Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/Jennifer Brunner/1

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Jennifer Brunner[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · WatchWatch article reassessment page
Result: Not listed. While the review was not considered helpful, reviewers here identified genuine concerns about the neutrality and focus of the article. The article can of course, be renominated at any time. Geometry guy 18:57, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Brunner has become a controversial politician whose actions are considered partisan by many Republicans. This article was failed for neutrality. Five specific paragraphs were considered violative. I have read and re-read these paragraphs to consider whether they are more than a restatement of the secondary sources that are pretty neutral WP:RSs. The five paragraphs at issue are:

  • Comment. The reviewer was corrrect to fail the article. In its present form it fails criteria 2-b (in-line citations) and 4 (neutrality). There are also some minor issues with the prose and MoS problems. Majoreditor (talk) 03:56, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    • This debate is solely about neutrality of the five paragraphs that the reviewer failed the article for. I don't see anything POV in those five paragraphs.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 06:07, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
    • P.S. by inline citation, I am not sure what you mean. I think you are talking about all the places you put {{fact}} tags when the fact was covered by a citation one or two sentences later. I have added the redundant citations, but they have nothing to do with this GAR, which is about POV content in the five paragraphs at issue.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 06:39, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Tony, GAR reassessments aren't constrained to examining just the reasons the reviewer failed the article. We evaluate articles against all GA criteria. Now, to answer the question you pose: yes, I mean that there are several sentences which needed or still need in-line citations per criterion 2-b. Here's a partial listing of what I found:
      • "We want Ohio’s voters and the rest of the nation to see that we have prepared a transparent process of transporting voting equipment, ballots and supplies. That begins with security practices at boards of elections and polling places, documented chain of custody, and now procedures to make secure voting machine delivery."' This is a direct quotation; as such it requires an in-line citation.
      • Due to the disproportionate voter registration by Democrats it is anticipated that much of the confusion at the polling places will be for challenges to newly-registered Democrats who have been delisted from the ranks of registered voters. Exactly who "anticipates" this confusion? An assertion like this requires an in-line citation; otherwise it verges on crystal ball prognostication.
      • One month before the 2008 United States election, 5% of Ohio mortgages were either severely delinquent or in foreclosure. There were 67,000 foreclosure actions in the first half of 2008. Statistics like this require in-line citations.
      • Brunner has spoken out against election officials taking voting machines home with them in the days before an election. Such actions have allowed hacking even though it makes transport and delivery to the eventual polling place simpler. IMO a strong assertion that the voting machines have been hacked when in the custody of election officials is likely to be challenged and should have an in-line citation
      • "We want Ohio’s voters and the rest of the nation to see that we have prepared a transparent process of transporting voting equipment, ballots and supplies. That begins with security practices at boards of elections and polling places, documented chain of custody, and now procedures to make secure voting machine delivery." Once again, this is a direct quote and it needs an in-line citation immediately following the quote.
The article suffers from more than just missing citations. It also contains serious NPOV issues. It presents little in the vein of evenhanded criticism of Brunner. The article reads more like a haliography. I found cases of POV language. For example Other partisan sources claim that ACORN advises and influences Brunner. Why include the perjorative term "partisan" to describe a GOP source, while pro-Brunner sources are presented as impartial? (I have removed the term "partisan" from the sentence to give it a NPOV). Unfortunately, the articles POV runs deeper than choice of adjectives.
Tony, I'm glad so see that you've currently working on improving the article. Frankly, it still has a way to go. Best wishes, Majoreditor (talk) 16:28, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
This about my fourth or fifth appearance at GAR. Historically, the reassessment has been based on whether the article was failed for a legitimate reason. Arguments about new or additional reasons for failing an article have been considered offtopic. Let's face it, any article at WP:GAC probably has a few faults or else it would be at WP:FAC. In this case, the sentences above "One month before the 2008 United States election, 5% of Ohio mortgages were either severely delinquent or in foreclosure. There were 67,000 foreclosure actions in the first half of 200." Where both from the citation at the paragraph that was a citation for the entire paragraph. I have added the repeat citation in three places in the paragraph at your request. I will look at the rest of the examples above. I think they are additional examples of the same phenomenon, but I will look later this evening.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 17:13, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
In my experience of GAR and in everything I have done to help this process, GAR is entirely about whether the article currently meets the good article criteria. I see no evidence that new or additional issues have ever been considered off-topic, and they have certainly not been off-topic for at least a year and a half. "Good article disputes" does not exist any more.
I say this without prejudice about examples, issues and details that pertain to this particular article. Geometry guy 00:38, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, if anything goes, it is like asking for a GAC assessment from the community. In debates about failing, my past debates have always been about whether the reason for failing was endorsed by the GAR community. I think I am about one for four or five on GAR reassessments about failed articles. However, I do not recall ever holding a discussion about anything but the reasons given for the fail. This article is probably in the third quartile in terms of quality of articles that I have nominated at GAC. It has some flaws. If we are going to get into a debate about whether this article has warts, it does. It is in the quality range that could be passed or failed. A review like the commentary by User:Majoreditor at 16:28, 30 December 2008 would not have been unfair. A pass would not have been unfair. What is unfair is to fail the article for a reason that nobody can explain and the I can not correct. Many worse articles than this have been promoted and many better articles have been failed. I am here to get an understanding of the community's perception of POV for political bios. I have several more political bios at WP:GAC and I want to make sure I understand the issues. I also have several forthcoming editorial efforts on redlinked Politician bios. I need to understand this issue.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 01:06, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes all of these now have repeat citations. However, what is helpful for this reassessment is a list of statements that are possibly POV from the paragraphs at issue. That is how I anticipate this reassessment to evolve. A discussion of possibly POV statements is the crux of the evaluation of the validity of this GAC fail. If people don't think there are such statements in the paragraphs at issue then the article was not failed for a valid reason and in the absence of glaring problems it should be passed.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 00:07, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Majoreditor, In your time contribution to the consideration of this reassessment, which is of course appreciated, would it be a fair statement to say that you have pointed out no POV content in the five paragraphs that the reviewer cited for his reasons for failing the article?--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 17:00, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Tony, I will try to provide specific comments in a few days; at the moment I am tied up with off-wiki events. The article is improving and I am hopeful that we can resolve any concerns. Cheers, Majoreditor (talk) 17:40, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be best to have the reviewer point out the statements, rather than having someone else guess what the reviewer was thinking? §hep¡Talk to me! 09:14, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
It would of course be useful if the reviewer told us which things were not neutral. Then I could fix them and renominate if they are considered valid or get a reassessment if they are not. If nobody comes up with some clarification on what is not neutral about the five paragraphs at issue, I can not fix a problem I don't understand or one that does not exist.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 00:32, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
On December 27, I notified the reviewer of this discussion. On January 2, I told him no one seemed able to note anything POV in the paragraphs he cited.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 00:52, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

