statements were disingenuous after-the-fact rationalizations that had nothing to do with the real reason for Iglesias’s removal. As noted above, Iglesias was identified as a strong U.S. Attorney on Sampson’s initial U.S. Attorney removal list, and nothing changed substantively to alter that assessment – except the complaints from New Mexico politicians and party activists about his handling of voter fraud and public corruption cases.


The evidence we uncovered in our investigation demonstrated that the real reason for Iglesias’s removal were the complaints from New Mexico Republican politicians and party activists about how Iglesias handled voter fraud and public corruption cases in the state.

These quotes support the more accurate claim that Iglesias was removes "under false premises." LotLE×talk 05:26, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

A bit more: I believe the inclusion of this material is germane to the section where it occurs, since it provides independent evidence of the characterizations made by John Atlas in his opinion piece. More words than we have would be too many, but some mention of it is quite notable within the overall political discourse about ACORN that we characterize. LotLE×talk 05:33, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not involved in this, but I have it watchlisted so I've seen the wording wrangling. When reading this section, it doesn't actually say what Iglesias has to do with ACORN. A quick scan of the source found his investigation, but I wonder if it still merits inclusion. By the wording of the source, Igleasias seems to have fingered exactly one ACORN employee, and it was determined by other agencies that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. If it were to be included, it ought to mention what Iglesias was investigating, but is there even a need to do so? JeremyMcCracken (talk) (contribs) 14:47, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Jeremy -- this is it in a nutshell. The department of justice found that iglesias was fired for refusing to pursue what it found was a politically motivated (and unjustified by the facts) prosecution against acorn. In a section on the back and forther over republican politicians complains about acorn, two sentences on this is germane.Bali ultimate (talk) 15:47, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I saw that the explanation for why iglesias is mentioned - the connection between his firing and acorn - was removed from the article by another editor. That may have prompted your question. At any rate, that's back in so the relevance should be clear.Bali ultimate (talk) 16:05, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I reworded the text to remove the passive construction. I will be back to make some more improvements.Die4Dixie (talk) 20:03, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
In one case you actually added some weasel language; it really is a finding, not a "claim," by the Inspector General. I urge you to self-revert that. --GoodDamon 20:22, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I changed it to argued, per the guideline that I linked to on your talkpage. Please reread it and see what you think now. I changed found to stated aswell.Die4Dixie (talk) 20:38, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

For the sake of continuity and community involvement, I'm copying this discussion from my talk page. --GoodDamon 21:40, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Claimed is not a weasel word if it is attributed to who makes the claim, which in this case is properly attributed and therefore good style.Die4Dixie (talk) 20:11, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

But it's not a claim, it's an official finding by the Inspector General. And WP:WEASEL specifically mentions the formulation of so-and-so "claimed" as an example of a weasel word. I won't revert you again, but I urge you to, and I'll argue for it on the article talk page. I agreed with your removal of the other weasel words, but this is adding one in. --GoodDamon 20:19, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I'll reread it and see if it is. If so , I will revert. Thanks.Die4Dixie (talk) 20:22, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
[[16]] might be a better source for edifification. I think argues would avoid the problem nicely without the authority that "reports "lends (see reference)Die4Dixie (talk) 20:28, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
But it's not an argument. It is a finding at the end of a long investigation. It may not be accurate, but that's not for any of us to judge one way or the other. Right now it's all we've got, without any findings to the contrary, and we really shouldn't be trying to spin it. "Claim" weakens it for no good reason, lending the illusion that there is credible opposition to it. "Argues" is inaccurate, and frames it inappropriately. What's wrong with using the most accurate descriptive word for something that is neither a claim nor an argument? --GoodDamon 20:35, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with you. When ever you make a case, you argue it. The arguments are the proof that you offer to sustantiate your conclusions. Any paper that i write I argue. If the word is troubling to you, think "argumentative essay",
A better analogy would be a legal finding of facts. After all the arguments are in, judges sometimes issue a finding of facts (see the Microsoft monopoly trial for a famous example of one). As far as the judge is concerned, those are the facts of the case, and they aren't open for further argument. A higher judge may reverse those findings, but they're still the lower judge's findings after all the facts and arguments have been sorted out, and it takes a higher judge to turn it back into an argument. In this instance, the Inspector General wasn't making a case; he assembled all the facts and arguments, and issued a finding. If no one of equal or higher standing is disputing it, I'd say the argument is over. --GoodDamon 20:51, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Criticism of ACORN

