Talk:Vito Fossella

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Former good article nominee Vito Fossella was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
June 22, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed

Commerical for Fossella?[edit]

The article was primarily a commercial for Vito Fossella. Removed superlatives, inappropriate neutral language, and anything smacking of an overt political advertisement. 12:15, 5 December 2005 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

out of curiosity, how can "neutral" language be inappropriate in an article on a politician? 06:26, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Attacks on Fossella by opponent[edit]

This article seemed to have been edited by an activist for Fossella's opponent. The opponent was promoted as someone who will soon enjoy great support. In addition, there were unnecessary non-NPOV statements implying that Fossella was out of touch with his constituents.

An example: "This means Fossella supports tax cuts that benefit few residing in the largely middle class district while cutting programs the benefit most of his constituents."

Another: "Fossella's council service was marked by a lack of interest in the concerns of commuters in his district." 01:18, 7 May 2006 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Deletion of content[edit]

Deleting content that is properly sourced, without explaining the reasons for the deletion in this talk page, it is considered vandalism. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 21:39, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I read the deleted material, and I concurr that it needs to be deleted for the following reasons:

  1. It is not sourced as per WP:CITE
  2. Opinions are stated as fact and not attibuted to a reputable source, as per WP:RS
  3. Language is editorial and not factual, see WP:NPOV ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 21:42, 9 May 2006 (UTC)


Apparently the non-NPOV problem persists. One user in particular seems to be the source. JaimeTorres 21:55, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

That user's IP appears to be 02:10, 10 May 2006 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
The editors accusing of vandalism are actually engaging in partisan vandalism themselves, replacing facts critical of Fossella with content that was originally lifted from old Fossella websites, which certainly does not qualify as NPOV.
Comments related to the economic demos of the 13th district relating to its residents not benefiting directly from Republican policy are factual. Direct benefit is different from the alleged benefits of trickle down fiscal policy which are subjective (Many supply side architects including David Stockman have actually went on the record stating that such policy was a facade to starve the government of cash and force the dismantling of much of the government created after Hoover.) People whose taxes are cut below a certain threshold and have programs that improve their lives cut don't directly benefit from Bush's economic strategy. Staten Island actually has the highest per capita income of all of New York City's boroughs. However, Staten Island achieved this status not because of a heavy concentration of wealthy residents; it actually has the smallest percentage of residents among the economic elite, largely because of the difficult commute from Staten Island to Manhattan finance and media power centers. Staten Island has the highest per capita income in New York City because it has the smallest number of poor people. Look up us census data if you think this isn't true. Therefore Staten Island's largely middle class denizens don't directly benefit much from cutting taxes for the rich and are hurt by budget cuts.
As far as the transportation issues are concerned, The mid-Island and south shore residents Fossella represented in the Council's only convenient way of getting to and from Manhattan during his tenure was express bus service that ended in the early evening which meant they couldn't go to Yankee game or a Broadway show without series transportation home issues. Fossella ignored requests to use his office at least as a bully pulpit to try to extend service and refused to even acknowledge the scheduling curfew. This is factual. Removing references to his inaction concerning a commute that the US government has named the worst in the nation, is partisan pro-Vito vandalism. 07:04, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
I made some changes to this article while observing the rulings on what would be considered pro-Vito vandalism. I felt the language still made the article less neutral so I simply tried to make it more objective. As a Staten Islander I am aware of the criticisms and allegations made about Mr. Fossella. If I find any legitimate articles I will link this page to them.--LeRoi 16:23, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Corrected grammatical errors in section on transportation and added factual information about the commute. Moved Sea Wall discussion to Congressional Record and attributed accusations to Harrison-- 20:00, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Clarified statement about NY media coverage.-- 23:36, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Corrected errors in grammar that were probably my own.-- 05:28, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Edits from Congressional IP address and by and by KarlHungus21[edit]

It appears based on the Congressional ip address of edits eliminating information critical of Fossella and all references to his current opponent Steve Harrison that the congressman's staff is vandalizing this article by attempting to restore it to promotional status, which certainly is not NPV-- 22:31, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

