Archive for Saturday, September 8, 2007

Mayor admits risque e-mail

September 8, 2007


Tonganoxie mayor Mike Vestal

Tonganoxie mayor Mike Vestal

Tonganoxie mayor apologizes for e-mail

The mayor of Tonganoxie apologizes today after admitting to sending a pornographic e-mail from his computer. Enlarge video

— Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal admitted Friday to sending an e-mail containing the picture of a naked woman and a racist joke to several individuals. He offered to resign his position as mayor, if that is what residents wish.

"Oh my God, oh my God. You've got to be kidding me. Oh, Lord have mercy," Vestal said this afternoon when a Journal-World reporter showed him a copy of the e-mail that was sent from his account.

The e-mail opened with the words, "Next Monday is National Female Breast Appreciation Day." It then showed a picture of a woman and her naked breasts. Underneath the picture were the words, "Beats the (expletive) out of Martin Luther King Day! Doesn't It?"

Vestal admitted to sending the e-mail Aug. 31 from his account to a "couple of guys." He inadvertently sent it to a 6News reporter, and that is how the Journal-World obtained the e-mail.

Vestal apologized to Tonganoxie residents for any embarrassment, and said the e-mail's content did not represent his beliefs.

"This is something I don't usually do," said Vestal, although he stopped short of saying this was the first time he had ever forwarded such an e-mail message. "I should have just deleted it.

"I apologize. I hope people will forgive me. I'm proud of what I do for the city. I don't know how I'm going to make it up to the people. It will never happen again.

"If the citizens want me to resign, I will resign. It was a bad error in judgment."

Tonganoxie Councilman Jim Truesdell said Friday that he was shocked by the e-mail.

"That's obviously wrong," Truesdell said of the e-mail's content. "But it is even worse that it mocks Martin Luther King Day and women. It is obviously distasteful."

Vestal, who was elected in April, works for an answering service that is owned by his wife. The service also has a contract with the city of Tonganoxie to function as the dispatch service for the Tonganoxie Police Department. Vestal sent the e-mail from a computer that he owns, and from an e-mail account that he pays for, he said. But it is the e-mail account that is listed as his official point of contact as the city's mayor.

Tonganoxie city employees are required to sign an agreement that prohibits employees to "knowingly communicate, download, or forward anything that might be construed as harassing, hostile or offensive based on ethnicity, race, sex, disability, age, religion or national origin."

Vestal said he never had seen the agreement before, and it was unclear whether he is subject to the agreement as either the city's mayor or an employee of a contractor that does business with the city.

Vestal said he did not know how many people he sent the e-mail to. The e-mail obtained by the Journal-World did not list the addresses of the recipients, but used a function that hid the addresses from view. Vestal also declined to say who sent him the e-mail, although he said that person was not involved in city government.

Truesdell said the community now would have to decide whether to stand behind its mayor. Truesdell said he was inclined to support Vestal, whom he called a good leader that treated council members fairly.

"I would hate to see him resign or be removed from office. I think he has done a lot of good for the community," Truesdell said. "But it probably will be up to the people. I could see a lot of people objecting on a lot of different fronts to having someone like that in office.

"But I really don't think that is Mike Vestal. I don't think that is who he is."

Councilman Tom Putthoff declined to comment on the e-mail until he had a chance to discuss it with Vestal. Attempts to reach other council members were unsuccessful.


oldgoof 10 years, 8 months ago

oh the horror. ......Chad, find some news.

oldgoof 10 years, 8 months ago

I think we all ought to send Chad some emails

KsTwister 10 years, 8 months ago

LJW has outdone itself on stupid biased reporting. Whoever made the decision to publish this needs to resign and take Chad with you.

emmersonbiggones 10 years, 8 months ago

Knock knock

Who's there?


Emmerson who?

Emmerson big ol' ta-ta's

I'll remember this article when I pay per view some adult Playboy channel programming on Sunflower Cablevision.

Speaking of adult pay-per-view, I wonder if any local celebrities have pay-per-viewed some of the risque adult programming on Sunflower? There could be even a bigger story there as well.

lunacydetector 10 years, 8 months ago

since only 1.2% of tonganoxie's population is black, i doubt he'll have to resign.

warthog 10 years, 8 months ago

I can only hope that the people of Tonganoxie have a better sense of humor than we give them credit for. Humor is usually based on something that is bound to offend someone.