The article was also failed because coverage was not broad enough, so the Personal section would need looking at. I also noticed that the Lead section doesn't cover all the contents of the body of the article. I also have concerns with the article staying focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail - there's a lot of information regarding voter registration, and it's not clear from the text where Brunner's direct involvement comes, and where there is too much coverage of a related topic that perhaps should be in a different article. I think there are a number of concerns with this article. SilkTork *YES! 13:13, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I guess the reviewer had issues with breadth. The emphasis was on neutrality for the fail. Often, fully recounting a twenty-seven year career, accounting for an entire post-secondary education, and identifying family is enough. I am not sure that there is much detail that should be removed, but am willing to listen to such commentary.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 00:32, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
I think it's worth looking into the detail on the 2008 elections and considering if a standalone article could be created and placed in this cat Category:Ohio elections, 2008, leaving a summary in the Brunner article. Much of the material here seems to be about the problems with the Ohio election system rather than with Brunner herself. As an example - this subsection doesn't mention Brunner, nor seems connected with her in any way. Her office is mentioned, but she is not:
1.2.2.2 Growth of voter registrations in 2008
Between January 1, 2008 and mid-October 2008, over 666,000 Ohioans have registered to vote either for the first time or with updated voter information, and over 200,000 of them provided driver's licenses or Social Security numbers that do not match government records. Over 20% of these voters are from Cuyahoga County, which is heavily Democratic.[47] Also, many of the newly registered voters were the result of voter registration drives to register voters for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the March 4, 2008 Ohio Democratic primary.[48] The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 9–6 decision ruled on October 14, 2008 that extra steps must be taken to authenticate these registrants and Jeffrey Sutton's majority opinion suggested that these misregistered voters cast provisional ballots. Historically, 20% of provisional ballots have been thrown out. As a result of the ruling, the Office of the Ohio Secretary of State must provide each county with a list of registrants with mismatching information and provide direction on a proper course of action. There are federal laws barring purging voters from the election rolls within 90 days of an election. This issue is considered to be a partisan one with Republicans favoring greater scrutiny, and the justices voted almost along party lines based on the United States President that appointed them.[47]
There are other such paragraphs and sentences. I'd appreciate a concise summary of her involvement in these affairs in an article on her, and then for greater depth and details where I am interested in knowing more, I am willing to go to another article. It's always difficult to get the balance right on these things - and when trying to explain a person's impact on Foo there is clearly a need to explain that Foo. But care must be taken not to explain so much that an article ceases to be about the person and becomes instead an article on the Foo. SilkTork *YES! 10:37, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
That paragraph discusses a ruling against Brunner because it is against the Secretary of State. Everything that comes out of that office comes out under her name. It is a ruling against her in a sense except that after she leaves office other Sec of States will have to continue to adhere to the ruling.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 18:38, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
I have tweaked some wording regarding the relevance of this paragraph in this article.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 01:57, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. I found no significant violations of NPOV in the cited paragraphs. The only sentence that comes close is "As a result, Brunner has had to focus on addressing the procedures instead of the inherent lack of technical security." This contains an implied criticism of the General Assembly and is sourced to an interview with Brunner. I suggest "Consequently, Brunner has focussed on addressing..." instead.1
In terms of NPOV in general, by and large this article presents cited fact after fact after fact, so if it is not neutral, then it can only be a bias in fact selection. However, there are some exceptions. For instance "Ohio Republican officials have already filed paperwork that Brunner feels is an attempt to establish grounds for contesting ballots on election day" is clearly not written from an encyclopedic point of view.2 The paragraph