User has been blocked for inserting NPOV statements multiple times. Reverts to this page was made by Wikipedia users who have no relationship to Congressman Fossella. User has been constantly monitoring this page for changes and continually engages in vandalism. -- 17:14, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Previous user continues to engage in pro-Fossella vandalism by calling any material critical of Fossella not NPV and reverting to version that he or she calls neutral, but in fact contains much material lifted from old Fossella websites, which certainly is not npv.-- 06:05, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
User has repeatedly inserted anti-Fossella vandalism and has been blocked for altering this site multiple times. That user should be permanently banned from editing this page.KarlHungus21 01:25, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Countered KarlHungus21's pro-Fossella vandalism. Yes it is vandalism when material critical of the subject including information from one of the country's largest circulation newspapers is removed leaving only material lifted from an old Fossella website, which certainly is not NPV. -- 07:59, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Corrected pro Fossella KarlHungus21 Fossella vandalsim. 20:55, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I am not pro-Fossella, and I am not personally invested in this race, as User: seems to be. Other users in the past have reverted User:'s changes, but it looks like they have given up. Unlike User:, I have not engaged in vandalism. Take a look at some of User:'s early edits of the Vito Fossella page and you will see what I am talking about. KarlHungus21 03:21, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I suggest that you both stop using the word "vandalism", in accordance with Wikipedia:Assume good faith and Wikipedia:Civility. Thanks. John Broughton 21:17, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Keep in mind that User: has been blocked from editing this page multiple times. It is not misleading to characterize the activity that got that user blocked as vandalism. It is not meant as a personal attack, just a reminder of the user's past actions. My edits were only good faith attempts to fix some of User:'s repeated edits (that were not made in good faith). I may have accidentally gone too far occasionally but that is only because User: has made so many malicious changes that it is hard to keep track of what is what. KarlHungus21 03:16, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
To John Broughton re: good faith: "This policy does not require that editors continue to assume good faith in the presence of evidence to the contrary." KarlHungus21 03:23, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
In addition, "Please note that continuing to insert negative, unsourced information is considered by wikipedia administrators to be VANDALISM. John Broughton 17:16, 28 August 2006 (UTC)" If you look at User:'s history you will see that he or she has been engaging in this activity for several months and was blocked for vandalism of this page multiple times. KarlHungus21 03:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)


Kuhl, Reynolds, and Peter King are all more conservative, Reynolds is among the most conservative members of the House, Kuhl votes the Republican party line 94% of the time on party unity votes, and King is hugely conservative. 22:07, 2 July 2006 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I can't speak to Kuhl-since I'm not that familiar with his record in Congress-but I don't believe that you could accurately classify Peter King as more conservative than Vito Fossella.
He's certainly more outspoken, has achieved more notoriety-due in large part to his activism against racial preferences and the open borders policy embraced by more liberal Republicans, in addition to George W. Bush, as well as his position as chairman of the Homeland Security subcommittee in the House of Representatives-but in terms of their respective tenures in Congress I think that Fossella has a much better record on conservative issues.
His lifetime ACU rating is higher-although, I hestitate to use the ACU as a barometer of conservatism these days-he voted for three out of the four articles of impeachment brought against President Clinton, while King stood out in voting against all four, and-to the best of my knowledge-has never conspicuously associated himself with the socialist, anti-American terrorist organization known as the PIRA, unlike some Republican congressman in the same delegation, e.g. Benjamin Gilman, and King himself.
Ruthfulbarbarity 04:57, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


Also, I'd like to add that the "record" section of this article is flagrantly violative of Wikipedia's NPOV policy.

In addition, a lot of the assumptions, e.g. that Steve Harrison will do better than Frank Barbaro-whose high vote totals can be attributed to his time representing Gravesend and other Bklyn. neighborhoods in the NY State Assembly-do not have any factual basis.

Harrison's fund-raising has been laggard-to put it mildly-this race is not on the DCCC's radar, and George W. Bush won this district handily, which can not be said of any of the other congressional districts in the five boroughs.

The fact that the Brooklyn Papers-a hopelessly liberal, reflexively Dem. newspaper chain-are supporting Harrison is not noteworthy.

It would only be noteworthy if they weren't supporting the Dem. candidate.

Ruthfulbarbarity 05:10, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Harrison Content?[edit]

Why dose there seem to be information on the 2006 election and fossella's opponent mixed into every section of the entry? Should we separate it into a 2006 election sub-section to aviod NPOV confusion? MaxusDarte 18:22, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Good point. I've fixed this (or at least made a start of it). John Broughton 13:44, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

How a talk page should be organized[edit]

  • New comments go at the BOTTOM of a section, not the top.
  • When adding a comment to a section, use indentation (colons work fine) to distinguish what you said from the person prior to you.
  • If starting a new thread/conversation/topic, start a new section, at the BOTTOM.
  • When you add a comment, SIGN your name, and the date/time, using four tildes (clickable, just below Edit summary, if you don't want to type them.)
Thanks. John Broughton 13:44, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Negative information[edit]

Wikipedia policy requires that negative information about a person MUST either be sourced or removed. The following four items in the article need to have a source/citation added by someone, or I will remove them. (I'll wait for a few days, to give people a chance.) John Broughton 15:50, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

  • During his Council tenure Fossella was often seen as having a lack of concern for the needs of commuters in his district.
  • Fossella repeatedly ignored requests to use his office at least as a soapbox to call attention to the de facto commuting curfew.
  • According 2006 opponent Steve Harrison, Fossella ignored his requests when Harrison was Brooklyn Community Board 10 chair to fund repair of the Bay Ridge Sea Wall.
  • Fossella sent to Staten Island and Brooklyn constituents four mailings in June, including one that featured him with the Muppet Elmo as well as a solo photo. Fossella claimed that Elmo qualified as a person, so he didn't violate the one solo photo restriction.