I added a good article from the conservative American Spectator that accuses ACORN of playing a part in the U.S. financial crisis. I see there is an article from the left-wing Nation magazine referenced in the article. If it remains, so must this conservative article. Otherwise, both must go for the sake of balance. Syntacticus (talk) 02:50, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

If both are written by economists with solid reputations for fact-checking, I don't have a problem with that. Otherwise, they should both go. Ideally, praise and criticism would both come from largely non-partisan sources.
Be aware that economists with solid histories and reputations generally find ACORN's involvement in the financial crisis to be minimal, and largely trumped up for guilt-by-association attacks on Barack Obama, so we must guard against this article becoming a coatrack for those attacks. --GoodDamon 03:01, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I think we must be careful to avoid the cult of the expert. If Noam Chomsky, a linguist by academic credentials, can credibly comment on foreign policy, then someone with less than a PhD in economics ought to be able to comment on economic matters. Nonetheless, the article I added contains a quotation from a reputable economist and I will now add that economist's (Stanley Liebowitz, University of Texas at Dallas) article on the subject. Syntacticus (talk) 03:29, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Since it's an opinion piece, make sure you give it in-line attribution. Opinion pieces are only considered reliable sources for the opinions of their authors, so we can't state something coming from a partisan opinion piece by anyone at either end of the spectrum as fact. Feel free to make the same change to the Nation cite, if it isn't already attributed in-line. --GoodDamon 03:41, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm dubious that the whole thing has any weight, or if it's just another smear as part of the McCain / Republican camp to reignite the culture wars to avoid election defeat. Although lending to unqualified buyers is certainly a large part of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, one of the triggering events of the larger banking crisis, ACORN's role was certainly small. Saying that fights to end housing discrimination against black neighborhoods caused the mortgage crisis seems farfetched. We might as well blame the discrimination that caused the problem in the first place. At best we can note that ACORN became yet another target of the partisan election politics, but there are so many of them. Do we add a paragraph to each article that became part of McCain's blame fest that McCain made an accusation, backed by conservative bloggers and pundits, and the subject of the attack and its supporters denied it? That gives election year political moves too much credit I think. Wikidemon (talk) 04:18, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Vadum is the same person who made the absurd allegation that ACORN paid people with crack cocaine. Is he really a legitimate source of opinion here? I mean, we wouldn't quote David Duke on this group either. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 06:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

The allegation may sound absurd but it's true. Vadum presented evidence that in fact an ACORN employee did pay people with crack cocaine in Defiance County, Ohio, in 2004. He demonstrated this fact already: Employees of ACORN, as was widely reported during the 2008 campaign, used cigarettes and cash to pay people, contrary to law. I'm not sure some people still think ACORN is this sainted organization. Wade Rathke is no Mother Theresa. Syntacticus (talk) 23:47, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

The addition seems a bit belabored to me, and of nominal relevance. LotLE×talk 09:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Fringe, not notable, not relevant. There's a long discussion of this general issue in archive 2 of this talk page if anyone cares, with a lengthy explanation of why this conspiracy is just that. As per will, vadum is not a credible or relevant source.Bali ultimate (talk) 15:19, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Looking closer at the opinion piece, I see the same problems. However, the opening editor does bring up a valid point about The Nation as a source. It's being used as a citation for the statement "ACORN's political committees have endorsed Democratic party candidates." It's one of two, and that statement is all it is used for. So to avoid more "balancing" measures such as this one in the future, anyone mind if I just yank that particular citation? --GoodDamon 15:37, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not too concerned about the specific citation for the "endorsed Democrats" point. However, The Nation can be a perfectly good source in general. They publish a lot of opinion pieces (so does the Wall Street Journal, for example), but they also publish a good number of investigative reporting articles (well, I confess it's been years since I read it, but they used to anyway). The publication itself is perfectly WP:RS, but obviously we'd use op-eds differently from reporting (as with any publication that publishes both). LotLE×talk 20:34, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the Capital Research Center's Vadum (the crc is a right-wing advocacy group; Vadum is a member and an opinion writer). I've allowed Liebowitz to stand for the moment (he's a qualified economist, at least), but have rewritten to clarify the point he made in his February 2008 opinion piece. I believe once the language is clarified, the absurdity is self-evident, but leave it to others to agree/disagree. If it does stand, the problem becomes adding in all the research that shows the CRA is not relevant to our current mortgage collapase (rather than the softening of the mortgage market that liebowitz was talking about in 2007).Bali ultimate (talk) 15:50, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Clearly Bali ultimate you didn't poke around the Capital Research Center website and are not well informed. It may be conservative leaning but it is definitely not an advocacy group. It is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) educational organization -- look it up. If it were involved in advocacy, it would probably have to obtain 501(c)(4) status instead so as to not get in trouble with the IRS. Anyone who knows anything about non profit groups would know that. As for your statements about CRA, you are reciting shopworn liberal dogma. It is absolutely relevant to the mortgage meltdown. Syntacticus (talk) 03:26, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

