Talk:Dennis Hastert

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English teaching in Osaka, Japan[edit]

I have read from several sources in Japanese that Dennis Hastert taught English in Osaka, Japan in the 1970s, an experience that may have influenced his pro-Japan stance later on. If anyone has a good citation for his term there in English, it would be much appreciated. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC).

This sentence is chronologically challenged: "After a stint teaching English in Osaka, Japan, in the early 1970s,[6] he moved to Yorkville in 1964, 55 miles (89 km) west of Chicago, and took a job as a government and history teacher at Yorkville High School from 1964 to 1980." Should that be 1974 instead of 1964? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 2 November 2010 (UTC)


I added the section on contributors, making every attempt to be balanced. Noted local support (i.e. McDonald's, Allstate), support from the business community, medical community, and agricultural interests. I imagine these are all perceived as positives. Also noted returned donations to the tobacco companies. Again, likely to be perceived positively. On the negative side noted ties to Accenture and the law firm Winston and Strawn, which have both attracted considerable press attention. Also noted ties to Enron & Arthur Andersen, but mentioned their issues were not yet at the forefront. Overall, I hope this is a fair presentation. I welcome any informative additions to this section; however, I remain concerned that some "editors" might be tempted to delete certain aspects. 04:55, 12 April 2006 (UTC)


Actually, Dennis Hasters ancestors are ***not*** from Rosport but from Osweiler (Uesweller in our language) which is part of the municipality Rosport, close to Echternach, Luxembourg, Europe. Some days ago, he was here again. Thorben - Luxembourg

Tenure as Speaker of the House[edit]

His tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives lists three separate periods, each of which is separated only by a few days. While I'm sure this is useful information, perhaps simply listing his tenure as "1999–" and adding the details in a footnote, might make things clearer for readers? -- Vystrix Nexoth 06:05, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)

New Orleans Rebuilding Controversy[edit]

This paragraph seems dated and not really relevant to the rest of the commentary (Speaker Hastert's comments regarding the rebuilding): "On September 2, Hastert was in Indiana attending a fundraiser for Republican Rep. Mark Souder rather than being in Washington leading the House of Representatives in voting on the Hurricane Katrina emergency appropriation bill. Nancy Pelosi has stated that Hastert refused to call a special session of Congress on Katrina as late as August 31."

I think it would be more appropriately located in an overall review of the Katrina response. Any objections / counterarguments? RB McLeroy 13:02, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't mind if you update to make it seem less dated, but Hastert's record on Katrina at the beginning of September is relevant to his role as speaker. --SeanO 16:07, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Presidential ambitions?[edit]

Someone please verify this. The running for president part threw me off:

He leads a quiet life in Yorkville, IL, at his home set on the Fox River. In fact, Hastert's code name is "Fox." Hastert still meets with his friends for breakfast when he is in Illinois.

Once learning that he would be the next Speaker of the House, Hastert set-out to create a dream-team staff. Using Scott Palmer as his base (Chief of Staff), he included John Feerey in his press-shop for spin control and Ted Van Der Meid to handle the Floor. Van Der Meid's experience with former Majority Leader Bob Michael helped Hastert turn the tables in his favor. Feerey has stopped literally all negative press.

Hastert clearly intends to run for the presidency in 2008 and has already amassed a war chest in excess of $70 million (for perspective, Bush spent about $100 million in 2000). Insiders say that he should have it wrapped up since Cheney does not intend to run.

One difficulty for Hastert is lack of name recongition with the general electorate. To remedy this, Hastert's campagin office is planning a preliminary "Balloon campaign." In late-2005, Americans for Hastert plans to fly 5000 hot air balloons saying "HASTERT!" over every major city (pop.>100,000) in the united states. The campaign will begin by flying all 5000 balloons in Miami, FL then moving all 5000 to Tallahasse, then to Atlanta and so on. The goal is to "Shield the sun from every city so that Americans can't help but know who Hastert is." Plans are also being made to take legislative action so that the FAA cannot prohibit such balloon activity.

It seems pretty likely, and - as of teh last day of 2005 - hasn't yet happened. There is no such group as "Americans for Hastert," and I'd like a source for the suggestion that Hastert as accumulating funds for a Presidential race before I believe it. I don't have a problem with Denny running, it just seems inordinately unlikely. Simon Dodd 20:19, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Hastert is retiring, has said so. He had to pushed hard by Reynolds just to run this year. -- 23:48, 21 July 2006 (UTC) Jacob Waalk

Hastert has made no comments about retiring, but he is not running for POTUS.

Term Limits[edit]

From wiki's Speaker of the House page: "Speakers are elected following each biennial general election, and serve two-year terms. A rule adopted by the House in 1995 sets a limit of four terms."

Since Hastert was elected in 1999, wouldn't that make this his last term, to be replaced in 2007?

Hastert began serving as Speaker in the 106th Congress, 1999-2001; that would make his second term of four the 106th Congress 2001-2003, his third term of four the 107th Congress 2003-2005 and his fourth term of four the 108th Congress 2005-2007, which does indeed mean that this is his last Congress as Speaker, meaning that he will be inelligible to stand to be Speaker in the 110th Congress. The 110th Congress will be elected fall of '06, and will convene Jan of '07, exactly as you say. Simon Dodd 04:14, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

not aware of any decision to retire, and the Presidential stuff sounds strange. someone should correct the retirement expectation on the front page, that's someone's opinion

a couple of changes[edit]

I removed "ultra" from in front of right-wing religious organizations. It sounded a bit loaded. Also, I changed the wording for the organizations so it was clear that they were rating his voting record.--Hbutterfly 19:09, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Now that I think about it, does any other politician have ratings from interest groups listed on their page? Do we really need these at all?--Hbutterfly 19:17, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

NSA Investigation[edit]

The Turkey section indicates that an NSA investigation is underway. The NSA does not normally investigate this sort of activity, as it cannot bring cases for prosecution. It would simply turn over documents to a special prosecutor or ethics committee if ordered to do so by POTUS and perhaps by SSCI or HPSCI, but this would be very, very unusual. Also, it would generally go against agency policy to comment on or even confirm or deny its activities. (The FBI would be a different story.) What's described here, though certainly possible, would be very unusual. Can someone provide a reliable source for this? DavidGC 12:57, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Voting record[edit]

This looks cut and pasted, and is anyway too vitriolic for Wikipedia, but there's some good info:

Right now, much of America envisions Dennis Haster as a man who is chummy and modest, a friendly midwesterner, a former wrestler and high school teacher, a father of two grown boys, raised in farm country. The more accurate image is of a right-wing extremist; a rabid anti-choicer; or an evangelical Christian rarely materializes. A little investigation reveals that Hastert’s voting history on a variety of issues is far to the right.

The media has introduced us to Dennis Hastert as "A lumbering man with an easy smile"[Washington Post, 5 Jan 99, p. A01], and have shared with us unassuming reflections from the new Speaker such as "It’s a very humbling experience...I’m just going to try to pull up every ounce of courage and strength to do the best job I can."[Ibid.] Congressional colleagues eagerly encourage this cozy facade of Speaker Friendly, with comments like "People look at Denny and say, "This is a guy who might be running an auto parts store downtown" (Rep. Rick Lazio [R - NY]) [Ibid.]. While the Washington Post did briefly mention that Hastert is an evangelical Christian and a strong conservative, it quickly neutralized any negative impact by pointing out that "Hastert offers himself as an honest broker who respects the institution of the House" [Ibid.].

Website after website confirms that not only is Speaker Hastert conservative, he is more right wing than almost any member of Congress. Hastert voted prochoice 0% of the time on votes relating to women’s reproductive freedoms []. Hastert has a whopping lifetime voting record of 7%[]. For comparison, Henry Hyde [R - IL] voted with 16% of the time throughout his career. To the ACLU website []. From the 109th Congress Hastert had an ACLU rating of 0%. On to the Human Rights Campaign [], in the 108th Congress, Hastert voted against HRC’s positions 100% of the time.

Early Life[edit]

Does his first term in office really count as "early life"?