  • "Conservative editors such as Peter Bronson who write for Cincinnati.com, the online arm of The Cincinnati Enquirer, describes Brunner as having a "reputation as the most partisan state official in Ohio". This is partly because after entering office, she took immediate action against Republican county elections officials, including Robert T. Bennett, Ohio Republican Party Chairman. However, more recently, she has been accused of partisanship by her former Secretary of State opponent in the 2008 general election. He claims that she has set policy in order to throw out absentee ballots likely to be cast for the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket.[54] Other sources claim that ACORN advises and influences Brunner."
is a point of view mess, which tries to negate one opinion with another.3
Nevertheless, neutral point of view issues are pretty minor (if this is a hagiography, then how about Mother Teresa, which remains an embarrassment to GA?). In agreement with SilkTork, I think the main GA problem is that the article loses focus and goes into unnecessary detail about the Help America Vote Act. I disagree that the article is not broad because the personal life section is short: if there are no notable events in her personal life, then the section should not be expanded artificially to meet some bean-counting criterion. I recommend instead shortening the digressions. Geometry guy 00:03, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
1. I am not sure I understand why the suggestion addresses the problem. As I understand the problem, you are saying that some facts are WP:ATT a primary source, which may be POV. I the context of an article with 67 sources, 3 or 4 such sources is probably not a big problem.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 02:19, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem is mainly with the tense "has had to focus" which presents the facts from Brunner's perspective and implies that the General Assembly should have addressed the subject of funding an all paper ballot. Geometry guy 15:45, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I see. Revised with simple past.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 01:00, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
2. There are a few instances where I attempt to present perspectives of the legal battle. I would certainly accept suggestions on where to be more encyclopedic.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 02:19, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Something like "Brunner has stated that the filing of paperwork by Republican officials may be an attempt to establish grounds for contesting ballots on election day." would be better in this case. Geometry guy 15:45, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
O.K.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 01:28, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
3. Yes I was trying to present Anti-Brunner opinions followed by pro-Brunner explanation in a way that would be percieved as neutral. Advice on cleaning this up would be welcome.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 02:19, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
First of all the quote needs a citation. I realise that it is probably from ref [54], but the link is broken. Second, the quote needs to be attributed to Peter Bronson (not "conservative editors such as Peter Bronson"). Third, Peter Bronson needs to be described more concisely and not labeled as "conservative": let his views speak for themselves. Fourth, it is not up to Wikipedia to explain why conservatives are hostile to Brunner: let the sources do it or let the facts speak for themselves. For instance, you could write "On entering office, Brunner took immediate action against Republican county elections officials, including Robert T. Bennett, Ohio Republican Party Chairman. Writing for the Cincinnati Enquirer, columnist Peter Bronson describes Brunner as 'the most partisan state official in Ohio'". You also need a better source than the Ohio Republican Party for the claim that ACORN influences Brunner.
I fixed most of this. I am looking for an ACORN ref. However, it is but a part of this picture of perceived partisanship.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 02:45, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
The following paragraph is out of date (the 2008 election has happened).
I changed some tense issues
It isn't the purpose of GAR to fix the article for you. The closer I look at the article, the more I find wanting. Geometry guy 15:45, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Spend a little time at FAC. Watch for articles that have had little editing since passing GA. All articles can be shown to be faulty in many respects. My point for bringing the article hear was for an assessment of whether it was fairly rejected. I continue to await any clarification that could show me the existence of POV issues that the original reviewer claimed were problematic. I will STFU when someone shows me I was not reviewed unfairly.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 02:45, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
After further discourse with the reviewer, he has still not pointed out any issue that he failed the article for. No one else has either.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 02:49, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