A few weeks after all the fraud talk started and now this page has been edited so often that all the good work people once did is gone. Where are the previous balance of cites to press that many of the fraud accusations turn up little or nothing? Why is Iglesias being tarred here instead of focusing on the relevant connection? Why is space given to accusations by one economist to the fringe idea that lending for minorities caused the economic crisis? This is childish. For me, Wikipedia has lots almost all credibility as an enterprise on anything controversial. Sadly the people that can report most accurately on these topics get blown away by the people with time on their hands to just wash all the previous work away again and again. More editing by experts is needed, and more locking. I'm all for discussion, but when good work is wiped away by bad time and time again, it's pointless to even try. Sorry for venting, but I don't see that this page his improved over what it was a 8 weeks ago and it seems in many ways worse.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:52, 3 December 2008


I was looking for some info that was recently on this talk page. Was archived, couldn't find it, hunted around. If you look on the recent edit history for this page you'll see that a bot archived some stuff to a "november" archive for this talk page. But one wouldn't know that if you didn't find the dif in the history -- it isn't part of the 7 archive pages shown at the top of this page. This may be a consequence of all the manual archiving (much of which was done by me, so the error might be mine). Is this a problem (and an easily correctable one)? If not, it's not really a big deal. (And someone may post and say "look, over there on the left" and all will be well, though i'd feel a little foolish.)Bali ultimate (talk) 23:49, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

I added a link to the Nov 2008 archive page. For reasons unclear to me, MiszaBot was sending archives to /dev/null. I manually copied what it killed to a numbered archive. But then I put in a brand new template to try to fix the problem, and decided to use the date-based version. That seems like it makes it easier to locate old dicussions. However, it appears it does not add the links to the archives it creates. Feh! The auto-archiver is great to have, but seems awfully picky in its specifics. I apologize if some of my attempts to get this working have been non-optimal. LotLE×talk 00:02, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Syntacticus, blp vios and consensus

Syntacticus: You have twice tried to make this edit [[17]]. It: redundantly, incorrectly and with less neutral language repeats a story outlined elsewhere in the article (it was $800,000, not a $1 million, for instance); the crack cocaine story has been repeatedly debunked (and a blog at a far-right opinion shop is hardly a reliable source anyways). Please don't do it again.

The crack cocaine story has never been debunked. Capital Research Center is not a "far-right opinion shop." The cocaine story was reported in various reliable media outlets. Your idea of "consensus" does not appear to include containing any information that puts ACORN in a bad light. I am disputing the neutrality of this article and have marked it as such. Syntacticus (talk) 16:51, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

The cocaine story that fellow goes on about in his first person blog-post (which you are seeking to use as a reliable source) is actually, if one bothers to track down what reliable sources say, about someone who was working for an NAACP linked voter drive. It has nothing to do with Acorn. This was conclusively debunked on this talk page (it was brought up again and again by a POV pushing sock army, so i researched it). Take a look in the recent arthives. Furthermore, the embezzlement story is covered accurately and neutrally in the article as it now stands. You've been repeatedly told (by others, not by me, just checked out your history) that the capitalresearch center can not be considered a reliable source for anything put its own opinions. You've just been told again.Bali ultimate (talk) 17:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
And here's the proof. [[18]] . It had something or other to do with the NAACP. Nothing to do with Acorn. Not only does this categorically not belong here, but makes it clear that the blog used to make this false claim about acorn should never be used for any assertion of fact. This is the third time (at least) this allegation has been proven false on this talk page.Bali ultimate (talk) 19:02, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Arb Break

i missed the beginning of this,. Does he want to include this [19] from a reliable source , but maybe not relevant or this [20], a previous featured article in the Wall Street Journal, a prestigious , reliable source? Die4Dixie (talk) 21:10, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