--User At Work 21:37, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Report of connection to Abramoff[edit]

I deleted two words that supported the POV that Hastert *is* under FBI investigation. Wikipedia does not know this for a fact. It knows only that ABC reported it, based on unnamed sources. --Uncle Ed 18:26, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Then I added the Justice Department denial. Whoever put this together did rather a one-sided job of it. --Uncle Ed 18:42, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia can't refer to "the investigation" until and unless we know that there is one. Who knows, maybe we'll find out three hours or three days from now that the DOJ denial was a knee-jerk reaction and was false. Until then, we have to remain neutral on the question of whether there is an investigation. --Uncle Ed 18:46, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Cut from article:

Mr Abramoff has pleaded guilty to providing gifts and trips to members of Congress and their staff members in exchange for favourable treatment for his clients. He is co-operating with government investigators as part of his plea agreement.

Shouldn't this be in one of the articles about Jack Abramoff? If so, which one? And what's the best way to direct the reader to it? --Uncle Ed 18:54, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I think the couple of sentences related to Jack Abramoff that were cut probably should remain in the Hastert article because they highlight the possibility that Abramoff is naming names, maybe Hastert. I think it's relevant. Your thoughts? 02:46, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
If you can find a source which speculates that "Abramoff is naming names, maybe Hastert" then please quote and cite that source. Otherwise, it's just your own idea. --Uncle Ed 16:12, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

argubably the most Republican district in the state[edit]

I'm non partisan, just so you know. I deleted that because it was false information. According to the CQ Politics map, IL-14 is nowhere near the most Republican district in the state. Looking at Bush's percentages, a good indicator, Democrat Mellisa Bean, Bob Shiminkus, Ray LaHood, and Tim Johnson's districts all gave Bush more than the sturdy, but not impressive 54% IL-14 gave him.

2006 Mark Foley scandal[edit]

Should this have a more prominent role in the article? Hastert's role in the cover-up of this pedophilia within his own party, if it does not bring down his speakership, will surely be a black mark on his record in the history books!! //// Pacific PanDeist * 22:34, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to expand it, but let's keep to the facts, which are not conclusive on either a "cover-up" or how serious this matter will become. John Broughton | Talk 15:56, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
John, its good to see you again. Perhaps we can do a better job with this than with the Ney Article.
It was a liberal group which put children at risk by sitting on the im's for 1-3 years. Not Hastert or any republican. The committee mentioned in the article saw one email - asking how he survived Katrina - and requested that Foley stop. They took no further action at the child's families request. The liberal group (maybe CREW) who held the leud im's 1) may have put children at risk in order to maximize political gain and 2) may have violated the explicit requests of the family involved.
Of the emails known before last Friday, both the FBI and the major news outlets took a pass - saw nothing in them. At any rate, the claims on Hastert are wholly unsubstantiated and should be removed. --Ej0c 13:40, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I thought the Bob Ney article was pretty good, looking at how events transpired.
I'm not aware of ANY evidence that a "liberal group" or anyone else "sat on IMs" for any length of time. I know CREW has denied leaking email info to ABC News (they reported it to the FBI in July, as soon as they got it); I doubt very much they had anything to do with the IMs. I know that there are people out there speculating that this was a deliberately engineered "October surprise" [wouldn't October 2004 have been better?), but I think that gives way too much credit to Democrats to be able to engineer this scandal as it has fallen out.
Apparently members of the house page alumni association have known of this for years. How it came to public light now, I have no idea. Either way, Hastert didn't know of it; only (perhaps) of an email that now looks bad but would not have then. -- 22:04, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
My read on this is that the Republican leadership wasn't particularly proactive on this, and is paying the price. Here's an op-ed that talks about what was done in 1982, saying the approach was quite different (admittedly, after a TV "expose", not just some marginal emails): [1].
"Studds chose to stay on and was retained in office by his constituents for 13 more years." You recommend this solution? Yech. -- 22:04, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
But I don't really have a horse in this, so if you want to chop out the speculation, have at it. I'm hoping to have time to go in after things have died down and make the narrative a bit more compelling. It doesn't really discuss the oddity that Hastert's staff knew in 2005 about the emails (but not IMs, of course), per the press release from his office, but (apparently) didn't tell him (!); or contradictory info from other Republican Representatives about when he was told about this and what he said, for example. John Broughton | Talk 16:21, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh ye of little faith--I could see from day 1 this would cost Hastert the Speakership.... only question now is will he be succeeded by Roy Blunt or Nancy Pelosi!! //// Pacific PanDeist * 02:41, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

"..calls are growing for Speaker Hastert to resign for his involvement in the Page scandal." This seems like a misleading statement, considering only the Washington Times and some Democrats have called on him to resign. It makes it seem like there is more pressure on him to resign than there actually is. 18:11, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Not so misleading. Here is a quote from CBS from 10/6/2006:<> "I'm deeply sorry this has happened and the bottom line is we're taking responsibility," Hastert said at a news conference outside his district office in Batavia, Ill.

That seemed to quiet rumblings about Hastert's resignation as the week drew to a close and House and Justice Department officials launched separate investigations. Trishm 13:05, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

How long until he passes Sam Rayburn?[edit]

Now that Speaker Hastert has become the longest serving GOP Speaker, how long will it be until he passes Sam Rayburn as the longest Speaker to serve ever? I think this would be good for the article. - Thanks, Hoshie 07:44, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Living arrangements[edit]

The article for Scott Palmer says "When they are in Washington, Palmer and Hastert live together in a townhouse.[1]" Another source said "When in Washington, the speaker lives in a group house with his chief of staff, Scott Palmer and top deputy, Mike Stokke. I asked her if she (Mrs Hastert)is bunking with the guys. She is not. She stays in a hotel."[2] Is this "encyclopedic" or just one of those random facts we leave out? Edison 21:25, 10 October 2006 (UTC)


i'd say it IS encyclopedic, especially as this fact is sparking controversy within the blogosphere about whether hastert might be gay himself or not.... reference:  ;

For some less encyclopedic discussion of this (but great satire), check out A. Whitney Brown's piece at Daily Kos: ; Denny Hastert is NOT Gay (and neither is his boyfriend)] (Corby 23:57, 3 November 2006 (UTC))

Still House Speaker[edit]

Hastert is still the House Speaker, should be listed as such. We won't know (for certain) until Jan 2007, who'll be elected Speaker by the House of Represenatives. Please don't add 'Nancy Pelosi' or anyother person's name, until then. GoodDay 18:14, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House by the Democrats on November 16, 2006 so I have put Nancy Pelosi in as the successor. Please do not remove it, as she IS his successor. - Brandon Rhea 19:45, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
She was elected speaker designate by the Democrats. She still has to go through a full House vote in January before officially becoming speaker. Gdo01 19:48, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Finally, after countless premature edits (since November 7th, 2006) Hastert has ceased to be House Speaker (with the expiration, of the 109th Congress - Noon EST January 3rd, 2007). GoodDay 20:38, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Longest-serving GOP speaker?[edit]

I don't understand this math:

Joseph Cannon served as speaker, 1903-1911. That's 8 years.

Dennis Hastert served as speaker, 1999-2006. That's 7 years.

Please explain to me how Hastert's tenure exceeded that of Joseph Cannon's. 20:14, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Cannon was November 9, 1903March 4, 1911 which is about 7 years, 4 months.
Hastert was January 6, 1999January 3, 2007 (not 2006) which is 3 days shy of 8 years.
That's 8 months more than Cannon. Cburnett (talk) 23:58, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Info Box Error[edit]

I was just reading the article about Hastert and think I noticed an error. Nancy Pelosi is named as the successor for both Speaker of the House and his actual seat. The latter should read incumbent should it not? If someone can take a look I'd appreciate it. Davidpdx 10:05, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Labeling of newspapers[edit]

" JamesMLane (Talk | contribs) (38,315 bytes) (→2006 House page scandal - the reader deserves to know, at least, that the Washington Times isn't always anti-Republican (that's relevant to this point), so cite the fact of its Bush endorsement)."