I just reverted a massive removal of info by User:Iggyblume. Normally I'd just revert and work on something else, but there are problems here that I want to note. While this was the first and only edit by that user, he/she was quite chatty in the edit summary (unusual), and uploaded images (even more unusual). So it's likely that he/she either has done a fair amount of posting with just an IP address, or this is a second/sock puppet account of someone with another editorname.

What was removed: all info on transportation problems, all info on 2004 campaign, all info on conservative voting record, all info on Bay Ridge Seawall, all info on 2006 campaign.

Most important, Iggyblume (a) lied about what she/he did, saying "combined redundant sections", when in fact it was simply removal of info; and (b) said "removed numerous occurrences of politically-based graffiti", when the information was clearly NOT "graffitti". So I'm having a hard time assuming good faith here. I'd appreciate others helping if he/she returns. (I think the quality of the article could certainly be improved; it needs a lot more sourcing and copyediting; but what was just done wasn't helpful in the slightest.) John Broughton 12:59, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Ignatius Blume's Response
Mr. Broughton --
You are correct in a significant point you made: Before creating my account, I have done a great deal of work off and on without an account, much of which was on this entry. Vito Fossella is my member of Congress and when I noticed last summer that his entry was largely empty, I did a significant amount of work on it. Again, with no user ID. My interest in the page has waxed and waned, but since that time there has been a huge of amount of what I should have called vandalism (not graffiti) by supporters of his opponent in this year's election. I often disagree with much of what Mr. Fossella does, but I do think he deserves as unbiased as possible treatment on this site. That is the point after all, isn't it?
I did, in fact, combine several needless sections. "Early Life and Education" and "Personal" I combined into simply "Personal Biography" for example. If there had been significant info in each section (his weight at birth, his GPA, a list of his high school girlfriends) it might be appropriate to have different sections. However, with one or two paragraphs, they were unnecessary. I also merged some of the election material under the umbrella about the office in which he served -- the elections being the least important part of public service; the actual governing done while in office being primary.
And, yes, I did remove much of the inflammatory nonsense about the issues his opponent is trying to raise in the current election. To single out these things is to radically misrepresent his time in the City Council and in Congress simply to serve those poster's transparent political goals. They were poorly-worded and messy and there is a history of their inappropriate behavior on this entry! Clearly it's not their validity, but their author's diligence that keeps this 'information' up there and coming back. This includes judgments about how strong an opponent is, how many media outlets generally cover news in the area and other unsubstantiated opinions. Perhaps if his opponent is worthy, he should have his own entry (or at least one that hasn't been cited itself as being only for promotional purposes). And if traffic is important enough (and it is) it should be mentioned in the Staten Island entry. But the increasing number of cars there is not solely due to Mr. Fossella or any other individual and I don't see it deserving of paragraphs and paragraphs of partisan screed on Fossella's entry.
I know that with technology that allows the 'masses' to participate, it's easy to assume that someone's 'first' post might also be their last. It's also very difficult to establish what is and isn't biased. But I hope that you will reconsider the rather aggressive tone in your personal message to me and -- now that I've responded -- consider working together with me to improve this and other entries instead of simply reverting hard work to its former sub par level. Iggyblume 20 August 2006
I'd be happy to work with you. As a start, would you agree about the removal of the two PR-shots you added (Fossella with kids, Fossella with political celebrities) that (a) aren't newsworthy/notable (any politician can wheel out hundreds of these; they could take over wikipedia pages if allowed) and (b) make the page dissimilar to pages of other Representatives (I've edited dozens in the last months), which only have one or two photos? Or is your interest making the page as pro-Fossella as possible? (In which case, unfortunately, I don't think we're going to work well together.) John Broughton 12:15, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Sounds fair to me. I have made it so. Iggyblume 21 August 2006 8:51 EST
Thank you, but you removed the Iraq photo (newsworthy, in my opinion) and left the celebrities photo in the article. John Broughton 15:06, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Okay, hearing nothing, I went and did this myself. John Broughton 16:53, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Career prior to being elected to City Council?[edit]