WHere is the BLP violation to which you refer. ACORN, although it might be considered a golem, can't be alive by definition.Die4Dixie (talk) 21:13, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Well you could just read the talk page to catch up (forget the BLP, that was settled). He wanted to use a blog post from a right wing opinion group as a reliable source to back up a claim that "An acorn worker was convicted of trading cocaine for voter registrations." Problems: 1. Not RS. 2. Never happened. (It was in fact someone working for an NAACP voter drive in 2004). This reading of the word "Acorn" in place of "NAACP" has happened at least three times in the past few months on this talk page and in article mainspace. As for your two links: 1. Not relevant. 2. Wall Street Journal editorials, like all editorials, are not particularly useful.Bali ultimate (talk) 21:20, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

It's labeled as an article, not an editorial, and the WSJ is listed specifically as an an example of a reliable source. Notice that it says ACORN affilita, not ACORN. Unless you know for a fact that the group in question is not a ffliated in anyway then to suggest that they are not is your original research and must be ignored in the editing of the article, while it is ok to bring up on the talk page. The WSJ is reporting this, making it verifiable, the criterion for inclusion. Who knows , might be different instances of similiar circumstances. Unless you can find a reliabe source that says it for you, then again, it would be your original research that says they are the same incident. The WSJ meets the criteria laid out, and if he argues for its inclusion based on the reliabe source and not the garbage he brought to start withh, it can go in, of cource properly sourced.Die4Dixie (talk) 21:27, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Qutoing dixie "It's labeled as an article, not an editorial." No. It's an unsigned editorial. Here's a hint... it's hosted at the "" which is where the journal warehouses its op-eds, editorials, and commentaries. It's also labelled as part of "review & outlook" which is, uhm, always for editorials. Use of first person words like "we" and general tone might be hints. Don't take my word for it. Learn.Bali ultimate (talk) 21:40, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

This is all original research. Please provide a reliable third party source that connects these dots for you and refutes the WSJ's own claim that it is an article. Our personal opinions about what something is are immaterial. Thanks. Remember, Wikipedia has different rules than the ones you might be accustomed to playing with.Die4Dixie (talk) 21:50, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
No crack here [[21]], but if he is looking for stuff to add, he is welcome to use this reliable source. You will note that I am not trying to add anything, I am merely supportive if others want to add it so long as the source meets Wikipedias criteria.Die4Dixie (talk) 22:07, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

It's an editorial dixie. It really is. Buy a copy of the journal (it will be similair in form to the stack of them next to my left arm as i type). Identify the back two pages in the front section. The right hand section will have op-eds (so called because they are viewed "opposite of the editorial" in traditional broadsheets.) The left hand side will have a set of editorials (sometimes 2, sometimes 3) under a heading "Review & Outlook." Enjoy your original research. Whatever else the journal is, its usually a good read.Bali ultimate (talk) 23:36, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Believe it or not, I believe you are correct, but the fact is the WSJ is calling it an article. I also read The WSJ occasionally ( when its around and I'm not wasting time playing poker and editing Wikipedia. When the source calls it an article, we must suspend disbelief and assume they know what they are talking about. It makes it verifiable, which is the bar that Jimbo has , in his infinite, inscrutable wisdom, allowed for inclusion. Not for us to judge, merely to report.Die4Dixie (talk) 22:43, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

What you've written above is complete, utter, contententious nonesense. I leave the field to you. Your choice if you want to keep looking silly.Bali ultimate (talk) 23:05, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
If you use 4 tildes (~) after your posts, it will be easier to identify you. Am not sure if you are contesting that the WSJ has labeled it an article. Could you please clarify?Die4Dixie (talk) 23:04, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for signing. There is still another one above that you missed. (~) times 4 the same as last time. Thanks.Die4Dixie (talk) 23:11, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Propose removal of neutrality tag