Get a life. Move on. And add me to the mailing list, mayor.

lawrencechick 10 years, 8 months ago

It doesn't sound pornographic.....or racist. This is so stupid.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

The "rat" is a Channel 6 reporter and he/she needs to get a sense of humor. This guy is a quadriplegic who has overcome enormous handicaps to win political office. Get off his back with the chickens*** whining already.

imagainstit 10 years, 8 months ago

excuse me, he's skinny and handsome, is that pc?

reason 10 years, 8 months ago

some of you that think MLK is not a big deal, are still living the past -- the joke was stupid and racist--and some of you out there think its funny, Thats just sad....

oneflewover 10 years, 8 months ago

Give me a break LJW and shame on the reporter who recieved the email. The email was not meant to make news. I don't forward every email I recieve. Why should you make this such big news. Jees, you guys really have been sucking lately.

bjbrown 10 years, 8 months ago

The "rat" is a Channel 6 reporter and he/she needs to get a sense of humor.

I wonder what a 24 month check of his/her email and friend to friend jokes would reveal.

Only in Lawrence would such pc chicken crap make the news.

Or, in the alternative, let's all loathe the pastie white mayor because the media is directing a two minute hate his way. We would not want to disappoint the infogodz, now would we?

Mayor, tell the media to go rub themselves warmly against the nearest tree until relieved and go on to higher office. You owe no one an apology for such a lame joke. As one poster put up, tv comedians go so much further all of the time. The LJW should apolgize and send Chad out for common sense training.

bjbrown 10 years, 8 months ago

Here is the Mayor's ultimate sin, one for which he will find no forgiveness:

Joe Hyde 10 years, 8 months ago

This never should have been a "news" item. But since it somehow became one, let me say that if every city, county, state and federal employee who's ever spammed a raunchy joke to friends and co-workers were fired...well folks, there wouldn't be anyone left to perform necessary government services. Everybody spams e:funnies to their friends. Well, 95% do and the 5% who say they don't are damn liars.

Sharon Roullins 10 years, 8 months ago

Wow. All I have to say is if you don't want the media to find you out, don't participate in this type of behavior.

brainfreeze 10 years, 8 months ago

it's really been too long since something this awesome has happened.

way to go small town kansas

Ragingbear 10 years, 8 months ago

Hmm. How do I get on this mailing list?

redneck 10 years, 8 months ago

It was a JOKE. Can women and black people not take joke? Got any redneck jokes? Find some real news to report guys! Yea, I want to be on your mailing list Mayor!

jayhawk1234 10 years, 8 months ago

If he continues to be mayor. I wonder if they will observe it as a city holiday and give the city employees there a day off??

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 8 months ago

I am sorry and I am sure many will be offended but it made me laugh and I am a woman. The story not the email don't even know vestal from vestual so there you go, sometimes people you just have to laugh and not be so pc.

FormerCentralKansan 10 years, 8 months ago

This is almost as good as if he had been caught on Dateline's To Catch A Predator. Not quite...but almost....

waydownsouth 10 years, 8 months ago

People send emails like that to friends all the time. He made a misstake and sent it to the wrong person. Oops. Its going to blow way out of hand.

geekin_topekan 10 years, 8 months ago

"Oh my god, oh my god. You've got to be kidding me. Oh, Lord have mercy,"

"If the citizens want me to resign, I will resign."

Why to step up there Mayor. Being Mayor and all can't you declare this day a local holiday?Maybe instead of pawning this off on your citizens you could accept this for what it is.Resign or go to work in the AM with your head held high.But don't set it on someone else's lap for crying out loud. Now pull up your boot straps and show me what you're made of.

50YearResident 10 years, 8 months ago

All of us at one time or another have sent this type of Email to our friends and relatives. If we can't laugh at these jokes then there is a problem of being to politically correct. Each one of us needs to search our own past transgressions. What is the old saying, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. There is another old saying which I can't recall at the moment which is more appropriate but I will need help to post, so some of you readers can fill in for me.

50YearResident 10 years, 8 months ago

Tonganoxie mayor admits sending pornographic e-mail.

