Talk:Ken Bennett

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2006 post[edit]

The two defendents plead to felony counts, one for Bennett and two for Wheeler. "The Yavapai County Attorney's Office originally charged both Bennett and Wheeler with 18 counts of felony aggravated assault and 18 counts of felony kidnapping involving accusations of "brooming" 18 male middle school students ages 11 through 15. But a proposed plea deal would allow Bennett to plead guilty to just one count of aggravated assault, while Wheeler would plead guilty to two counts." [1] There's a possibility that the judge could reduce the felony charges to misdemeanors and allow them to avoid jail time at sentencing ("They could face a maximum two years in prison under terms of the plea deal, but the judge could reduce the charges to a misdemeanor and no jail time." [2]), but we'll just have to wait and see about that since sentencing isn't unti May 12th. Ginnna 06:56, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Smear[edit]

This article on Ken Bennett is written with the intent to smear him and is an example of why many people don't trust Wikipedia.

Ken Bennett is one of the most influential and accomplished legislators in Arizona's history. Yet, none of his accomplishments show up in this entry and someone with the obvious intent to defame him writes extensively and in excrutiating detail on his child and an insurance issue.

Bennett's legislation could occupy many, many pages. That legislation and his leadership role is how Bennett positively affected all of our lives and is the should be the basis for this entry. Instead, we have this smear. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Huppenthal (talkcontribs) 11:32 March 27 2007 UTC)