Since the neutrality tag was placed by Syntacticus over his unhappiness about the absence of material proven to be false, i propose it's removal (i'm half-inclined to remove it myself, but recognize that could lead to more disagreement).Bali ultimate (talk) 19:05, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Done. Failure to trash the article subject to the satisfaction of its detractors, or consensus rejection of an editor's desired addition of disputed material, does not mean an article is non-neutral. Wikidemon (talk) 19:10, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

I readded the material because, the way I see it, it appears to meet all the qualifications for inclusion. It is cited to a multiple reliable sources and does seem to be rather notable to the organizations history. Here Cometh the Milkman (talk) 21:00, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Please see the (extensive) talk history here. When reliable sources make mistakes that they then correct, such as the debunked cocaine issue, it's best to go with the corrections. --GoodDamon 21:05, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
That editor is now blocked, and does not look like he was on the level. Let's count this one as done. Wikidemon (talk) 22:17, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Hold on, people. Bali ultimate and Wikidemon claim mind reading powers, I see. I did not merely place the neutrality tag on the article because I was unhappy with my edit being removed. I am unhappy with article being so positive and upbeat almost totally devoid of negative information about ACORN. I put in information in an effort to balance the article. It appears the crack cocaine allegation, as pointed out above, pertains to an NAACP affiliate and not to ACORN. Fine. But ACORN has an extensive, well documented history of its employees doing bad things. This is beyond dispute. And yet the article reads as if there are just a few minor aberrations along the golden road to Social Justice. The article is not neutral and I demand my rights. Syntacticus (talk) 03:11, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

You were pushing things to an edit war, trying to force in demonstrably false information, THEN you placed the tag.Bali ultimate (talk) 04:58, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Leave the tag alone until this is worked out , BAli.Die4Dixie (talk) 05:42, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the tag. Now, if you would make a short list of what you want changed or added to be satisfied and make the article more neutral, then do so so that the guys can get it removed, which is only fair. What is not fair is to slap a tag and not give concrete objects that can be answered. I'll be back in a minute to list a couple of mine.Die4Dixie (talk) 03:38, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

One issue at a time. The mention of a redlinked name who wrote an editorial at the Huffington Post used as a counter point to a member of congress is undue weight. Use of such a weak counter balance discredits the agrument. If we can't use an editorial from the WSJ to talk about crack cocaine, then a Puffington Faux opinion by a nobody is not appropriatge either.Die4Dixie (talk) 03:53, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

OK, Die4Dixie. For starters, ACORN employees have been charged and convicted of numerous offenses related to elections. There is nothing or close to nothing on that. ACORN uses aggressive -some would say obnoxious- direct action techniques, such as dumping garbage on the lawns of CEOs, occupying offices and banks, intimidation, and so on. Almost zilch on that. ACORN also seems to be involved in money laundering. The Capital Research Center report on ACORN that keeps getting expunged lists all sorts of massive internal money transfers, interlocking directorates, and all sorts of other seeming improprieties. I have seen many of the 990 nonprofit tax return forms that contain that data and know that the report is not making this stuff up -- yet it keeps being deleted because some editors might harbor hostility towards right of center think tanks. They don't seem to be hostile to liberal think tanks such as Brookings or Center for American Progress. This is not fair. The evidentiary test Wikipedia is supposed to adhere to requires not that the info be demonstrably true; rather, that it comes from a reliable source. Capital Research Center, while some may disagree with its mission statement, is a reliable source whose reports are every bit as trustworthy and credible as those issued by Brookings and CAP. Wikipedia is not owned by the left. It is supposed to be open to everyone provided that they follow the rules. I have done that and will continue to do so. Rant concluded. Syntacticus (talk) 04:03, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. If you have sources to those things, it would be helpful to provide links to each issue you raised, in an itemized kind of way. I apologize if I offended you or provoked a rant. I assure you that I am not your adversary. All I wanted you to understand is that slapping a tag up without listing the things you object to isn't fair, since it doesn't give us a chance to evaluate what you think is unbalanced. That's all. Give me some links, and we can all evaluate them and make an educated decision about inclusion. Thanks.Die4Dixie (talk) 04:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I've put the tag back on. There are obvious objections raised above. Please address these before removal. Arkon (talk) 23:30, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't appear that anyone was reallly interested in resolving this, but rather used the situation to cast aspersions on other users in the ANI thread. I have taken the liberty of removing the mst egregious problem, and am now willing to work thorough other issues. The Huff post piec combien with other issues raised the article to beyond the neutrality tag level. With its removal, the rest can be worked out here ,as far as I'm concerned. It would be helpful if Syntacticus would return to the discussion so that the others could get the tag removed and life move on.Die4Dixie (talk) 23:56, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
The tag ahs been removed due to a lack of constructive input as to why it should remain. Die4Dixie (talk) 19:04, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Bravo. That's the D4D I know. (See also my talk page in case you haven't yet done so already).--The Magnificent Clean-keeper (talk) 22:11, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I didn't know there was a time limit on this. Forgive me but I don't log in to Wikipedia every day. I laid out my concerns above, Die4Dixie. Syntacticus (talk) 01:43, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