JamesMLane feels it is important to note that The Washington Times is not anti-bush, but the Rolling Stones Magazine (who's opinion on congressmen isn't news worthy) is very anti-republican. So if we must label TWT, then we should also Label Rolling Stones Magazine.Mantion 17:30, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Announced plans to retire[edit]

He has announced his plans to retire from Congress at the end of his present term, today. Bearian 17:32, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Controversies section[edit]

This section creates a POV against Hastert by labelling everything "wrong" he did as Speaker or whenever as controversial. Instead, such material should be presented within a main biographical section. Remember: Show, don't tell, the reader! --Andrewlp1991 (talk) 06:42, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Did a quick word count and believe that the controversies section is far too long. Currently as the article stands right now, controversy section is 2200 words, and the article is 4600 words. I am going to venture a guess and say that 1/2 of his article as a controversy is POV. (talk) 19:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
It might raise a problem of WP:Undue weight, yes.- Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 23:02, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Of course, there's a huge WP:UNDUE and WP:POV problem in this article. The only thing is that Hastert isn't worth the effort to correct it, so I'll just mark it as an example of agenda-driven article composition. The agenda here being: the anti-Republican/presumtively-anti-Hastert editors are motivated and the Republican/presumptively-pro-Hastert editors are not as motivated. We don't get the Wikipedia we deserve, we get the Wikipedia the editors are motivated to create. patsw (talk) 16:59, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

As of right now the controversies section is non-existent, as is any mention of Mark Foley or any other criticism of Hastert. It still seems VERY PoV, just in the other direction. Kevinatilusa (talk) 23:47, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Little Rock Trust 225[edit]

I'm surprised there's no mention of this scandal in the article. It was well-covered by Chicago newspapers and others, so there's no lack of sources. The Sunlight Foundation did an entire series on it. (talk) 22:27, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Election to Congress and early congressional career[edit]

I have restored that section, as it will be rather easy to find sources for that material. There is nothing controversial there to raise a WP:BLP red flag. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:45, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Note re: indictment[edit]

I saw that Kent objected to the bit about the report that, at Hastert's attorneys' request, the U.S. attorney's office limited the details in the indictment. I completely acknowledge and understand the concern.

But I have to respectfully disagree with the idea that this report is mere "rumormongering." The report by published in a reliable source - the reporters were John Stanton, Andrew Kaczynski, and Evan McMorris-Santoro. The report was then noted by (with proper credit) Chris Cillizza as the Washington Post and this piece in The Hill. All of these are recognized journalists in legitimate publications. It is true that the report is based on an unnamed source with knowledge, but - for better or for worse - journalists frequently rely on such sources (as any given day's NY Times edition or Seymour Hersh report would show), and editors and publications exercise their editorial judgment to ensure reliability. All considered, the report also seems worthy of a (single-sentence) mention, framed properly and evenhandedly ("X reported Y"). (I'd also add that it is not unheard of, and certainly is not wrong, for prosecutors and defense attorneys to negotiate over what gets included in an indictment). Neutralitytalk 18:54, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Neutrality, thanks for your consideration. I don't object to the current wording: "BuzzFeed News reported that the U.S. Attorney's Office limited details in the indictment of Hastert, in part because of a request from Hastert's attorneys." I was, however, bothered by the previous mention of "two sources familiar with the case" and "a much more explicit indictment of Hastert." That struck me as too close to tabloid journalism for inclusion in a Wikipedia BLP. Kent Krupa (talk) 19:17, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

There is new explosive information surfacing about this, this time two unnamed officials reporting that the indictment was related to concealing sexual misconduct [2]. - Cwobeel (talk) 19:38, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Neutrality, Kent Krupa, Not sure if it would be judicious to wait for confirmation from other media outlets before adding this to the article. What do you think? - Cwobeel (talk) 19:44, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
This is devastating. It was a male, and the alleged sexual abuse happened when he was a teacher, way before his political career started. Devastating. - Cwobeel (talk) 19:48, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
It's best to go slow on any such accusation. There are several similar stories out there right now, but no names to go with them. Any salacious details can wait until the specifics are reported in multiple places - having said which, reporting in the New York Times and Washington Post and NBC News means that the core of the story is likely true. That's just no reason to rush posting early accusations. (talk) 06:15, 30 May 2015 (UTC)


In the wake of recent revelations, sources are reporting on the sources of Hasert's income, which became newsworthy given the alleged payouts he made. [3] I think that a section about sources of income may be due. - Cwobeel (talk) 20:05, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Controversies during term as speaker[edit]

This subsection of the article is a mislabeled omnibus "criticism" section of the sort that is highly deprecated, and in fact does not only contain discussion of controversies during his time as Speaker. There's no doubt that the current controversy will be discussed in the article, as it should be, but the current lumped-together criticism section should be broken up, and anything that's not an actual controversy or notable criticism should just go (e.g., John Fund's after-the-fact appraisal of his fiscal policies is not a "controvers[y] during his time as speaker"). Of course, the Foley material definitely will be a matter of interest at this point - it probably should be its own section, to be honest. I hate to sound like I'm telling people to edit instead of editing, but I fully expect this article to be semiprotected at some point in the near future, so I figure it's best to start the discussion about what should stay and what should go. (talk) 06:32, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

:I have no problem with the John Fund criticism being removed, but I feel the rest, including the one about the Hastert rule, should stay. SpeedDemon520 (talk) 15:04, 30 May 2015 (UTC) Struck comments of blocked sockAll Rows4 (talk) 22:17, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Not the only U.S. House Speaker to be indicted on criminal charges[edit]

The editor SpeedDemon520 has been adding a claim to the article that Hastert is "the only U.S. House Speaker to be indicted on criminal charges". This claim is, indeed, found in several sources often deemed reliable, but it is not correct, and in any case it is highly misleading. Jonathan Dayton was tried for treason and acquitted. Howell Cobb and James Lawrence Orr and Charles Frederick Crisp were part of the secessionist Confederate government and Confederate army - explicitly guilty of the crime of insurrection - but were never charged due to a general amnesty extended to Confederates other than Lee and Davis. James G. Blaine escaped bribery charges by destroying evidence and tampering with a witness. Jim Wright was the subject of a Congressional investigation committee whose findings are sometimes described as an "indictment", but escaped further action by resigning. None of them were ever convicted of any crime - but, then, neither has Hastert been convicted of any crime. If he is it would be an actual first. In the meantime, this claim should not appear in the article. It is false, regardless of mistaken claims in other sources. (talk) 04:04, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

You're right. My mistake. SpeedDemon520 (talk) 04:15, 31 May 2015 (UTC)stuck comments of blocked sock All Rows4 (talk) 22:18, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
IP, speaking of false assertions, yours qualifies: "Jonathan Dayton was tried for treason and acquitted." The Wikipedia article Jonathan Dayton, to which you link, states in the lead: "Dayton was arrested in 1807 for treason in connection with Aaron Burr's conspiracy; Dayton was never tried, but his national political career never recovered." Another source confirms: "In 1807, he was arrested for treason motive, but he was never tried." And yet another says Dayton "was arrested in 1807 on the charge of conspiring with Aaron Burr in treasonable projects; subsequently released and never brought to trial." (Emphases added.) And in any event, indictment is not necessary to obtain an arrest. Dayton may have been arrested and released without ever having been indicted. Kent Krupa (talk) 04:20, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Hmm - you seem to be correct about Dayton; I claimed too much in that case, and I apologize for it. Nonetheless, I hope you can see from the context that the claim doesn't belong here; Hastert isn't alone in facing criminal charges. If he is convicted, he would surely be the first Speaker convicted of criminal charges, and that would be worthy of mention. This isn't. (talk) 04:30, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
IP, the disputed edit is "the only U.S. House Speaker to be indicted on criminal charges." I agree that this should not be added without citation to WP:RS. The Atlantic source cited by SpeedDemon520 says that Hastert "appears to be the first current or former speaker of the House to be indicted." Not that he is, mind you, but that he appears to be. That, in my opinion, is lazy reporting and ought not to be relied upon by Wikipedia. On the other hand, let's not pretend you've shown that any incumbent or ex-Speaker was ever indicted. Lots of smoke, but no fire. Kent Krupa (talk) 04:50, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Alright. If Hastert is convicted of criminal charges, then it should be noted on the page that he is the first U.S. House Speaker ever to be convicted of a crime, as was said above. SpeedDemon520 (talk) 04:53, 31 May 2015 (UTC)struck comments of blocked sock All Rows4 (talk) 22:19, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Membership of any Congressional committees?[edit]

During his time in the United States House of Representatives did he serve on any United States congressional committees? (talk) 11:37, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