(←) Tony, I think I understand where you are coming from, but GA is not FA-lite, and GAR is not a finger pointing exercise. The front page says it quite plainly: "The outcome of a reassessment should only depend on whether the article being reassessed meets the good article criteria or not." The GAN review your article received was plainly inadequate, but by bringing the article to GAR you have now received a more than adequate review by two of GA's finest and myself. None of us think that the article currently should be listed. Your posts above suggest you think that the GA criteria are like the FA criteria, except that we can let a few things slip. I understand how you might feel that, and the GA process of one reviewer means that often a few things are missed. Such slips are only caught by the ebb and flow of listing and delisting by multiple editors. That is a radical difference between GA and FA. However, the bottom line is that the GA standard is not "FA with failings allowed". Instead it is a much lower standard to which articles should conform just as rigorously. Any failure to meet the GA criteria is a reason not to list an article. With a given reviewer, a few slips may pass under the radar, but GAR, as the high court of GA, cannot list articles which do not meet the criteria.

The best I think we can do here, is close this GAR as "no action", with a comment that the review failed to articulate genuine concerns, but that now there is plenty to work on. Then you can renominate. I hope you won't need GAR next time, and the article will pass. Geometry guy 21:42, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

If the article is not up to snuff, I don't mind it failing. However, I am a bit confused about how the GAR process became a GAN reevaluation as opposed to a evaluation of the review. It seems like the change will allow for people who are hoping for a second opinion to the contrary to just bring failed GANs here without cause. My objection is not that the article is a few notches below FA, it is that the review was $h!tty and worthless. If I am correct that it did not actually point to valid problems, it is the worst review I have probably had in about 200 or so. The old process use to be an assessment of whether the review should be endorsed. Now, the new process is a second GAN. The change in rules probably protects the GA portfolio, but probably does not reprimand worthless reviewer. I'll take the article to WP:PR and come back if that is what is necessary.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 02:23, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

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