Ink by the barrel

Remember this? A reporter writes an article to support the company line (Oh, our pathetic high schools!) and the referendum passes. A reporter supports the Mayor to keep access to City Hall, the incumbent goes down.

Details on the Steinberg article: Sub-line “Judge defends demeanor”; Names to defend Steinberg: Steinberg. Names to attack: Warchol, Collins, Tushaus, Bethia. Little lopsided, don’t you think?

Phrases to defend $62 million expense: “price tag dramatically lower”;”That saved millions.” Phrase opposed: “say the new plan is still overbuilt”. (All reporter’s words, not quotes.)

Names to support the referendum: Molly Steffen, Matt Gibson, Roger Johnson. Names against: Kyle Prast and Cindy Kilkenny. Several direct quotes from pro interviews. No direct quote (or no interview!) from opposition.

Last word on that article? Pro quote from Johnson. (The last word is a well-recognized hat tip from a reporter to the position of the person interviewed.)

Ink by the barrel.


  1. Quotable says:

    People may want to google the “Delphi Technique”.

    Here is one of the results you may get.

    Please see that a “controlled press” is one of the entities which come in handy among the “Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression”.

    The press must remain on friendly terms with their sources, or their sources for stories would cease to feed them tips. Hence the press favoring whoever seems to wield power at the moment… hence the “controlled press”.

  2. Dang, that’s good work Quotable.

  3. Kathryn says:

    So, being Elmbrook, is this “the vast right-wing conspiracy” or the ‘UN is taking over the nation’ conspiracy? 4000 people stayed home, maybe because this was a compromise they could live with.

    I have a theory that had we produced a referendum that satisfied the current vote no crowd, the wanting new high schools crowd would have come out in force.

  4. Cheri M. says:

    I think if they’d’ve known there’d be free mints and stickers, more people would’ve come out to vote.

  5. Kathryn, don’t be silly. This is a school district well-versed in controlling the message and a no group that didn’t put up much of a fight sans a couple of housewives. (Who managed a 48% resistance…)

    You can rest assured the Delphi technique is known by both sides. One is simply more practiced than the other.

  6. Kathryn says:

    Well sure. And I can see that the press might get too cozy with their sources and vice versa. What I don’t see is a manufactured consensus. This is a compromise.

    I don’t want the gyms. I didn’t vote for the (separate item) gyms last time. I voted for them this time because I want the other stuff. I’m getting the other stuff because somebody out there wanted the gyms.

    I’ve been a facilitator. I could pare a two week debate down to four days and come out with what my client wanted. I don’t see it here. I don’t think the Ratzel et al group was manipulated, and they came up with a similar plan.

  7. Yes, and Ratzel et al were happy Yes voters all along. (Ratzel and Altschaefl are two people I really enjoy, so it’s not personal, just a fact.)

    Does it worry you that air conditioning and gyms, about 2/3 of the bonding costs, were tossed in with the necessities to get you to vote yes?

    Manufactured consensus? No. Exhausted resistance? Yes.

  8. Kathryn says:

    Exhausted I’ll buy.

    Confess to being rather worn and crabby myself. See you tomorrow.

  9. As one of the housewives, I can only speculate what the results would have been had the referendum been held this November. I’m thinking there were not too many more yes votes out there.

    I have heard too that some elderly voters felt because they don’t have children in school anymore they shouldn’t be the ones making the referendum decision. People just don’t get that as a taxpayer, we all get to make that decision.

    I greatly underestimated the power of that committee of yes and no voters. People really TRUSTED in that. But thinking of Brunner voting no for a building project is just too much for me to swallow, but I guess many did. I know of an active no voter who wanted to be on the committee, but was not accepted.

    Maybe we need to coin a phrase, instead of drinking the kool-aid with its bad connotations, we could say, getting Deliphied?

    More than one person has said to me, those test scores better really improve now.

    I’m done now.