No, he did not. He was relatively unknown until he was picked up to be speaker. See [4]] - Cwobeel (talk) 16:33, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Cwobeel, whoa! First, the link you provided leads to a page that says nothing whatever about Hastert's committee assignments. Second, Hastert's autobiography, Speaker: Lessons from Forty Years in Coaching and Politics (Regnery, 2004), states that prior to being elected Speaker, he served on the following House committees:
Energy and Commerce
Government Reform and Oversight ("which is where a lot of freshmen wind up")
Transportation and Infrastructure (formerly Public Works)
Rest assured, a "relatively unknown" congressman does not get elected Speaker. Kent Krupa (talk) 17:29, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Got it, thanks for the research. - Cwobeel (talk) 19:36, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Indictment in lead[edit]

The indictment text in the lead is a gross violation of WP:WEIGHT and should be trimmed, removed entirely or the lead should be modified to reflect the text of the body of the article. (talk) 05:08, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

It shouldn't be removed entirely, as it is a very notable event. Being indicted is very notable. SpeedDemon520 (talk) 05:22, 1 June 2015 (UTC)struck comments of blocked sock All Rows4 (talk) 22:19, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
You have a very poor understanding of WP:WEIGHT and WP:LEAD if you think the current lead is acceptable. (talk) 18:21, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

On an article of this length, one short sentence mentioning the indictment is entirely appropriate, but more than that is undue weight. Jonathunder (talk) 18:26, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

At present, the lead includes two sentences (79 words) devoted to Hastert's indictment, supported by six inline citations to reliable sources. While it is true this is a recent event, its inclusion in our lead reflects its central role among the article's most important aspects, and is not disproportionate in significance. Irrespective of how it plays out, Hastert's indictment is by itself certain to redefine his biography. To treat it as some passing, trivial anomaly would be to ignore reality. Kent Krupa (talk) 18:58, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
If it is too long, it can be edited to include salient points. But just mentioning he was indicted with nothing else, it is not acceptable either. - Cwobeel (talk) 20:09, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

This is an attempt to summarize:

On May 28, 2015, Hastert was indicted by federal prosecutors over allegations of evading the requirement that banks report large cash transactions, and making false statements to the FBI about them, in a hush money scheme paying $1.7 million to a former student at Yorkville High School "in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct" against that individual.

- Cwobeel (talk) 20:16, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Cwobeel, that's good, but please restore "during Hastert's time as a teacher and wrestling coach there" at the end of your revision. It's conceivable that many readers who come to this article for background will have no foreknowledge of Hastert's connection to Yorkville High School, which is an important part of his bio. Kent Krupa (talk) 20:53, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
It's part of the bio already, but it absolutely does not belong in the lead. Jonathunder (talk) 21:37, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
@Jonathunder: We need to find a compromise; your way or the highway is not a way to reach consensus. Please provide a counter proposal if mine is not to your satisfaction. - Cwobeel (talk) 21:39, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
This article, as it stands now, violates the BLP policy. Please read WP:WEIGHT and WP:LEAD. Jonathunder (talk) 21:47, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Jonathunder, instead of just repeating that this article violates WP:BLP, WP:WEIGHT and WP:LEAD, please explain why you believe so, and offer an alternative short of deleting the entire paragraph. You are not making your case, and are instead arbitrarily removing properly sourced material. Kent Krupa (talk) 21:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't want to remove anything that's properly sourced, but it needs to go in the appropriate place. The lead isn't it. The lead should cover the entire article proportionately. Jonathunder (talk) 22:02, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Strongly disagree. Many politicians have their crimes and scandals racked up in the leading paragraph, usually the last sentence or so. Look at John Edwards, Jim McGreevey, Jesse Jackson Jr., and Larry Craig. I don't think you should familiarise yourself with Wikipedia's rules, particularily on weight and vandalism, before you continue editing.

Cheers! Solntsa90 (talk) 22:39, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

I can understand where Jonathunder is coming from, but by having just a mention of an indictment without explaining the allegations is also UNDUE. I made a proposal to reduce the wording, bit before implementing I want to know other opinions, as it seems that most editors here are OK with what we have there now (me included). - Cwobeel (talk) 00:39, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I'd argue that it would be suspicious *not* to include the indictment in the lead, given the precedent of other US politico articles. Solntsa90 (talk) 02:21, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Since Wikipedia is not a tabloid, and since there has been no conviction, I would limit the lead to something like this, for now: "In May 2015, Hastert was indicted for allegedly structuring bank withdrawals to evade bank reporting requirements and then misleading investigators; news reports prosecutors suggest the money was for an alleged victim of sexual abuse misconduct more than three decades earlier."Anythingyouwant (talk) 01:34, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Anythingyouwant, hold on. After remarking that "Wikipedia is not a tabloid," you immediately introduce an allegation of sexual abuse that does not appear anywhere in the existing lead (although it is mentioned in Section 6). I'm afraid you're the one being sensationalistic here. Kent Krupa (talk) 01:49, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Fixed, thanks. My suggested sentence is less than half what's in the lead now.Anythingyouwant (talk) 01:56, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Anythingyouwant, in stating "news reports suggest the money was for an alleged victim of misconduct," you seem insufficiently familiar with one of the basic underlying documents in this case, namely the Federal Grand Jury Indictment, to which citation [2] links. The indictment itself, not news reports, is the origin of this charge. I suggest you take a closer look at the existing lead to better acquaint yourself with the care and attention to detail that went into writing it. Kent Krupa (talk) 02:13, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
User:Kent Krupa, I have taken a closer look, as you requested. The sentence that I proposed seems accurate because news reports are saying that the money was for an alleged victim of misconduct. I assume you agree. But, you would like the lead to attribute that stuff to the actual indictment. The problem with doing that is this: the indictment is not proposing to prosecute Hastert for any misconduct from decades ago. The indictment merely discusses that material as part of the background of Count One. See 18 USC 1001(a)(1) which is the basis for Count One. The way I phrased it seems fine. I don't think the lead should suggest that he is being indicted for allegedly paying $1.7 million to a former student at Yorkville High School, because that is not the criminal offense at issue. I have edited my proposed sentence to address your concern in a way that does not suggest he is being indicted for misconduct with the alleged victim.Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:44, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Anythingyouwant, as I read it, your revised proposed substitution is fatally flawed because it fails to (a) mention hush money and (b) connect Hastert to the victim. Hastert did not merely structure withdrawals to evade bank reporting requirements; he did so to raise hush money. Hastert did not merely compensate—out of the goodness of his heart—the victim of some random misconduct; he did so to prevent public disclosure by that victim of Hastert's own misconduct. You have so thoroughly watered down the lead that we might as well not mention an indictment. Let's just pretend it never happened. Kent Krupa (talk) 03:14, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It seems quite obvious that the alleged misconduct in question was Hastert's, and obviously you would not have objected to the words "sexual abuse" if you really thought they did not refer to his own actions. But I am more than happy to make that explicit:

Your accusatory tone toward Hastert indicates that you agree with what is alleged in the indictment. You may or may not be correct, but we cannot put such a tone in the Wikopedia article. Perhaps the money was hush money, perhaps it was just compensation for damage done, perhaps it was a result of blackmail. We have no idea.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:22, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Illinois House of Representatives election results[edit]

Can anyone find a source for these? This is the last unsourced part of the page, I believe, following the overhaul over the last few days. I imagine the data is correct, but we need a source for it, and I'm having trouble finding it. Neutralitytalk 15:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Neutrality, I tried Google but likewise came up empty. Since GoldRingChip appears to have been the first editor to add subsections for Hastert's electoral history in the Illinois House of Representatives, I've left a note asking for any recollection of sources that might be helpful. Kent Krupa (talk) 16:55, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for soliciting my help. I'm always glad to lend a hand! However, my edit, to which you refer, was merely formatting, not substance. The data was there before I showed up.—GoldRingChip 16:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks to GoldRingChip for the prompt reply and clarification. On second inspection, it appears that Evanm7 was the first editor to add subsections for Hastert's electoral history in the Illinois House of Representatives. Regrettably, Evanm7 has not edited Wikipedia since February 2007, so it seems pointless to post a query on his talk page. Kent Krupa (talk) 17:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Weird, because according to this United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections,_1980#Illinois 39th District was not in play in 1980. - Cwobeel (talk) 16:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Cwobeel: No, we're discussing the Illinois House of Representatives, not the U.S. House of Representatives. Kent Krupa (talk) 17:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Indictment[edit]

No longer relevant. - Cwobeel (talk) 02:53, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There is a dispute as to coverage of the recent indictment in the lede. There is no obvious dispute as to the factual accuracy of the material, or its inclusion within the article as a whole. An indictment is not a conviction. Hastert's role in the Clinton indictment evokes schadenfreude, against which we must of course guard.