As D4D noted above, please post some reliable sources for your concerns/missing information so that we can move this conversation forward. --guyzero | talk 01:56, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I have restored the tag. I am not aware of any time restrictions on discussing neutrality. I thought the purpose of inserting the tag was to embark on a discussion of balance in the article. I laid out my concerns in general in the post above time stamped 04:03, 11 December 2008 and was thinking that after doing so the discussion would become more specific. I spelled out above was is missing, in my view. Do I also spell out what should be deleted and revised? Syntacticus (talk) 01:49, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Again and slowly so you understand. You can't just slap a template as you did without providing a reason and in your case not providing WP:RS to back it up.
P:"01:45, December 15, 2008 Syntacticus (Talk | contribs) (33,523 bytes) (restored neut tag; 36 hrs not enough; I've watched other disputes that last months)".
Sure not on such page besides that if "other stuff exists or happend" doesn't mean we'll apply such here. If you do so without previous mentioned back-ups it is nothing but a POV edit war you're "providing". Thanks,--The Magnificent Clean-keeper (talk) 03:35, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Syntacticus, you are absolutely incorrect here. To sustain the tag you must line out exactly what you object to ,and acceptable sources to substantiate your claims. I am no fan of ACORN, but right is right. You cannot slap a tag and not show up for days to substantiate it. The source you want to use, no matter how sympathetic I might be, will not do here. I mean this not to be sarcastic or unhelpful. Conservapedia might be more to your liking, because there are rules here, and to play here, one must follow them. Find sources for your inclusions other than those you have offered. Please. If you have questions about what is appropriate, ask us. This is not some cosmic fight between good-Right/ bad- Left. It is an encyclopedia. Not meaning to sound patronizing at all. Email me if you like. IF you antagonize everyone, including those who are sympathetic, you will end up being labeled disruptive and likely blocked; play by the rules, use good sources and you will be surprised how much you can get included. Your choice here.( you might want to deal with the COI problem that has been brought up on your talk page sooner rather than later)Die4Dixie (talk) 03:50, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I have dealt with the COI allegation. It is a McCarthy like tactic to use the guilt by association, or in this case, guilt by coincidence approach. It is without foundation and I said so. No one has offered an explanation of why Capital Research Center reports are not acceptable. All I see here from the various complaints is that it is right-wing or conservative or whatever and then I am told the group's mission statement proves it. I looked up the mission statement which actually says no such thing. Here it is (from

Capital Research Center (CRC) was established in 1984 to study non-profit organizations, with a special focus on reviving the American traditions of charity, philanthropy, and voluntarism.
Since the launch of the Great Society programs by President Johnson and Congress in the 1960s, many thousands of nonprofit advocacy groups have emerged, often promoting more government welfare programs in areas once considered the domain of families, charities, neighborhood associations, and other voluntary organizations. The growth of government has increasingly supplanted the voluntary action and community-based problem solving that the great observer of early American society, Alexis de Tocqueville, recognized as a defining feature of our country.
Capital Research Center analyzes organizations that promote the growth of government and identifies viable private alternatives to government regulatory and entitlement programs. Our research forms the basis for a variety of publications.

