Rule #1: Politicians LIE

Update:  A FOIA request has been filed for the original story

By:  Diane Benjamin

The ISU newspaper recently did a story on the challenges to Tari Renner’s petitions:

Don’t bother clicking on the link though, the story has been taken down.

The problem is they included lots of quotes from Renner and very little from Kevin Gerrard, and facts don’t seem to matter!

The local media believes everything they are told.  A lot of people would call that being a “useful idiot”.  It certainly isn’t journalism!  It isn’t a reporters job to parrot what people in power say.  Journalists are charged with printing the truth, not the “Fake News” being fed to them.  ISU is doing a great job teaching their students to NOT be journalists!  A course in transcription would work just as well as their 4 year degree.

Kevin’s first email to the Vidette:

Kevin Gerrard

11:28 AM (20 hours ago)
to cjmcnei,

As usual, Mr. Renner is melodramatic. This hearing isn’t costing the City of Bloomington a dime. The Bloomington Election Commission is not a unit of city government.  The integrity of the election system must be upheld, and sufficient evidence exists to call Mr Renners  Petitions into question. The right to Object to his Petitions is guaranteed by law, and despite Mr Renners marginalizing this action, many citizens are supporting this challenge.

Mr. Renner’s claim that I tried to take over a City Hall meeting three years ago is false and defamatory. It simply didn’t happen. I have never addressed the City Council in person. Perhaps Mr Renner should be asked exactly what date this happened?

Vidette response:

From: “Sasic, Ema” <>
Date: December 12, 2016 at 3:28:33 PM CST
To: redacted
Cc: “Cullen, Mary” <>
Subject: The Vidette–Tari Renner Story

Dear Mr. Gerrard,

Thank you for reaching out and expressing concerns over a story on your petition against Tari Renner that appeared in today’s paper.

My co-editor and I are looking into the situation, and we are asking our reporter to reach out to more sources for additional information. She will also be including some of your remarks in the story.

It is currently finals week, so please understand it might take some time for our reporter to finalize her story. However, we will have it updated by the end of the week.

Best regards,

Ema Sasic

One more from Kevin:

Kevin Gerrard

5:17 PM (14 hours ago)
to Ema
 Dear Ms. Sasic,
Considering the fact your reporter ave Mr Renner a considerable amount of space in her article and a yet you opt to limit my response by cherry picking what you wish to print. That’s far from being fair.
 Your never attempted to vet his defamatory charge by Mr Renner that I had previously interrupted a City Council Meeting, nor did she even bother to ask him follow up questions such as ” when did that happen Mayor Renner ?” or “can you be more specific , what exactly did Mr Gerrard do to interrupt a City Hall meeting?” Instead, your paper gave Mr Renner a bully pulpit to which to deflect his accountability for following the law by attacking those that exercise their right to object to his conduct.
I request that my response be printed in its entirety. Also, my response is not to hard to vet that it would take 5 days to do so. Simply ask the Mayor for the date and look at the video. I have only attended a few City Meetings,  and only once did I stand near the podium during the Public Comment and I did so silently as I escorted an elderly disabled veteran nurse of the armed forces , Ms April Huber to the microphone as she addressed the City Council. I remained silent the entire time, and Ms Hubers statement was respectful.

Maybe they can redeem themselves after finals.



  1. Warren J. Le Fever says:

    Taking the story down is a very nice admission of guilt. Being a Parrot is exactly what politicians want reporters to be as long as they don’t go to the other guy. There’s always two sides to a story.


  2. Actually Warren, to quote an old (now deceased) friend of mine who practiced law for MANY years, there’s THREE sides to every story! YOURS, mine and the TRUTH. It’s why he NEVER would be a judge.
    As for the Vidette, their BEST issue is put out on April 1st…
    Reporters alas, like MANY other things are a vanishing breed…


  3. sticky bean says:

    I once talked to a Vidette reporter that was very excited about info I offered about a local government change of policy. The reporter said they would check with their editor and get back to me. Nothing I said was printed, no return phone call, nothing. Again, local lame stream news media stinks.


  4. EdgarCoDawg says:


    Your posts are laughable. You are so clearly uneducated/undereducated that it is almost physically painful to make it all the way through some of your ramblings. I’m sure you will remove this comment, because that’s how people like you are. You start your own website to hyper-criticize local government, but when someone brings a dissenting opinion to the board, it swiftly vanishes. Name-calling of a college student for writing an article with which you do not agree? That is borderline insane. Just know that for the rest of us outside of this website, normal people, folks like you that are toiling away in a dungeon of online pity critiquing every aspect of government is comforting. This is the life you all deserve. Sad, lonely and useless.


    • Sorry, it’s leftists that don’t allow comments they don’t agree with! Now everybody can see “they” really do exist. Since the Vidette deleted the post it’s obvious they realized they screwed up!


    • AND they use Illinois State University computers! congrats! Need a safe space? Was the story a micro-aggression?


    • So you call out Diane for name
      calling but yet hurl multiple insults in your faceless comment. Please explain how that is taking the high road.

      I am always in search of opposing views. As Townie said above, there are three sides to every story. I would very much like to read articles with views opposite of this site. Please post a link to a website that can refute the articles here without relying on the things said by local leaders and without resorting to name calling.


  5. Kevin Gerrard says:

    The story is back up with my comments added. However, I confronted Mr Renner this morning in front of his attorney and other witnesses, and he now claims he never told the reporter it was me who interrupted a meeting, he claims he told the reporter it was Bruce Meeks. He further said we never met in person until Dec 5 ,2016 at the BEC hearing and that statement is true.


  6. Why bother with a FOIA when you can just look at the printed copy?


  7. I would have done a new story with Kevin’s response to Tari’s comments. Unless the reporter told Kevin what Tari said as she was writing the story, it just is a lazy, cut and paste job to make the story look good. No mention of the original story being updated after Kevin viewed Tari’s comments.
    Pulling a story and then reposting is not good ethics in my opinion. News outlets update stories all the time and add that it was updated. Many news outlets consider in publishing a last resort.


  8. There would be no need to proceed with an objection if Renner had ensured the petition was completed properly and reviewed by him before it was submitted. There is a Certification of Deletion form the candidate should complete following their review.

    It is disrespectful of Renner to continue to label anyone and everyone who disagree with his or the council’s decisions as negative people. I have yet to hear him have a serious conversation with someone with an opposing viewpoint. Usually there are interruptions, insults and dismissals. That behavior is not what Renner describes as “common ground.”


  9. Seymour Butts says:


    I did not want to leave a comment on this because I thought it poor of me to stoop to the level of an uneducated, unhinged, pseudo-journalist like yourself. However, I could no longer stand the terrible vitriol that you spew onto this website. The fact that you are criticizing a college student who is in the process of learning and growing as a journalist only shows the depths of your depravity. The Vidette is a student run newspaper that does a far better job of reporting actual news than this terribly biased thing you call a website. If what The Vidette is doing is not real journalism then what you are doing must be smashing your keyboard until you produce some semblance of a sentence and then hitting the enter key. Despite my utter disdain for this website and the things you post on it I hope whole-heartedly that you continue posting, because the only way for people to know that you’re an imbecile is to let you speak your mind.


    • I also let imbeciles speak. Thanks for reading, I hope nobody is holding a gun to your head to make that happen!

      Under your theory of journalism, what this reporter did was a “learning” experience. I’m sure it was – and also for her supervisor. Obviously asking questions is a course the reporter hasn’t taken or maybe it isn’t even taught.


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