The text at time of posting this RfC is:

In May 2015, Hastert was indicted for allegedly structuring bank withdrawals to evade bank reporting requirements and then making false statements to federal investigators.[1][2] Prosecutors said that the money was to compensate for and conceal misconduct by Hastert against an individual more than three decades earlier.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Federal Grand Jury Indictment (February 2014), Federal Grand Jury Indictment (PDF) 
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Yahoo was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ "Ex-House Speaker Hastert charged with evading currency rules and lying to FBI". Chicago Tribune (Chicago). May 28, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  4. ^ Jon Seidel, Lynn Sweet & Natasha Korecki, Feds charge former House Speaker Dennis Hastert paid hush money, tried to cover it up, Chicago Sun-Times (May 28, 2015).
  5. ^ "Hastert charged with lying to FBI". Chicago Daily Herald (Chicago). May 28, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 

The possibilities appear to be:

  1. Omit any mention in the lede.
  2. Mention with a short sentence, shorter than the present text.
  3. Use the present text.
  4. Use the present text but append Hastert's response.
  5. Use something longer than the present text.

Please indicate which of the options, if any, you support. Guy (Help!) 09:25, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Support option 3 (best), 4 (second choice) and 2 (third choice); oppose 1 (per WP:NPOV)and 5 (per WP:WEIGHT). Guy (Help!) 09:25, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support option 2 or 3 for now. The second sentence is less important than the first, because the alleged conduct, and compensating and concealing it, are not federal crimes that he is being charged with, so I would not mind getting rid of the second sentence. Also, I'm unaware that he's made any statement about this stuff. If he does, such as deny everything or confess/apologize, then I think info abut such a statement should probably replace the second sentence, depending upon what he says. In any event, let's try to cap the length of this stuff in the lead, unless the story gets a lot bigger than it is now. I note that the House apparently voted to impeach Clinton before Hastert was speaker, and in any event the present matter is very different. I do not think the remark about "schadenfreude" at the start of this RfC was necessary.Anythingyouwant (talk) 14:58, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Anythingyouwant, agreed that "Hastert's role in the Clinton indictment evokes schadenfreude" is a cheap shot by Guy that prejudices editorial comments. Kent Krupa (talk) 15:50, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support 3or 4 - Cwobeel (talk) 15:01, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support 5 - Given the recent disclosures, we need a much lengthier sentence in the lead. - Cwobeel (talk) 16:51, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Suggestion: It would be helpful and constructive if editors supporting Options 2, 4 or 5 would provide proposed wording for the substitution they favor. The "blank check" approach here makes me uneasy. Kent Krupa (talk) 15:50, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Support 2 or 3, definitely don't support expanding coverage in the lead. Reducing mention to the first sentence in the current lead would be fine; it's immediately followed by the table of contents, which has a prominent link to the section titled "Indictment". Hence there's no need for excess detail. (talk) 16:33, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support 3 Both sentences are relevant, informative and reliably sourced. The second sentence complements the first by explaining the motive of Hastert's alleged crimes, and is essential to dispel any impression that he may have evasively structured his bank withdrawals for personal gain. Kent Krupa (talk) 21:22, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support 3 The lead as it is currently is perfect, reliably sourced, and deserves mention. RoadWarrior445 (talk) 03:26, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

I think that given recent revelations, this RFC is now outdated. I have tagged the lead as POV, as it does not represents fairly the article in its entirety anymore. To be NPOV, the sentence about the indictment has to include allegations of sexual abuse and pedophilia. Cwobeel (talk) 13:55, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

Well, it would be a slam dunk except that the Wikipedia article specifically says that the indictment does not mention the nature of the alleged misconduct. I would have no problem if someone wants to simply change the pertinent sentence in the lead ("Prosecutors said that the money was to compensate for and conceal misconduct by Hastert against an individual more than three decades earlier") to "According to news reports, there have been rumors and allegations that the money was to compensate for and conceal pedophilia more than three decades ago." On the other hand, there is no deadline here, the lead is presently accurate, and there will be plenty of time to put more info in the lead as the story develops, which it most surely will. In any event, we must wait for consensus. At times like these, it's more important than ever to try and follow usual Wikipedia procedures.Anythingyouwant (talk) 14:40, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
I oppose changing the second sentence to, as Anythingyouwant suggests, "According to news reports, there have been rumors and allegations…." It's bad enough that the body of this article includes such unsubstantiated rumors and unofficial allegations. To elevate them to the lead would be grossly inappropriate. Kent Krupa (talk) 16:25, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I suppose Kent is right. Let's be patient.Anythingyouwant (talk) 16:41, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
By now, and given all what has surfaced, these are no longer "rumors". The allegations of sexual abuse are widely covered in reliable sources. Wikipedia should follow the sources. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:00, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Cwobeel, have any reliable sources reported that law enforcement agencies are investigating those unofficial allegations? Kent Krupa (talk) 00:08, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
The sexual abuse allegedly occurred too long ago to be able to be prosecuted. But we need to follow the sources, and the sources are plentiful describing the allegations. Same as for any other politician and entertainer that have been accused of sexual abuse, we report what the allegations are, specifically if abundant reliable sources are reporting on these allegations. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:12, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
This article explains it well: At least since the prosecution of Al Capone, it’s been common for the government to prosecute an offender for a relatively minor crime if it can’t get a conviction for a major one. There are plenty of reasons the government might not be able to prosecute Hastert for the original misconduct: The crime would’ve been local, not federal; the statute of limitations might have passed; and above all, the accuser might not seem credible given his or her extraction of $3.5 million from Hastert. [5] - Cwobeel (talk) 00:14, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Cwobeel, that is pure speculation. Conspicuously absent from the "plenty of reasons the government might not be able to prosecute Hastert for the original misconduct" is the distinct possibility that there is no evidence to corroborate the media mudslinging. Please, let's not stoop to sensationalizing our lead. Kent Krupa (talk) 00:25, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
For my part, I entirely agree with Cwobeel that we need a sentence at the very end of the lead on the sexual-misconduct allegations, since it is discussed in detail in the article, and of course plentifully in high-quality original sources, including the NYT, Washington Post, etc. To omit mention entirely would seem to the reader to be an oversight, with a whiff of bowdlerization. Neutralitytalk 00:30, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
@Kent Krupa: it is not a matter of speculation or not. It is a matter of an enormous amount of reliable sources commenting on the allegations, which have not been disputed. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:41, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) As Neutrality explains, if we have it in the body of the article in such detail, not having it on the lede is incompatible with WP:LEDE, which advises us to: The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies. (highlight is mine). - Cwobeel (talk) 00:44, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I've added a few words about it to the lead.Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:42, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Poor copy editing run in sentence and all. The text that I added was better. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:45, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the lead should mention the sexual abuse. Since it currently does, it's fine now. RoadWarrior445 (talk) 01:12, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

"Explorer's group"[edit]

Neutrality has repeatedly changed the sentence in the indictment section from this:
"Hastert also ran an Explorers troop of which Steve Reinboldt was a member, and led the troop on a diving trip to the Bahamas."

to this

"Hastert also ran an Explorers post of which Steve Reinboldt was a member, and led the troop on a diving trip to the Bahamas."
And this is despite the fact the source cited specifically says the following: "Her brother also spent time with Hastert as a member of an Explorers troop, which Hastert ran."