What is pornographic about a picture of a woman's breasts?

Lighten up folks and join the 20th century. We see more than this on public Television.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

This is absolutely a disaster. I missed National Breast Appreciation Day again this year and I was scheduled to be a judge at the annual Jugg Jiggling Jamboree and Wet T Shirt Contest.

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 8 months ago

I am so sorry sigmund maybe next year:) thanks for the laughs

waydownsouth 10 years, 8 months ago

Sigmund next time mark your calender. And please let LJW know so this event will not be over looked in the future.

zettapixel 10 years, 8 months ago

A woman's body is a beautiful thing! It should always be National Female Breast Appreciation Day! For more homage to NFBAD visit my photography website (the link is in my LJWorld profile.)

redmorgan 10 years, 8 months ago

Now this is worth posting a comment over! Hey, I'm female, and I thought it was funny! Mayor of Tonganoxie, please don't resign! You're human...we've all sent emails like this! LJW reporters-find something of significance to report must be really hard up to "catch" a mayor of some dinky town sending (gasp) a funny email. And it does beat the %#&$* out MLK Day! Hey, it could be worse...he could be out prowling airport bathrooms looking for sex... Oh, and thanks for the laugh, Sigmund-you are funny!

redmorgan 10 years, 8 months ago

Oh, yeah, and party at my house if anyone needs a beer!

matahari 10 years, 8 months ago

I think Tongie has a reputation that goes back years and years of being 'racist' So perhaps the town is still a bit sensitive about their past mistakes. (This statement comes from stories that some of my black friends have related to me about their being bullied as kids growing up there etc. So I've no proof thats' true) The joke made me laugh also! I think it's great he's doing the right thing and showing some remorse, but if he was NOT a public figure I'd say he has right to privacy, but we all know that's basically a given (up) when you become a politician.

Rick Aldrich 10 years, 8 months ago

holy cow not a picture of boobys! oh my gosh we better stone him. this is the real world get over it and get on. i wonder what sinful things our president has done and still does. who gives a crap. if he's good at what he does ( mayor) than let him be mayor. or we could lock him up for 82 minutes and call it even. wounder what kind of borring life the complainer lives.

waydownsouth 10 years, 8 months ago

Sigmund a judge and party at redmorgans. Gosh darn it entertainment for Friday. Guess i don't have to sit outside Last Call for "gladiator school 101"

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 10 years, 8 months ago

It beats the hell out of about any holiday I can think of. Thank you, Lynn

somebodynew 10 years, 8 months ago

I am just sorry that I am not on his mailing list. I would have laughed and then went on with the day (as should everyone)l.

Nice to step up and take the blame, but not a reason to resign. I like people who don't try to blame others/society for what they do, but this is just BS to make that big an issue of. I think this kind of thing happens a lot.

If you are offended by this type of email, then complain to him and get off his mailing list. Don't make a good mayor resign. (OK now I am out there - I am NOT pc)

redmorgan 10 years, 8 months ago

Hey, waydownsouth, my place is NOTHING like Last Call...I play good music here.

Ceallach 10 years, 8 months ago

The problem is not that the mayor sent around a joke about breast appreciation day. That is no surprise to me, and probably not to most women. When it comes to breasts, the maturity level of 99.9% of the men I know was arrested at about 13 yo. The problem is that he didn't compare it to Labor Day, President's Day, Thanksgiving Day (although that would probably have been appropriate :) noooo, he compared it to Martin Luther King Day. . . ay, there's the rub! HELLO!! That's what makes it a racist joke. That's why it is not acceptable for a public official to be part of passing it around.

Martin_D_15 10 years, 8 months ago

who gives a rat's butt? you see a whole lot worst on TNT or FX on television.

Tongy should give him a raise! you can come and run Lawrence and you will still be the only normal one in this corrupt city commish.

Ceallach 10 years, 8 months ago

maybe the mayor didn't want the good folks at having access to his emails . . .

sourpuss 10 years, 8 months ago

Don't care. It was in poor taste, but so what? I find a lot of male humor to be in poor taste.

It certainly isn't worse than South Park.