Fossella's bios indicate he was a lawyer before being elected to City Council (that is, for about a year). Can anyone provide some links to info (or add info to the article itself) about what kind of lawyer (his own firm, large law firm, clerk)? Thanks. John Broughton 16:15, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Restoration of Information Critical of Fossella[edit]


Restored information on Fossella ignoring mid-Island commuters, beause it is true. Look up the bus schedules from when Vito served in the Council, to understand how limited midtown mass transit was during his tenure and try to find any legislation he backed to improve this or any media coverage of him acknowledging it as a problem. His office however, laughed off requests to do something about the commute. Also see New Springville entry in Wikipedia, for more information on the commute. Don't try to down play the importance of this issue. Try losing several full days a year to time wasted because of inadequate bus service before downplaying it. 06:49, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that the following negative text MUST be removed per Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Remove unsourced or poorly sourced negative material: During his Council tenure Fossella was often seen as having a lack of concern for the needs of commuters in his district. And this: Fossella repeatedly ignored requests to use his office at least as a soapbox to call attention to the de facto commuting curfew. Once those are removed, what is left is a discussion of commuting problems, which has no contextual relationship to Fossella - so it doesn't belong either.
I have no problems (obviously) with negative info on Fossella being in the article IF it is properly sourced. Until it is, it does not belong there. John Broughton 12:23, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Complaints against Fossella, Guy Molinari and other politicians ignoring the x17 were covered by the Advance in the mid 90s in articles on public transportation hearings.-- 16:42, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not disagreeing with you that they were covered. But the rules for wikipedia are that you must provide a SOURCE when inserting negative information. That doesn't necessarily have to be an on-line source: you can cite specific newspaper issue(s), with date, page, author, and article title. If you do this, however, you probably should actually quote from it, for fairness, since others will have limited access to verify it.
Please note that continuing to insert negative, unsourced information is considered by wikipedia administrators to be VANDALISM. John Broughton 17:16, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

The Advance articles are not available online, because the Newspaper only keeps articles from the last 30 days officially online. Cached versions of articles uop to 2 years old can be viewed via Google and any other search engine with a cache feature.

The bus schedule information comes from old and current MTA schedule information and here's a link about the census data -- 18:04, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't care. Wikipedia policies don't care. You either provide or source (in the article - not on the talk page - I'm not doing your work) or you leave the "citation needed" tags alone. Or I'll report you for vandalism. What part of "wikipedia information needs to be sourced" do you not understand?
If you can't cite an article name, date, author, and page, then obviously you don't have the article in front of you. In which case you're relying on memory. In which case you're saying that any person can claim to remember anything, and that's okay. Well, it's NOT. And if you insist it is, you're eventually going to get thrown out of wikipedia for failing to comply with policies.

I included a link outlining US census data giving Staten Island the dubious honor of worst commute in country. You obviously either live in Manhattan and walk to work, live in an outer borough and can take a subway anytime you want or live in the midwest with a short drive to work (compared to Staten Island), so you are clueless abojut our commute. You can't source a commute, but ther details are factual If you think Fossella addressed this issue during his council tenure, why don't you prove it and cite it. You can't because he did nothing, there is no paper trail in the media nor in government records. I wasted several 24 hour days a year when down time caused by the commuting schedule was added up until the schedule improved dramaitically on ironically September 10,2001, the day before the attack.-- 12:04, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

You included a link to a press release by a U.S. Senator, which is fine, but there is no mention of "U.S. census data" in that link, so I am removing the phrase. Why do you do things like that?
You said: If you think Fossella addressed this issue during his council tenure, why don't you prove it and cite it. That's bizarre. It's the responsibility of editors who ADD text to the article to SUPPORT that text, not the responsibility of others to disprove it.
You said: You can't source a commute but the details are factual. At the risk of being repetitive, if something can't be sourced, it CANNOT be included in wikipedia. That is absolutely basic policy, one of the three basic content-guiding policies of wikipedia: Wikipedia:Verifiability. You are not in any way authorized to make a decision that this wikipedia policy doesn't apply to you or the content you want to add. I'll repeat that: If something can't be sourced, it DOES NOT belong in wikipedia. (And, for what it's worth, I DO think you can source a commute - newspapers write about them all the time; transit authorities publish information about their schedules; transit authorities issue press releases, which newspapers report on, when significant changes are made, etc.)
I have put (and you have removed) "citation needed" tags. I put those tags in the article, rather than removing content, because I don't want to be accused of censoring you, and because those tags give other editors the chance to help out (by finding sources). REMOVING THOSE TAGS IS VANDALISM, unless you actually provide a source/citation. I am going to put the tags back. LEAVE THEM THERE. If you remove them and leave the unsourced text there, I will report you for vandalism. And I am putting this paragraph on your talk page to make sure you have gotten the message. John Broughton 13:08, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