Therefore, I understand why he removed the wikilink as it links to a British organization, but I don't understand the point of changing "troop" to "post", as that's not what the source says. RoadWarrior445 (talk) 02:29, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Because the sources conflict. Some references say "post" while others say "troop." So I used "group," which is a generic term which could refer to either. Neutralitytalk 02:37, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Alright, then I'm changing the following word in the sentence to match. RoadWarrior445 (talk) 02:38, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
OK, that seems fine. It occurs to me that I have better explained things initially. So I apologize for any confusion. Hope you can accept this olive branch. Neutralitytalk 02:43, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I do, no problem. RoadWarrior445 (talk) 02:45, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
The cited source reads: "Underwood said some wrestlers also were in the Explorer Post, a Scouting group with which Hastert was involved." Moreover, Wikipedia states: "Exploring units, called 'posts'…" Obviously, "post" is both the correct term and the one used in our cited source. Kent Krupa (talk) 02:46, 7 June 2015 (UTC)


We are including in the article and the lead, that Hastert denied a claim of sexual abuse, all based on this single mention in a single source: At the time ABC News could not corroborate Jolene's allegation and Hastert denied the claim. [6]. My understanding of the claim of "denial" is that Hastert when confronted by the mother of one of the victims (the one that died of AIDS), he did not respond to the accusations. Including that so called "denial" without context is not only not NPOV, but it is also UNDUE, particularly in the lede. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:38, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Cwobeel, you're waaaay off base here. Obviously, ABC contacted Hastert and he denied the accusation. Not saying a word to the sister is not a denial, and ABC would not characterize it as such. Again, details are in the footnote for anyone who wants them. We CANNOT put accusations in a lead and deliberately omit a denial. This is a gross violation of WP:BLP even if Hastert is guilty as sin.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:43, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Hastert denied abusing Reinboldt, and the FBI says that he possibly sexually abused three students, but didn't specifically identify Reinboldt as one of those three. So stating that he was one of those three would be WP:SYNTHESIS. RoadWarrior445 (talk) 03:47, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
As for RoadWarrior445, here is your edit summary: "Revert. He denied abusing Reinboldt, and the FBI says that he possibly sexually abused three students, but didn't specifically identify Reinboldt as one of those three. So stating that he was one of those three would be WP:SYNTHESIS". If you do not like the way I phrased it, then rephrase it, but you should not simply expunge a denial that goes straight to the accusations we are describing in the lead. The footnotes very clearly refer to Reinboldt, Reinboldt is one of the people about whom accusations have emerged, and Reinboldt is the one that was the subject of Hastert's denial to ABC News.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:48, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Done. RoadWarrior445 (talk) 03:50, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Anyway, I wish you folks well for the next day or so. Enough alleged pedophilia for me! Be good.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:54, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Obviously, ABC contacted Hastert and he denied the accusation. Where did you get that from? Form that single sentence? WP:SYNTH? - Cwobeel (talk) 03:59, 7 June 2015 (UTC) Enough alleged pedophilia for me too. - Cwobeel (talk) 04:02, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Where the hell did you get the idea that that single sentence was referring to an incident where Hastert did not deny anything? Please don't belabor this. You don't have to admit you made a mistake, but just try to calmly let it go. Thanks.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:03, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I see a single sentence about this purported denial in a single source, and I am not sure I can deduct from that sentence that he denied anything. - Cwobeel (talk) 14:17, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Cwobeel, the WP:RS states: "At the time (2006) ABC News could not corroborate Jolene's allegation and Hastert denied the claim." It doesn't require Sherlock Holmesian powers of deduction to conclude that Hastert denied abusing Steve Reinboldt. Kent Krupa (talk) 15:21, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
That is a very obscure one liner from ABC news. Probably more will come to light on that denial. - Cwobeel (talk) 22:07, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Cwobeel, you're a piece of work. Kent Krupa (talk) 22:14, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
What do you mean? Given the allegations and what we know now, that one-liner is quite obscure. It seems that all that knew about the allegations are playing the card that they could not believe the allegations and they did not dig deeper because of that. Now it seems they are covering their backsides, ABC News included. - Cwobeel (talk) 22:23, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
At least the AP have a credible story [7]] - Cwobeel (talk) 22:27, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
The one-liner is unambiguous. Who is the reliable source, ABC News or Cwobeel? CNN confirms that Hastert denied the charge in 2006: "he did deny the allegations to ABC when they first arose in 2006."[8]Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:34, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
It's certainly possible that ABC is lying and CNN is gullible, but we have no choice at this point but to assume that they are reliable.Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:49, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
You are not getting my point. My point that all ABC says just that Hastert "denied the claim", which is quite minimalist. Compare what the AP says and what ABC says. I am also not saying that they are lying, or that we can't include the denial. Just that knowing what we know now, it sheds a very different light, ABC's summary of the denial is, very, very obscure. - Cwobeel (talk) 22:54, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
A stop sign is also minimalist but people who don't heed it go to jail all the time. Anyway, shall we kick back and allow the drama to unfold some more?Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:06, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

"abuse" after graduation?[edit]

the article says, "Jolene Reinboldt said that she believes the abuse stopped when her brother moved away after graduation."

how old was Steven at the time when he moved away after his graduation?

it seems likely that he would've been old enough that one wouldn't label it "abuse."

someone who was victimized as a child can go to have a consensual relationship with their former abuser.

not that i'd think such a relationship wise or healthy.

i am not defending Hastert. i am quibbling over words, but words are the tools of encyclopedias like Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:18A:8100:9BDA:C1D1:2474:C33E:8911 (talk) 06:56, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

She says she believed the abuse stopped after his brother's graduation, not that it continued, so she's not actually calling it abuse. In fact, she's saying that their homosexual encounters stopped when he graduated. But still, before he graduated, it most definitely is pedophilia. RoadWarrior445 (talk) 07:09, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Excessive content[edit]

At over 100k this article is really ridiculously bloated. Coverage added by Neutrality, which supposedly provides a "complete picture", is nothing but the kind of NEWS we shouldn't be writing here, and information about the subject's lobbying company restored by RoadWarrior445, again removed here, is utterly irrelevant here. I have tagged the article as "overly detailed"--if such a huge amount of coverage is dedicated to events of the last month, there's something we're not doing right. I'm really interested in further warring over content, but sheesh, it's happening again--something happens in the world and everyone and their dog start adding everything they can find to the Wikipedia article. Drmies (talk) 01:58, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

I agree that the extra material about Dickstein Shapiro can go. But I strongly differ that the other material is irrelevant. Much of it is indeed highly relevant to the big picture. In addition, several of your deletions make no sense. For example, deleting the Kirk paragraph while keeping the Durbin paragraph - that doesn't seem to have much rhyme or reason to me. Neutralitytalk 02:01, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
In addition, I've shortened/tightened some of the other material (the White House material, was was three sentences, is now one sentence, for example, without losing any real content). Some other bits may be tightened, but I do not think wholesale deletions are called for. (In addition, I've removed the tag, as agreement on the point hasn't emerged and a tag is useless. Neutralitytalk 02:06, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
It is standard practice to have the reactions of politicians' to another one's indictment in articles. I felt the material about the lobbying firm would add context to the fact that it lost a client, which is why I added it, though I can live with it being removed. RoadWarrior445 (talk) 02:12, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Neutrality, thank you for your response. But a tag doesn't require a consensus--when placed in good faith, as I did, what it requires is a serious effort to alleviate the concerns, and there is more to do. If you think it is not consistent to keep the one sentence about Durbin when a ton of material from Kirk is scrapped--well, then scrap Durbin also. As in articles on plane crashes and whatnot, "reactions" are typically completely trivial. We do facts, we don't do everyone and their brother's opinions on and responses to facts. Now, given that this article is over 100k, the tag is pretty valid, methinks. The prosecution started two weeks ago, and already it's taking up a third of the article? You don't find this problematic? NOTNEWS, anyone?