BlackVelvet 10 years, 8 months ago

who here hasn't sent/forwarded an email such as this? Very damn few I'd bet. Let's not anyone here pass judgment on this man. At least he's big enough to admit his screw up! More than many would do

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

Uh, why is it racist to celebrate a good set of hooters over Martin Luther King? If memory serves Dr. King himself enjoy fondling a good set of dairy cannons on more than one occasion and on more than one woman, if his FBI file is to be believed.

This is pure rubbish. Get a life and get a sense of humor. There's this thing called the first amendment and it's there precisely so we don't have to apologize to some prude if we want to ogle an occasional pair of hang downers.

Thanks for the mammaries, Mr. Mayor.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, it's hard to judge how evil hizzoner was without seeing the picture. Maybe I'd be incensed if the JW printed the picture.

waydownsouth 10 years, 8 months ago

redmorgan that came out wrong . i'll go to your house instead of last call. i need new entertainment.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

Cool, how about a JW poll? How many people here think that national Breast Appreciation Day is more fun than Martin Luther King Day? And of those who answer yes, how many of you think Dr. King is a great man?

davidnta 10 years, 8 months ago

So you condone and even support subtle racism 50yearoldresident?

What the mayor did was get caught doing something stupid. Now he will pay for it.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

Emma Goldman One of the great revolutionaries of all time said "If I can't dance I don't want to be a part of your revolution." Much the same thought here. If I have to get off more on MLK Day than I do on National Breast Appreciation Day, I don't want to be a part of your revolution. Denouncing that email as racism, even subtle racism is just BS designed to make the unworthy feel better about themselves by looking down their snouts at others.

Get a life, there are real racists out there and whining about crap like this will only lessen your credibility when you go after the real ones.

imagainstit 10 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

So marion, how do you know your proxy site isn't grabbing your info?

bjbrown 10 years, 8 months ago

So if it said "Columbus Day" would it have been racist?

imagainstit 10 years, 8 months ago

i'm fat and ugly , too,why are you discriminating against me?

Godot 10 years, 8 months ago

Sorry, Chad. Good try at sleasy, yellow journalism, but this comes nowhere close to Larry Craig's foot-tapping and hand signals. Let it go. Really. Just back off.

Nikki May 10 years, 8 months ago

I don't need to comment about the "transgression" it's all been said: BIG DEAL. What I want to comment on is the part that says: "The e-mail obtained by the Journal-World did not list the addresses of the recipients, but used a function that hid the addresses from view. Vestal also declined to say who sent him the e-mail, although he said that person was not involved in city government."

I'm impressed. I hate getting forwards with all the previous senders listed for pages and pages of the email. I'm glad he at least was smart enough to delete all that crap. AND the "function" to hide addresses. It's just BCC (blind carbon copy). If you respect your friends privacy use that it's STANDARD on all email programs. I have gotten emails from people that I don't know because they hit reply all instead of reply and then they get my name in their address book and send me crap I don't want.

Please people, learn from him. REMOVE HEADERS and BCC! Oh, and for the record, I would have forwarded the joke on.

Maniac 10 years, 8 months ago

If this is such an "important" story, why did it take a full week to publish? (The article states the e-mail was sent Aug. 31 to a 6News reporter. Did the recipient just open the e-mail this week?)

On Sept. 2, a story by a 6News reporter was published in the LJW about the mayor and his quest to make his city more accessible to people with disabilities.

Realizing that the stories are independent of each other, I would still like to the editors to explain the thought process that went into their decision to publish the e-mail story. Furthermore, if Chad Lawhorn's name has to be associated with this story, so should the name of the reporter that received the e-mail. He or she is a source (just like the councilmen in the story) and readers should be allowed to judge his or her credibility as well. This is particularly crucial when you consider that Sunflower Broadband is owned by the same company as 6News and the LJW. That company has access to the e-mail records of thousands of citizens in this area.

The accessibility story certainly presents a more favorable image of the mayor than the e-mail story. If the same reporter who wrote the story on Sept. 2 is the one who received the e-mail, when was it opened? Was the story about the e-mail held? I think the LJW owes readers an explanation.