Restored blurb about Harrison's complaint about Fossella Seawall inaction and added link to a an article about their feud concerning this from Courier Life. The NY Daily news also covered this, but for some reason the article is not available on the Newspaper's website, but is available through Lexis Nexis. 06:49, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I have exactly the same problem here. The section begins According 2006 opponent Steve Harrison, Fossella ignored his requests when Harrison was Brooklyn Community Board 10 chair to fund repair of the Bay Ridge Sea Wall. According to Harrison's allegations Fossella ignored this issue until the closing of the bike path adjacent to the Bay Ridge Seawall. That's negative info; it must be properly sourced to be included in the article; it's not. And once it's removed, the rest of the related text isn't that interesting.
There are two other problems with this. First, you're saying "According to Harrison", which could quite easily fail the Wikipedia:Verifiability criteria even if you provide a press release as a source. Second, this seems more like something that belongs in the campaign section ("He should have done more!" "No, I did as much as I could!"), since it seems quite subjective (if the issue is what Fossella could have done). And I have problems with it in the campaign section, because that should be reserved for the most important matters (otherwise, it blossoms to take over the article), and it's not clear to me that a fight about who should have done what, when, meets that criteria. John Broughton 12:32, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Removed Seawall from Council section. Broughton had removed it from the Congressional section, but somehow (maybe through the pasting of older versions) it wound up in the Council section. I created a new heading for Seawall discussion and added a link to Courier Life story covering this. As I stated above, the Daily news also coverd this, although the Story is not in its online database. It is however, searchable by Lex/Nex.-- 16:43, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Until you can actually cite a source (title, date, author, page), it doesn't exist, as far as wikipedia is concerned. If you have access via Lex/Nex, then you should be able to provide the necessary details even though there is no link.
Reading the Courier-Life article, this seems to be clearly a campaign issue, since there were counter-charges against Harrison, and Fossella DID do some positive things. Moreover, "controversies" really need to be covered at the national level (I'll rethink the franking thing, using that criteria); nothing I've seen gets this issue any coverage beyond local politics. So I'm moving it (and rewriting it, to make it more NPOV). John Broughton 17:22, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Franking charges[edit]

Restored mention of Fossella franking charges, which were part of the Daily News late June expose that has been fleshed out in greater detail. I find it interesting though that the editor included links to Fossella scandal articles, he purposley didn't include links to such articles if they mentioned Harrison including sories on the franking charge, which shared the front page with the picture of a Madam from a different story. The Daily News front page with Fossella and Elmo also made MSNBC's the "Most" that day because of the scantly clad Madam, not Fossella and Muppet. 06:49, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Please keep in mind the Wikipedia:Assume good faith. If you mean, by "the editor", me, then the reason that the stores on franking aren't in the article is that I hadn't gotten to them yet. (You may have noticed that I did a LOT of edits.) John Broughton 11:57, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Coverage of Staten Island politics[edit]

Restored information about lack of major NY media coverage of Staten Iasland politics. Check the online databases, the print clipping services and the databases of of TV monitoring services such as VMS if you think Staten Island politics have gotten much play until now since Susan Molinari left office. Also restored link to Harrison website and added section about Fossella trying to avoid debating Harrison. 06:49, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

In general, a link to an opponent's website is not appropriate unless there is no article on the opponent. In this case, those interested in more information on Harrison can find that by following the wikilink of his name.
This is an article about Fossella; Harrison is not entitled to equal time. If there is a very large amount of information on the campaign that is appropriate to wikipedia, it should go into a separate article, as for example was done with New York 20th congressional district election, 2006. -- John Broughton 12:12, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Harrison visibility is verafiable. This Congressional race has typically recived more than a breif mention right before election day only in thwe Advance and some Brooklyn weeklies. Harrison has been covered by the Daily news including an opinion piece with Harrison's picture from Columnist Errol Louis accsuing Harrison of not attacking Fossella aggressively enough in addition to Fossella's negative publicity. CNN and MSNBC also covered Fossella and Elmo. NY1 has covered Harrison 7 times to date and ABC radio covered one of his press conferences. Barbaro's only non-Staten Island/Brooklyn media hits at this stage of the campaign were appearances on highly partisan Air America and a story in the high brow New Yorker, which is not widely read in the district. -- 17:08, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
You can assert anything you want, but if either (a) you or your friends or the Harrison campaign or similar are who thinks Harrison is MORE visible, or (b) a reputable source has so stated. If it's (a), then it doesn't belong in the article. If it's (b), then you MUST provide a source.
Please either put up (provide an acceptable source, IN the article - not here on the talk page) or stop defending your additions. John Broughton 20:26, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Added examples of coverage that Harrison's received. There are too many media hits to cite specific instances. I shjpuldn't have to cite examples of non-coverage. If there were examples, it would be coverage and my point not valid.-- 12:11, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Independence and voting record[edit]