  10. C’mon now ladies, we can move on from this. Cindy, you said so yourself.

    So, let’s move on…

  11. Yes, but I fell certain that I can use 24 hours to get there.

    I’m listening to Magic Matt on channel 12 as I type. As long as they gloat, I get to groan.

  12. Cheri M. says:

    It’s been very good of you to help many of us gain a sense of closure.

    Tut-tut! It’s Cindy’s blog…

  13. Reflecting and talking about things is therapeutic, Greg!

  14. I know guys! I just can’t help it…

    Personally, I think Elmbrook will indeed survive, taxpayers will not be forced to flee, and hopefully all of you over there will get plenty of BANG for that BUCK.

    I noticed some squawker “friends” of mine haven’t brought up Elmbrook’s passing, or Racine Unified’s, or River Hills/Bayside (I believe that’s what it’s called…)’s. Ah, I’ll just prepare for the onslaught ahead:

    “It’s a terrible mistake!”

    “The taxpayers are going to go broke!”

    “Gym class pools or after school activities at the high schools? Boo! We need more YMCA’s @ $40/month! (because everyone can afford an extra $480/yr for the Y)”

    Oh wait, the last one was similar to something I heard on the radio yesterday…

    But hey – all of Washington County’s school referendums failed.

  15. Washington County is also more homogeneously Blue Collar and Middle Class. They’re the frontlines of this recession. A lot of friends and family from Washington County (where I grew up (and am typing from right now)) who work in the construction business and related fields are out of work right now.

    I think that has a lot to do with it. I can’t see a recession hitting Brookfield quite AS hard as it hits more reliably middle class communities.

    Just my two cents.

  16. Oh, Gre-eg. If those are quotes can you show where you found them?

  17. Grant! Did you know she was going to use your e-mail in the paper or did she surprise you?

  18. Hey Greg – How do you know the taxpayers are going to survive? Wisconsin incomes, job opportunities, new business starts, etc. are all down compared to many states. Meanwhile the tax situation at all levels gets worse. While the politicians are all telling us “we are for the little guy” their corrupt (imho) ethanol policies and subsidies are causing inflation in prices of all sorts of products that require corn which further hurts the family. Besides increasing taxes and inflation and a slumping economy many people in Brookfield are facing large assessments for water mains. Now some people in Brookfield can easily afford these increases but there are also many working families and people on fixed incomes that are really feeling the pinch.

  19. Kathryn needs to read the numbers in Lisa’s article today. The “YES” voters WERE out in force! It was the no voters who stayed away, and only a supporter would say “it’s because they liked the new referendum”. There were other important issues that they didn’t vote on either due to their APATHY. Spin stops here!

  20. Cindy c’mon! Those were future quotes I made. And heck I’m pretty close, considering now no one that supported Elmbrook’s schools to be fixed up can say the US is in a recession.

    As I’m suspecting, you and your supporters are just as bad as those you criticize – the School Boards of Wisconsin. It’s a typical thing to hear those who hate referendums to say something similar to,

    “The Boards will get angry and pout and put up another one (referendum)!”

    Well, now that it passed, it’s almost the same scenario from those who didn’t want one. It’s a lot of angry, pouting, negative attitudes. Yeah, it’s approved – the people have spoken. Now the people who opposed this from the get-go should be focusing their attention on how the Board is going to spend the money. Hold their feet to the fire, I say!

    So, let’s mend fences!

  21. We are, greg.

  22. Kathryn says:

    What I meant to say, El Gato, is that had we not included the gyms the voters who would prefer completely new buildings would not have supported this package. Not spinning. I just think a compromise was necessary get anything approved.

  23. We can have all kinds of fun when the board “suddenly” realizes that they can afford a new four-station gym at Central instead of the 2-station version sold to voters.

  24. Kathryn says:

    They had better not. I’m still mad about the astroturf. : (

  25. BrkfldDad says:

    I have a fun request… can we have a contest to ‘guess that balloon’ to put conversational quotes to the picture on the front of today’s BrookfieldNOW?

  26. That means I need to get the paper. Back soon.

  27. Post the picture please?