    And RoadWarrior, don't give me that "standard practice" stuff--this isn't CNN or Fox News. Drmies (talk) 02:18, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Drmies, you've mentioned several times "at 114k this BLP is almost by definition too detailed." I do not think that this has any basis in policy. First, the majority of that article size is almost certainly citations and other reference material (not readable prose). Second, m:Wikipedia is not paper. There is no basis in policy for an arbitrary cap. Third, 114k is fairly similar to other pages. Tom DeLay's is 92k—not including its spinoff page, which is another 29k. And Newt Gingrich's is 120k—not including multiple spinoff pages (this one is 96k and this one is 111k). And yes, I do think tags of this kind require consensus. This tag is an express call to action, not to discussion, and it's a call to an action for which there is not a lot of support. Neutralitytalk 02:27, 11 June 2015 (UTC) Neutralitytalk 02:25, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Neutrality. If there are sections that are too long, we spin off subarticles and summarize here per WP:SUMMARY. Wikipedia is not paper.... Tag removed. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:08, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

No big deal. If anyone finds 9445 words to be too much, split and summarize, per WP:SIZE - Cwobeel (talk) 03:17, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

  • I am in general agreement with Drmies here. When I read the sections about his lobbying and the recent charges, I am struck in particular by the excessive detail about the period after he stepped down as House speaker. It seems that former speakers have a generous five year office allowance. But why do we need to know the name of the staffers he hired in those years, and the type of car he drove? Do our biographies of other former House speakers include the type of car they drove and the names of their post-Speaker staffers? To me, that does not seem to be important or appropriate information for a biography of a politician with such a long career. Of course, the current indictment needs to be given due weight in the biography, but adding all this extraneous detail seems excessive. The example I cited is only one example. This article needs a serious haircut. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 03:29, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • That section - on his lobbying career - makes up a little over 10% of the word count of the whole article, as far as I can tell. Moreover, it is plentifully sourced in a number of high-quality sources. Does it include some details? Yes - which in my mind are preferable to vague, cursory statements in any case. I am also very uncomfortable with a line of reasoning that is "why do we need to know X?" To me, that is not the correct question to ask. There are plenty of details that are perfectly encyclopaedic - indeed, necessary to a full understanding, such as alma mater, spouse, children, previous career etc. - that are not what "we need to know." (We even have an essay on this point WP:NEED). Such details are all the more important and appropriate (and all the more available) because Hastert had such a long and important career. Moreover, of course, in this particularly case Hastert's lobbying career is particularly noteworthy. I'll note that we extensively (and properly) discuss Dick Gephardt's post-congressional lobbying career in his article as well. Neutralitytalk 04:05, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Gephart, of course, was never Speaker of the House, Neutrality. But let's take Gephart's biography as an example, along with every other former Speaker of the House. Which of them includes the names of their staffers after they left office, or the brand name and model of the car they drove (or the breed and pedigree of the horse they rode) in the five years after they left office? Maybe I am wrong, but I suspect the answer to my question is "none". And those post Speaker office staffing and automobile details have nothing at all to do with his lobbying. Am I wrong? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:22, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Do reliable sources on those facts exist? If so, then those would absolutely be worth a mention. We follow the sources if they are available. Neutralitytalk 04:29, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • So you think that if starlet A had dinner at restaurant B on date C after having her hair styled at salon D, as documented by celebrity photographer E, all discussed in reliable sources, then that belongs in an encyclopedia article? Are you kidding me? Have you never heard of editorial judgment and maturity in exercising it? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:44, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • That comparison is way off-point, of course, and the suggestion that I lack editorial judgment merits no reply. Bottom line: the content in the lobbying section is not trivial. It is well-documented in serious, reliable, well-respected sources, and we should lend it appropriate coverage. Neutralitytalk 04:52, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • So you really believe that the names of his three post speaker staffers and the brand and model of the car he then drove belong in the article, Neutrality? Because I don't and I object to the inclusion of such utter trivia. Please explain why you think these details add to the article, and please also let us know how these factoids are connected to his lobbying. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:58, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • For Heaven's sake. These are *brief* mentions that add *either detail or context* to a comprehensive article, as covered in reliable sources. Nothing in policy dictates that articles be either vague or colorless. Indeed, the facts mentioned in this article are far more significant than the fact that, say, Lloyd Doggett got into a minor bicycle accident, or that Robin Hayes is descended from a veteran of the Battle of Tippecanoe, or any other of a thousand other details. m:Wiki is not paper. If we were to spend space detailing the life story of each of his staffers, or listing quotes from all his past wrestling players/congressional colleagues/fellow townspeople (all of which are readily available in newspapers, but are properly omitted here), or summarizing all the routine political speeches Hastert gave, you might have a point. But that is not the case. Neutralitytalk 05:15, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

BLP/N discussion[edit]

It is good manners to report BLP/N discussions about this article. See WP:BLP/N#Hastert. - Cwobeel (talk) 04:12, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Cwobeel, I mentioned it in an edit summary to this article as well.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:25, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
I have removed "sexually" from the lead. If anyone has a major objection to that, please discuss it before reverting. "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid: it is not Wikipedia's job to be sensationalist, or to be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives...." Since there is no legal charge about sexual abuse, such titillating details do not belong in the lead, but can go in the body of the Wikipedia article.Anythingyouwant (talk) 20:34, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
You have got to be kidding. You left "abused" without the explanation. This is silliness. - Cwobeel (talk) 23:30, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
There is nothing "sensationalist" in reporting what thousands of reliable sources have written about. - Cwobeel (talk)
Omitting the word "sexual" is no more silly than omitting the students' genders. Putting details in the lead like that is tabloidish, given that there are no legal charges. And bullying the sex stuff back into the lead is obnoxious.Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:37, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
(ec) Also, you posted a BLP/N notice, in which your argument for exclusion did not receive any type of consensus. There is no BLP concern in reporting what has been written about the subject. And per WP:LEDE, we ought to include significant controversies, and obviously the controversy is not about pulling too much money from a bank account. There is nothing "tabloidish" about it. - Cwobeel (talk) 23:40, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
And if you want to make assessments of obnoxiousness, then I could make the same argument about your ongoing attempt at removing what has been widely reported. For Pete's sake, we have an entire section on allegations of sexual abuse. - Cwobeel (talk)

I will start an RFC. - Cwobeel (talk) 23:44, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

This is actually kind of funny. I just this instant started a survey at WP:BLPN. Maybe we can wait on this RFC?Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:53, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Should the lead mention that there were allegations of sexual abuse?[edit]

Should the lead mention that the allegations were about "sexual abuse", or just mention "abuse" and let readers find the details in the article body? 00:07, 14 June 2015 (UTC)