Restored preamble to section on Fossella being "Independent". Without pre-amble section language states Fossella independence as factual. Fossella's voting record is proof of his support for Bush's agenda. -- 17:08, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Once again, an assertion without a source. What voting record? This is starting to get tiresome, really. John Broughton 20:28, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Inserted link to Fossella voting record. Without my preamble this section leads readers to believe that Fossella is truly independent, the goal of him avoiding the word Republican, not NPV. If the Washington Post is not an adequate source for you, I motion to remove this section.

-- 12:17, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Okay, we're finally getting somewhere. Thank you for inserting the link. I have rewritten the sentence to make it NPOV. I believe the revised sentence addresses your concern that someone (presumably, someone who has not read the first sections of the article, which make it clear that he IS a Republican) would mistakenly think he is independent (which would be odd, given the rarity of independents in the House). John Broughton 12:33, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I didn't think anyone would think Fossella is an Independent. However, without mentioning his voting record people may think of him being more moderate than the approximately 90 percent fidelity to the Republican line would indicate.-- 21:22, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I think we need to keep in mind that User: has been blocked from editing this page on more than one occasion for vandalism. This person is primarily interested in using the Vito Fossella page to promote the Harrison candidacy.--KarlHungus21 05:29, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

I have edited the page to include one issue where he has worked with Senator Hillary Clinton and another where he has opposed the Bush Administration's handling of Homeland Security monies. Both are sourced.--Arnabdas 11:20, 27 February 2007


Added articles about debate. Reinstated debate poll and link to NY Sun article mentioning the Advance poll. Although the poll is unscientific, it does show that there may be more Harrsion support than the convention wisdom indicates. The inclusion of the Sun article link is another example of Harrsion exposure and visibility. the Sun is a conservative paper by the way. THe poll was also picked up by a couple of the liberal blogs.-- 12:27, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I have removed the following text:

The Staten Island Advance took a very unscientific online poll (so unscientific that readers could vote as often as they wished) concerning who would win a debate between Harrison and Fossella. 44 percent of those voting thought Fossella wouldn't debate Harrison, while 32 percent thought Harrison would win the debate. Only 12 percent thought Fossella would win a debate. [1]

The information is worth than worthless. There is absolutely no reason to believe (for example) the Working Families Party didn't find out about the poll and do "ballot stuffing".
The relevant wikipedia policy is this: When you wonder what should or should not be in an article, ask yourself what a reader would expect to find under the same heading in an encyclopedia. (from Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not). Encylopedias don't include what is, to be blunt, at best a curiousity. Putting this sort of text into the article degrades its quality.
And, by the way, please don't mention blogs in support of ANYTHING. Wikipedia policy specifically says that they are NOT reputable sources. John Broughton 12:46, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

More Formatting Issues[edit]

A nunber of sections are now bleeding into the reference section including his legislative initiatives.-- 21:17, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Okay, fixed. If you see this again, you might want to fix it yourself. See: Help:Footnotes. (The problem was that the ending </ref> was missing the slash.) John Broughton 12:46, 30 August 2006 (UTC)


I gave the article a copyedit, looks pretty good now I think. Howard Cleeves 12:59, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Good Article Candidate[edit]

Hi there. This article is a very interesting read, but I do not feel that it fits the good article criteria in the following categories:

  • Number 2 from GA Criteria states: It is factually accurate and verifiable.
This article's main source is A New York Times article by Jonathan P. Hicks, however I cannot access that article to verify the claims because it is a member's only part of the website. Therefore, the claims cannot be confirmed.
  • Number 2 is violated here also: "In March 2005, the New York Post reported that Fossella had spent more than $20,000 of campaign funds to pay for restaurant meals during his 2004 re-election campaign. The funds paid for more than 100 meals at restaurants in Washington D.C., New York, and elsewhere. Members of Congress are allowed to bill their campaigns for meals if the dinners are for fund-raising or strategy sessions. Fossella spokesman Craig Donner said the purpose of the dinners complied with those guidelines."
The citation for this paragraph is a NY Post article in a members only area again.
  • Number 2 from GA Criteria is also violated with this sentence: "Unlike most Republicans from New York City, Fossella is strongly conservative."
  • The article has two citation needed tags, which isn't so bad but isn't great either.