Doesn't exactly seem like the nest of frothing at the mouth loons that Will Beback and Bali ultimate describe, does it? Syntacticus (talk) 07:13, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

It is a partisan political organization that has made a point of trying to besmirch ACORN. As such it is not a reliable source. I have removed the neutrality tag (twice - this possible COI editor is edit warring to insert his own organization's research). Please don't edit war over this - it is not the way Wikipedia works, and if you are indeed from CRC you should not be editing on this content at all. Wikidemon (talk) 07:51, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Again, Wikidemon, what proof do you have that Capital Research Center is a partisan political organization? I've looked over their site and blog and it seems they hammer away at Republicans like John McCain, George W. Bush, and Henry Paulson with regularity (I saw something on the blog the other day where they even criticized right wing stalwart Ben Stein). And what's this about edit warring? When I try to do some edits, put up a tag, explain my edits in talk pages, and then I get accused of all sorts of rule violations? I repeat, Wikidemon, you do not have evidence acceptable under Wikipedia standards to exclude Capital Research Center research from Wikipedia articles. If you had the evidence, you would have presented it. Syntacticus (talk) 08:03, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
In the same way media matters is not acceptable, neither is this. I'm sorry, perhaps if the concensus of opinion on it changes secondary to your forum, we can discuss it again.Die4Dixie (talk) 11:01, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
What kind of "consensus" refuses to discuss facts? For the dozenth time, come up with something proving Capital Research Center is partisan and I'll shut up. Syntacticus (talk) 02:27, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
It's a variant of WP:SNOW I think. CRC is so obviously partisan, the material has such a small chance of ever being included, and the circumstances surrounding it being proposed, that it is not worth wasting time. Consensus requires reasonable good faith discussion of viable proposals. It does not require flying up in an airplane to convince anybody the world is round. Wikidemon (talk) 02:49, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

CRC is not partisan and you refuse to produce evidence of same because it does not exist. I want to proceed with mediation. Is this your idea of acting in good faith, Wikidemon? What are you so afraid of? Syntacticus (talk) 02:54, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Afraid? Hardly. CRC seems to exist solely to disparage liberal organizations. I'm just not interested in wasting time or getting abuse from yet another vexatious editor. You might find another tree to bark up but not this one. Wikidemon (talk) 03:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
You are the vexatious, malicious editor, Wikidemon. Didn't you just violate the good faith rule, by the way? You refuse to come across with the proof because you don't have it. Just be honest about the fraud you are committing on the Wikipedia community. Syntacticus (talk) 03:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Okay, we're done here. I propose we close this discussion as an agreement to remove the tag. 03:17, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Removal of Material

I have removed the two references that linked to op ed pieces, per the complaint on ANI that Bali leveled about use of opinion pieces and the discussion above about the WSJ not being reliable since it came from an opinion piece. If these two sources stay out, my neutrality tag issue will be resolved, and my remaing concerns acn be addressed here, not meeting my threshold for the tag. If someone wants to readd the first quote from another source, then I have no problem with it going back in. The huffington post is not worthy , as I said, per Bali's insightful comments about op ed pieces.Die4Dixie (talk) 23:45, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Conflict of interest

It appears that more information on Syntacticus' COI and use of sockpuppet accounts can be found at Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Syntacticus. LotLE×talk 08:04, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Why would it be a conflict of interest exust if this user works an organization not associated ACORN? A reading of WP:COI indicates the COI exist when the user is closely related to the subject of the article, or involved in a legal action with it. A quick read of both indicates that ACORN and CRC are not closely associated. In fact they appear to be adversaries which according WP:COI would preclude a conflict of interest. You can't ban everyone that takes a dim view of the subject of a article. If we did, half the editors would be banned. You can insist on WP:NPOV, but that is a different discussion and is not normally achieving through banning. Dman727 (talk) 08:29, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
It's not Syntacticus' negative view of ACORN, per se, that creates COI (though it seems to have contributed to his contentious and unproductive editing more generally). It's the fact that many of his edits consist of adding non-WP:RS CRC references that are either written by Syntacticus himself, or by a close associate of his... I guess also the fact that much of Syntacticus' off-wiki professional reputation arises from writing these criticisms of ACORN that he tries to insert on WP (sourced to himself).LotLE×talk 08:33, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Good enough. Inserting material into articles, backed by material that you have written would indeed be a WP:COI matter. That said, an outright banning is not usually the first step to address this sort of matter. Take a look at the dispute resolution pages WP:DR for steps on how to resolve. Dman727 (talk) 08:53, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
No. I was cleared as per the checkuser process (or as cleared as one can be given the vague results of the IP search). It is over. [[22]] I will be reporting Lulu's activities here which seem to be an extension of Bali ultimate's outing attempt. Syntacticus (talk) 17:35, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
As for checkuser, the nature of the beast is that it NEVER "clears" anyone. Some socks "pass" multiple checkusers before eventually getting tripped up. In your case the result was "inconclusive/possible" -- geolocation good but presumably not exactly the same IP (they don't ever say precisely what data they use to make their determinations, but IP is clearly part of it). Basically, checkuser either proves socking, or fails to prove anything. It can't, by its nature, prove innocence.Bali ultimate (talk) 17:43, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I have filed a report against Lulu of the Lotus Eaters at AN/I. In his comments, Lulu has argued precisely the opposite. He has argued that the checkuser and other discussions prove a COI and harasses re my identity contrary to WP rules. [[23]] Syntacticus (talk) 17:56, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