  • Support saying "abuse" rather than "sexual abuse" in the lead. Just like there's no need to state genders of alleged victims in lead. Of course, saying "sexual abuse" and "male victims" in the body of the Wikipedia article is fine.Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:07, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Just to clarify. that's my first choice. Second is just to entirely remove the last paragraph of the lead, given the criminal and sensational nature of the allegation and the lack of indictment.Anythingyouwant (talk) 14:37, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support saying that the allegations were about "sexual abuse", per preponderance of sources, and per WP:LEDE as we have an entire section named "Allegations of sexual abuse". - Cwobeel (talk) 00:10, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Lede should say "sexual abuse," obviously. Multiple mainstream news sources (like this one) have clearly stated the nature of the allegations, so should Wikipedia. Fyddlestix (talk) 01:29, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
  • The correct phrasing here is sexual abuse. Failing to add the adjective leaves a reader who skims the lede confused. VQuakr (talk) 01:55, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support--it appears to be de jure for every other politician with a crisis in their life like this, such as John Edwards and Jesse Jackson Jr. Solntsa90 (talk) 02:41, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support saying sexual abuse; BLP requires that we presume innocence (which means, given the statue of limitations has expired, we can never say or imply in article text that he did it as long as he's alive, regardless of anything else), but that doesn't mean we can't cover the accusations fully and with prominence appropriate to the level of coverage. Given the level and tone of coverage in reliable sources, I think saying he was accused of "sexual abuse" is appropriate. Granted, BLPCRIME does suggest omitting even accusations in certain circumstances, saying "For relatively unknown people, editors must seriously consider..." But that part clearly doesn't apply here, since Hastert is anything but unknown. --Aquillion (talk) 06:59, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Observation Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section says "The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies." It does not say "The lead section should include only bowdlerized versions of any prominent controversies." Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 14:30, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Is it bowdlerized if we don't include the genders of alleged victims in the lead, or if we don't include the name of the deceased alleged victim in the lead? Or the name of his sister? Or the state where the sister now lives? Or the name of the TV network that she contacted in 2006?Anythingyouwant (talk) 14:43, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
It's bowdlerized if we don't include matters that have been widely discussed in reliable sources. That would certainly include that the allegations are over "sexual abuse" and not "abuse" without qualification. I have thus far seen no evidence that the names have been a central point of discussion in reliable sources (though the situation is evolving, so this could change). Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:34, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
  • We should say "sexual abuse" - every media source about this has been clear up front about the nature of the accusation; i.e., the New York Times headline was Hastert Case Is Said to Be Linked to Decades-Old Sexual Abuse; in a second article, "sexually abuse is noted in the second paragraph. There is no reason why the reader should be left to wonder what kind of abuse is alleged. It's not accusations of physical or emotional or labor abuse. Neutralitytalk 17:47, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support abuse only need conviction that it was sexual abuse. 2602:306:CE95:57B0:14FA:AF98:7494:EF54 (talk) 20:52, 14 June 2015 (UTC) 2602:306:CE95:57B0:14FA:AF98:7494:EF54 (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  • Support sexual abuse because it is more specific and is less likely to be confused with some form of corruption. Mr. Guye (talk) 16:08, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
  • We should go by what the majority of sources use. I haven't looked closely, but a cursory impression is that most sources use 'Sexual abuse'. If that's the case, that's what we do as well. All Rows4 (talk) 22:31, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose including "allegations" in the lead at all, absent reliable secondary sources that are not close to the event. It's weasel wording. The primary sources problem is clear: News reports near the time when an allegation about a public figure was made treat the allegations as fairly uniformly plausible, while later events may alter this plausibility drastically, and thus render the fact that someone once alleged something to be (as the case may be) the most important fact about a subject at all (e.g. the not-quite-proven allegation that a certain football player / actor was a double-murderer), or utterly unencyclopedic trivia given grossly WP:UNDUE weight. The Chicken Little/Crying Wolf concerns that this somehow will set off a chain reaction of people deleting everything from Wikipedia that is sourced to newspapers (see previous close review) is misunderstanding WP:RS, twice over; the sky is not actually falling, and there is no big, bad woof. 1) News sources closer to an event are more likely to be primary not secondary sources than coverage in the same kinds of publication later, after much public analysis has been published by more objective secondary (even tertiary) sources. 2) This particular kind of primary sourcing is more problematic than some other kinds, e.g. publication of new research results in scientific journals, because it isn't subject to any form of peer review, so the level of reliability about something like this is lower. I think the "do or don't include the word 'sexual'" thing is a red herring; removing it would fix nothing at all. If reliable secondary sources that are not close to the event say it was allegations of sexual abuse, then we should report this faithfully. If only ostensibly-reliable secondary sources that are close to the event say this, it is essentially hearsay and supposition being regurgitated by the press to sell newspapers and get TV ratings, is thus primary sourcing, and so is not enough to support inclusion of any mention of allegations at all in the lead, perhaps not even in the article in some cases, at least not if it's a WP:BLP. There is no basis on which to exclude the word "sexual" unless other reliable sources tell us that the allegations were not necessarily about sexual abuse. To omit the word without such an RS basis is bowdlerization and original research, and does a disservice to our readers, since all it does is make them think "Huh? What kind of allegations?!". This is known as "burying the lead", and violates MOS:LEAD.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:35, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Presumably you're not referring to the official allegations of restructuring. As to the other ones, they include a lot of stuff, like genders of the alleged victims, the name of one of them, his cause of death, et cetera. I don't think omitting that stuff and omitting "sexual" from the lead is different from how we often write leads, see e.g. Gerry Studds.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:51, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
This RFC is about the inclusion of "sexual abuse" in the lead, instead of just saying "abuse", and totally unrelated to the gender of the victims, which no one as far as I can see have argued for its inclusion. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:58, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
We are not considering "sexual abuse" out of context, I thought.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:13, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Second SMcCandlish's position, and, then short of that support just "abuse" only in the lede if it must be there. Until there are actually charges of "sexual abuse" filed, including anything like this (esp. in the lede) stinks of being prejudicial and WP:UNDUE. The fact that we are arguing about including claims from shadowy "anonymous sources", with no charges having been filed, in any BLP is frankly disturbing. --IJBall (contribstalk) 05:13, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I would be inclined to omit this from the lede unless and until there is at least an indictment. There are all kinds of reasons why claims such as this may be made falsely. Guy (Help!) 11:08, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support saying sexual abuse. Brought here by FRS. 02:59, 22 June 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by LavaBaron (talkcontribs)
  • Support "sexual abuse." Summoned by bot. Coretheapple (talk) 15:02, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

The last paragraph of the lead says:

This is enough. My view is that neither the nature of the alleged abuse (sexual) nor the students' genders (male) need be inserted into the lead given that there are no legal charges and those details are available in the cited sources plus in the body of the Wikipedia article. Per WP:BLP, "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid: it is not Wikipedia's job to be sensationalist...." Absent legal charges, titillating aspects of these accusations do not need to be in the lead.Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:04, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

This has absolutely nothing to do with the legal realm. In Wikipedia we report significant viewpoints as reported in reliable sources, and as such we have an entire section on the sexual abuse allegations. Per WP:LEDE, we should summarize significant controversies, and this is one of those. Not including the word "sexual" in the lede has no basis in policy, and there is nothing in these sources that can characterize them as "tabloids", or the reports as being "titillating". We are talking about all mainstream sources in the US and around the world. Saying that "that Hastert had abused three students", without including the word "sexual" is ridiculous, and leaves the reader wondering. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:13, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Per WP:BLPLEAD, "Care should be taken to avoid placing undue weight on aspects of sexuality." The sexual aspects can go in the body of the Wikipedia article, but putting them in the lead strikes me as both uncareful and sensationalist, both of which Wikipedia policy recommends against. Why is the sexual nature of the alleged abuse any more lead-worthy than the genders of the alleged victims? I see no reason.Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:37, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
This is not about sexuality, this is about sexual abuse: two very different things. There is no undue weight, given the substantial reporting. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:41, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
It's about both. Per WP:Sensation, "Wikipedia is not for scandal mongering or gossip. Even in respected media, a 24-hour news cycle and other pressures inherent in the journalism industry can lead to infotainment and churnalism....." Per WP:NPOV, discussion of "news reports about a subject may be verifiable and impartial, but still disproportionate to their overall significance to the article topic. This is a concern especially in relation to recent events that may be in the news."Anythingyouwant (talk) 00:53, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
I understand were you are coming from, but there is nothing here about scandal mongering or infotainment in this particular case. If that was the case, we would not have an entire section on the sexual abuse allegations. Let us hear other editors' comments, as this back and forth has been exhausted already. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:57, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

User:Fyddlestix, the source that you cited above doesn't mention that the alleged abuse was sexual until after the headline, and after the first and second paragraphs. Why should we promote it to the lead? The eighth paragraph of that source says the alleged victim was male. Should we promote that to the lead too?Anythingyouwant (talk) 01:49, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

OK, how about this one which does specifically say "sexual abuse" in the headline? This is silly - there is no valid reason for leaving the details of the allegations out of the lede. Fyddlestix (talk) 02:15, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
As between the June 9 NYT article that you first cited, and the May 29 NYT article that you just cited, I like the June 9 approach better. And following it seems more in keeping with the policies I mentioned above. The approach taken in the June 9 article does not seem silly to me.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:23, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

This RFC needs to be closed per WP:SNOW. I will request a close. - Cwobeel (talk) 16:51, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

A close was formally requested.[9] Then an admin closed (the closure decision is below). Then the closure was formally challenged and subsequently overturned.[10] So, people can continue commenting and discussing. For now, I'll mention that the Gerry Studds, Bill Cosby, Kevin Clash, and John Phillips (musician) articles may be relevant. Also, it's unclear to me whether the three abuse allegations all involve alleged nonconsensual acts or underage victims or both, but it does appear that the Hastert attorneys have protested leaks in the case, and the judge has granted prosecutors' request for a protective order.[11][12][13]. I probably won't have much else to say beyond the policy objections that I already discussed above.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:25, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In addition to the other policies and guidelines that I've referred to in this discussion and quoted, I believe the following provision of WP:BLP is also pertinent: "Biographies of living persons ('BLPs') must be written conservatively and with regard for the subject's privacy." I think it is contrary to that BLP provision to include lurid information in the lead about accusations which may well have been leaked illegally (per the cited sources), with the exception of one uncorroborated accusation which ABC declined to publicize in 2006 for lack of corroboration. The matter apparently could still be private but for illegal leaks. I'm not saying we shouldn't cover abuse accusations in the lead and elaborate about their sexual nature in the body of the Wikipedia article (though keeping the abuse accusations entirely out of the lead would be my second choice); still, having the sexual stuff in the lead is too much.Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:05, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

RFC re opened again[edit]

I've re-opened the RFC per this decision. I suppose comments and/or discussion can continue in the first two subsections above.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:10, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:34, 20 June 2015 (UTC)