Again, it's an interesting read, but from a quick glane those are some problems that I found. Good luck. Happyme22 02:23, 22 June 2007 (UTC)


As some of you might have noticed there are a few edits of the committee and reference section. All I did was remove a comment about him being on the House Financial Services Committee and his being a Vice Chairman of a subcommittee, both of which he no longer is. I also added his new committee assignments. The other edits were attempts to attach appropriate citations. I have to review some of the mechanics of the site more before I do. In the end I gave up and removed the reference materials. If anyone wants to add the source for committees in the mean time I got the information from... I realize this Rep. Fossella's House website, but I think we can agree its reliable as far as reporting his committee assignments. LeRoi 19:47, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

"Although his rating dropped to 84%"[edit]

I just deleted a few silly words. Even if one disagrees they were silly, they were opinionated without adding information or doing any benefit to the prose structure. BTW, I made the edit having forgotten to log in. Anyway. Somebody had written, "he is rated a conservative even though his ACU rating dropped from 87% to 84%." "Although"? "Although?" What a whacked out thing to say, jeez. 3 percent drop over two years, serious matetr. "Only" 84%, serious matter. (Smirk). Well, to objective about it, if you can find a pundit or genuinely important elected official to opine that those changes are dismaying to serious conservatives, then cite them. Hurmata (talk) 11:25, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Undue weight problems[edit]

This article gives undue weight to past and settled controversies. As he is retiring, the future impact of the controversies of 2006 and 2008 have dropped from "this could derail his career" to "they won't have much of an impact on him beyond what's already happened." As such, they can be replaced with summaries. Alternatively, the rest of the article can be expanded so the proportion of the article devoted to his controversies is approximately the same as you would find in a professionally-written, professionally-edited encyclopedia. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 15:29, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I could support your second alternative. As a general principle, we don't remove relevant, properly sourced information just because other parts of the article haven't been written yet. A wiki is not a professionally edited encyclopedia; no article is subject to the oversight of a single editor (or board) with final say over its content. That approach has the advantage of accommodating contributions from many people. It has the disadvantage that different parts of an article (and, indeed, different parts of the whole encyclopedia) develop at different rates. JamesMLane t c 18:01, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I think the inclusion of the category political sex scandals gives the incident it refers to undue weight. Do others think it should be deleted?David in DC (talk) 00:16, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Are you calling for the deletion of the category from Wikipedia? or are you saying that the category should remain, but some articles that clearly belong in it should nevertheless be excluded from it? I have my doubts about whether the category is worth keeping. As long as we have it, though, it has to be applied impartially. It currently includes Barney Frank, whose sex scandal didn't result in his leaving Congress. By that comparison, Fossella's scandal is entitled to more weight, because it did end his Congressional career. JamesMLane t c 01:13, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Not calling for the deletion of the category. But I am calling for editorial discretion when applying derogatory categories the biographies of living persons. The incident was indeed a big deal, which is why it's dealt with in both the lede and the body of the article. Addition of the category goes ones step too far, IMHO. I know I have strong feelings on this type of thing, which is why I sought community input and a WP:3O, rather than reverting the recent addition of the category. Somewhere in WP policy is a statement that lists and categories are supposed to be examples, not exhaustive. I'll go looking for it now. But when dealing with the biographies of living persons, I know we must use caution about even sourced information, if it's derogatory. David in DC (talk) 01:19, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Here's the policy I was thinking about. I found it at WP:Categorization of people:

Be aware that mis-categorizations are more sensitive for articles on people than for articles on other topics.

Example: Categorizing a politician involved in a scandal as a "criminal" would create much more controversy than categorizing a behaviour or act as "criminal".

Categories should not be automatically assigned: Categories are only assigned as the result of an individual assessment of the content of an article (lists are easier in this sense, because a doubtful assignation can be marked as such). See also Wikipedia:Bots for a general discussion of contra-indications regarding robotized operations. Not all categories are comprehensive: For some "sensitive" categories, it is better to think of the category as a set of representative and unquestioned examples, while a list is a better venue for an attempt at completeness. Particularly for "sensitive" categories, lists can be used as a complement to categorization.