I just noticed that Syntacticus deleted the complaint added to this talk page, about his conflict-of-interest, with this edit. It definitely looks like bad faith to be promoting his own external publications on WP, and even using sock puppet accounts to do so. YMMV. LotLE×talk 20:16, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

There is no evidence of socking. Arkon (talk) 20:35, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
There is evidence of socking, but it is inconclusive. Can we please move beyond that and stick to the content question for now? Wikidemon (talk) 21:21, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I removed the content on my own user page that I understand it was strictly verboten (contrary to WP:OUTING) for Bali ultimate to put there in the first place. Nothing sinister going on so sorry to disappoint you, Lulu. Lulu keeps trying to change the topic so we don't examine his wrongdoings here. He has made bad faith edits that cannot be sustained and he has been edit warring. Syntacticus (talk) 06:46, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Really bad edits

It's a bit hard to move entirely past the obvious conflict-of-interest in Syntacticus' edits. But even bracketing that, and pretending someone else had made them: all the recent changes he has made are strikingly awful.

  • Remove a description of growth of ACORN during the 1980s (in the history discussion) on the edit comment grounds that "we shouldn't describe the Reagan era"
  • Add a contentious and poorly worded accusation about how ACORN might have indirectly benefited had some banking legislation passed (legislation that did not pass Congress in any case).
  • Weird WP:FRINGE allegation that ACORN is trying to "bring about the demise of capitalist system" (a little while back).
  • Obnoxious and repeated insertion of disruptive tags with no explanation.
  • Insertion into lead of WP:OR-ish claim about organizational structure (in fairness, I reworded that into something usable, and put it in a relevant non-lead area; so that material wasn't 100% terrible, it just needed work to make it usable).
  • One minor edit of 'thirty' -> '30' reads slightly worse to me, but both forms are consistent with Wikipedia:MOSNUM#Numbers, so I haven't touched it.

The fact is, quite simply, that every single edit that Syntacticus has ever made to this article has dramatically harmed its quality. There is not one single good (non-minor) edit he has ever made. At a certain point it becomes awfully damn hard to WP:AGF to this edit pattern! LotLE×talk 09:04, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Lotle, you've badly mischarecterized the banking legislation issue. It's not how ACORN "might have indirectly benefited had some banking legislation passed that didn't pass" but rather "How acorn might have benefited if a proposal that didn't refer to the group (and whose supporters said would not give money to any private group) had made it into a piece of legislation instead of being tossed aside in the drafting stages." Try to keep your "facts" straight; sheesh.Bali ultimate (talk) 15:38, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I know it's hard to assume good faith, but is it possible? I prefer to believe new-ish editors can be shown the ropes, even when I strongly disagree with their POV. It seems to me that Syntacticus' editing issues are rooted in misunderstandings/unfamiliarity with WP:SYNTH and WP:RS, which I would encourage him/her to read. Especially WP:SYNTH: Synthesis of materials from multiple sources is original research, a big no-no. --GoodDamon 17:24, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I think these are good points GoodDamon, but the user in question has been on wikipedia for a few years.Bali ultimate (talk) 17:48, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh, huh, hadn't seen that. Sigh... OK, since I've been out of the loop for a little while, has anyone tried talking to this user about these edits or gone through a formal RfC on them? --GoodDamon 17:53, 30 December 2008 (UTC)