If there is positive information about Bennett that should be added, feel free to add it. That's how a wiki works.
Furthermore, with regard to the complete deletion of the "Controversies" section: (1) The first paragraph described a significant court decision concerning the company of which Bennett is CEO. (2) The second and third paragraphs described an incident involving Bennett's son, in which it was alleged that the son had received unusually lenient treatment because of Bennett's influence. We aren't here to decide whether the sins of the son are visited on the father. We're here to report notable opinions. The cited newspaper article states: "Also, the families said Bennett is being treated favorably by the court system because of his father's position in the Legislature." If Senator Bennett has issued some public statement denying any such influence, that of course should also be included. I'm restoring the deleted information. JamesMLane t c 06:41, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
If the so-called "significant court decision" is truly significant, then there will be external reliable sources which discuss it, as opposed to simply republishing a court document. There is no evidence to suggest that there is actually any sort of public "controversy" over the case - Mr. Bennett applied for reimbursement and was denied, he appealed and was denied again. So, what is "controversial" about that? Cite sources, please. Furthermore, there is no actual "allegation" that his son received unusually lenient treatment - there's simply an unsupported statement by an obviously-biased party. We do not serve as an amplifier for minor or fringe viewpoints about living people - and there has been no evidence produced to suggest that Mr. Bennett has done anything untoward. Conjecture, unsupportable speculation and innuendo have no place in Wikipedia biographies. Please review our biographies of living persons policy. FCYTravis 15:05, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion that I review the policy, but I assure you that I'm familiar with it. Some specific comments:
  • Because you object to calling the corporate event a "controversy", I'll move it into a section about his business work. We have no separate article on the company, so this item, which relates to the businessman aspect of Bennett's career, fits best in this article.
  • I'm completely unable to understand your assertion that "there is no actual 'allegation' that his son received unusually lenient treatment - there's simply an unsupported statement by an obviously-biased party." When a statement is made by an obviously biased party, and is denied by another obviously biased party, and the truth can't be established definitively, then each statement is an allegation. If you disagree, go to the John Kerry article and remove all reporting of the charges by the obviously biased "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth". (There's actually a better case for removing the Smear Boat Vets' lies, given that their lies contradicted official Navy records and their own prior statements, weaknesses not present in the allegations concerning Bennett.) Unfortunately, although I despise the Smear Boat Vets for their shameless lying, I think that Wikipedia must report their POV. In Bennett's case, we must of course attribute the criticism, which we've done. Your position seems to be that we couldn't even mention this matter unless we had a signed confession from the prosecutor saying that she was told to go easy on the son because of the father's political power. The parents are prominent spokespersons for their POV on the case involving their children, and quoting their view is proper. The reader can decide whether they're biased.
  • Despite the foregoing, I will also try to pacify you by adding a quotation from an uninvolved authority, one notable enough that he already has his own Wikipedia article.
  • In addition to all the foregoing, the notability of the sodomy incident is shown because Bennett himself mentioned it as one reason he decided not to run for governor: [3].
JamesMLane t c 00:38, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, unfortunately, got their claims printed and smeared across major mass media. You hadn't, until now, shown that claims about Ken Bennett had anything close to that sort of interest. The AG statement is plenty for me - that's all I ask, that you find sources. However, we aren't going to publish lurid details of the crime in this biography because they aren't relevant to the issue at hand - whether Mr. Bennett exerted influence to affect the progress of the case. As for the court case, again, you've found absolutely nothing to overrule the precedent set by Jimbo Wales, who has said that court case citations alone do not suffice to show that an incident is encyclopedic. What does a court case involving his company have to do with Mr. Bennett, the person himself? That court case, if it's anywhere, should be in an article on the company, if that company meets WP:CORP. Corporations are routinely involved in hundreds, if not thousands of lawsuits, and to insert one particular suit into an article about the company's president makes no sense at all. It is up to you to demonstrate why the suit is directly relevant to Mr. Bennett's biography. FCYTravis 21:17, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I'll start with the sodomy incident. Your edit is sheer whitewashing. The "lurid details" are the whole point. If all we say is that it's allegedly "a 'hazing ritual' gone wrong", then the reader has no basis for understanding that young Bennett got off with extraordinary leniency, a fact that's absolutely central to the charge concerning his father's influence. For some hazing rituals gone wrong (say, breaking somebody's window), the punishment meted out to Bennett would've been appropriate. The reader is entitled to the undisputed facts about what occurred (which were admitted by the defendant), to see why this case was very different.
I also find it striking that, having complained that the victims' parents were "obviously biased", you now see fit to remove, without explanation, the assessment of a disinterested expert. Vachss's opinion is more informative than the AG's statement that he "had questions", which might be dismissed by some as a politically palatable way of telling the parents to buzz off because their complaint was meritless. Vachss addresses the issue directly and deserves to be quoted.
As for the corporate event, I expressly said, "We have no separate article on the company, so this item, which relates to the businessman aspect of Bennett's career, fits best in this article." You say merely that it should go into an article on the company, but if, as is now the case, the company itself doesn't merit an article, then the information would be suppressed. Bennett wasn't just some employee. He was the CEO. The decisions he made in running the company are an important part of his life story.
Finally, with regard to your stated concern about material that "overwhelms the rest of the biography", I repeat the suggestion I made to Huppenthal above. If one aspect of a subject is covered in more detail than others, we don't try to produce a spurious "balance" by removing valid, sourced information. Instead, we add what's missing. Of Bennett's eight-year tenure in the State Senate, it appears that some people have praise and others condemnation. The article would benefit more from the addition of those points than from trying to delete information. (Incidentally, I wasn't the one who originally added the material you're trying to remove or eviscerate. I'm not on any kind of anti-Bennett crusade.) JamesMLane t c 05:01, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
The lawsuit quite simply doesn't belong. Period. It has no relevance to the man's life other than the fact that he happened to be CEO of the company while it was legally contested. You have produced nothing to support the idea that it had any impact on him as an encyclopedic figure. FCYTravis 21:21, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
As to the "family incident," the very document you cited when you warned me about reverting states:
Example: A politician is alleged to have had an affair. He denies it, but the New York Times publishes the allegations, and there is a public scandal. The allegation may belong in the biography, citing the New York Times as the source.
Your excision of what you call "lurid details," as JamesMLane points out, takes away the very substance and context of the flap, making it seem less relevant for inclusion. Therefore, the previously complete and balanced description should be included. The incident, which received extensive national coverage, involves whether or not he used his public position as an elected official to bail out his son. You are the one improperly reverting here.
As for the litigation, it was improperly sourced with only primary sources. Fortunately, however, this has been covered by the Arizona Republic as well, [4], as it turns out there was a further twist that he subsequently sponsored legislation that would benefit his company in that matter. By the way, he didn't just "happen" to be the CEO of the company. He led the family business that bears his name throughout the entire saga. It is hardly irrelevant to his biography. NTK 17:36, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
You have provided a source to demonstrate that the oil company issue is relevant, which is all I asked for all along. The "lurid details" do not belong, period. This is not an article about Clifton Bennett's crimes. FCYTravis 21:23, 10 April 2007 (UTC)


Removed violation of WP:OR and WP:BLP[edit]

This unfortunate incident does not belong in the bio of this minor politician. Speculation about the subject exerting undue influence appears to be WP:OR. Is there a secondary source that indicates undue influence was indeed an issue? --Honorable citizen 13:14, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

The source given appears to be more than adequate and the Arizona Republic is a secondary source, so I've restored the section. 151.151.73.167 18:39, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
The section is relevant, even if the man's supporters would rather everyone forget the incident, it is still notable. nut-meg 06:37, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

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