David in DC (talk) 01:32, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

We use caution in making sure that our sources put us on reasonably firm ground. This one is sourced to the mainstream corporate media that are considered by many Wikipedians to be the best sources for such matters. I certainly don't consider The New York Times infallible (see: Judith Miller), but the Times and other corporate media outlets based their reporting of this particular incident on Fossella's own public admissions.
Some Wikipedians also fight for exclusion from living persons' bios of impeccably sourced information that puts the subject in a bad light and doesn't relate directly to the subject's notability. If Fossella had a pedophilia conviction from before he began his political career, some might want to exclude it on those grounds. I think that would be foolish, but it's a moot point. The question doesn't arise here, where the incident is current and had a direct and immediate impact on his political career, which is what he's notable for.
I don't think it adds much weight to have this category included in the long list of categories at the top of the page. I guess it depends on how much attention the average reader pays to that list. I generally ignore it, but maybe others go to it first.
Finally, if you think this category could reasonably be done as "a set of representative and unquestioned examples", on what basis would you prune it? This example is unquestioned because it's been admitted. If any were to be eliminated, it would make sense to go after the ones that are disputed, such as Gary Hart - Donna Rice. JamesMLane t c 01:59, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Addendum: I just noticed that your listing at Wikipedia:Third opinion says, along with the undue weight suggestion, that "there is disagreement over whether the category addition is entirely accurate". What's the basis of that disagreement? What he did was widely considered to be immoral and the backlash ended his Congressional career. That makes it a scandal. The underlying act was that he had intercourse with a woman to whom he was not married, while he was married to someone else. That makes it a sex scandal. He's notable solely because of his political career. That makes it a political sex scandal. Where's the accuracy dispute? JamesMLane t c 02:12, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
In my view, a representative and unquestioned political sex scandal would be Wayne Hays getting caught for hiring Elizabeth Ray as a secretary despite her being unable to type. Or Wilbur Mills' flamboyant misbehavior with Fanne Foxe, including his infamous Tidal Basin swim. Trading sex for votes. Making sexual advances toward subordinates. Or toward minors in the congressional page program.
I'm not so sure fathering a child out of wedlock, and getting caught, is a political sex scandal, even if it costs the stud a political job. It's arguably immoral, which is why such a guy winds up getting voted out, but it's not the same as mixing sex and politics for fun and/or profit.
As for why a category adds more weight to the factual recitation in the lede and body of the article, adding a category doesn't just show up on the article page. It also shows up on the Category page. I'm sure this info belongs on Fosella's WP page. I'm not so sure his name belongs on a page with Wayne Hayes, Wilbur Mills, Mark Foley and Bob Packwood. David in DC (talk) 20:28, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Obviously, some political sex scandals are more serious than others. There was suspicion that John Profumo's affair might have resulted in a breach of national security via leaks to Soviet intelligence, which would be a bigger deal than putting an incompetent secretary on the public payroll, though both involve offenses against the government. The category, though, isn't set up based on "major" versus "minor" scandals or the like.
You're pointing out that there's a distinction between cheating on your wife and cheating the taxpayers. That's certainly correct, but it's also not how the category is set up. The vast majority of readers would consider both Mills and Fossella to have been caught up in political sex scandals. Perhaps the category could be divided into subcategories based on that distinction -- Category:Politicians' personal sex scandals and Category:Governmental sex scandals or the like. Frankly, I'm not going to undertake such an effort because I'm no big fan of the category to begin with. As long as it exists though, it should be applied according to its terms and according to most readers' understanding of those terms. JamesMLane t c 20:52, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Third opinion[edit]

A third opinion was requested for this article. Having looked at the debate as well as the other listings in the category in question, I will offer my take on the issue. Both sides have valid points, and the current category is not well named or applied. It seems like a category that should apply to articles about events is very often applied to biographies where those events are mentioned. That, however, is not an issue that will be solved here. The article and the sources seem to make clear that the affair was a result of the people involved having met through the performance of their duties within the political arena. Given the other articles in the category, its application to this article is not anything different from what I see as consensus use of the category. I do not believe that it gives any undue weight by its use here. It seems to be the standard application of the category. Also, the fact that the controversy sections of the article have more content than the resst of the article is a reflection of the sources available and used. If there is more to be added about the positive aspects of Mr. Fossella's career, it should be added to provide the balance. Sourced material should not be removed just for the sake of making the article appear to be more even-handed. I would suggest that the section about debates seems inconsequential and could be removed if editors believe it would better balance the article. That section seems more about the staff member's actions than those of the Congressman. Jim Miller (talk) 15:10, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the reality check. I won't continue to argue for deletion of the category. David in DC (talk) 15:16, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Gay Sister Comment[edit]

I vote for removal of the gay sister comment. This really was not a notable event and the Daily News quoting an annonymous source seems like a witch hunt. I really don't care if it is left in, but if we are looking to trim this I would remove it or at least put it in another section. Arnabdas (talk) 17:20, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

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