JHAWKGURL 10 years, 8 months ago

Seriously? This is ridiculous. Apparently the LJW has ran out of "good gossip" To those of you ridiculing Tonganoxie and stating that this is racist & pornographic please look in your email boxes at all the "joke" emails your buddies, family and friends have sent to you. I am sure everyone on here including the people at LJW and people in the Lawrence government system ALL HAVE EMAILS that could be considered racist, sexist or even pornographic. Why does the personal email have to be something that has to be brought out in the open? I think that someone thought they might get a pat on the shoulder for "uncovering" this BIG NEWS STORY!!


Please let me also say that the percentage of African Americans in Tonganoxie should not even matter as to whether or not Mr. Vestal gets to keep his position or not? The percentage of women in Tonganoxie is pretty d*mn high....I help make up the female population and I am not concerned about what Mr. Vestal has in his PERSONAL EMAIL! If I was on that distrubution list, I would have laughed and passed on the email because I dont things that seriously..I know how to take a joke..which is why I read the LJW.

I know Mr. Vestal...I think he is an upstanding individual who deserves a lot of respect. He has overcome many obstacles in his life. He always greets you with a smile and treats you like you are a very very important person. He has a lot of great plans and things that he wants to accomplish while in office for the town of Tonganoxie. It would be a great loss to loose him over this stupid ordeal.

I moved from Lawrence to Tonganoxie and would never ever move back to Lawrence. First of all...too many d*mn liberals there but I feel that Tonganoxie is a great place to live, raise a family and live out your life. WHY? Because we have people like Mr. Vestal who is here to help make things better for our every day lives and the lives of our children.

Those of you on here that are "whining and complaining," I have two questions 1. DO YOU LIVE IN TONGANOXIE? 2. IF NOT, why do you care what goes on in OUR government? Pay attention to your own. YOU HAVE bigger fish to fry...get busy blogging on that.

I would like to end this by saying SHAME ON YOU LJW and I do hope you find better things to write about. I also want to wish Mr. Vestal the best of luck in this ordeal. Nothing like having someone try to air your dirty laundry huh? Hang in there Mike. You are a great mayor and a great person and the evidence proves that you are well liked and respected or you probably would not have the position you have now.

You my friend, are in my thoughts and prayers and I wish you the very best in this stupid bashing!!!

OKAY...lets see what moron is going to blog back to me....bring it on...I can take your ridicule.

Jean1183 10 years, 8 months ago

You Go, JHAWKGURL! I agree 100% with you.

I'm a woman and I get at least one "stupid" joke everyday in my e-mail. I pass some on, others I don't. I just laugh and go about my day, dealing with much more important matters than a joke.

I don't live in Tongie but I think this is a total non-issue and hope the mayor does not resign!

Scott Tichenor 10 years, 8 months ago

Coming soon: The Lawrence Journal World National Enquirer. What a disappointing waste of time and ethics on behalf of the LJW. So many important stories to be told. It's clear why this one was chosen to be on the front page. That's our home town newspaper.

dirkleisure 10 years, 8 months ago

This is all about his disability.

The LJ World, 6News and their parent company don't believe he is fit to serve due to his physical condition.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

Why is this racist? Because reference is made to a black leader? If anything, it is at least as demeaning to women, but it is in actuality neither. The LJW decided to lead with the R-word, therefore the email became racist, BS. That's yellow journalism or at least irresponsible. And this was his personal email account, which he allows the city to use free of charge, so he should be able to send what he wants, within legal reason. And, we have ALL received and sent poor taste emails, BIG DEAL. That's it LJW, your lead story, Big Deal. I think the story was way more in poor taste than Vestal's email. It should never have been written. LJW is not the moral compass for anyone.

canyon_wren 10 years, 8 months ago

What great comments on a really stupid non-issue article! Wouldn't it be wonderful if that was the WORST thing making the rounds? As someone said, you see and hear so much cruder and more racist comments on TV every day, so what's the big deal? Political correctness has always seemed contrived to me--and "demanded" 'way beyond what is reasonable. This is a good example of that hole we have dug for ourselves. I am glad so many of the posters have better sense than that!

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

Next Monday is National Breast Appreciation Day, beats the pants off of Memorial Day, huh? Any outraged veterans out there?

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

Vestal should contact a lawyer. The Lawrence Vestal Journal....hmmmm....The LJV....only one letter away from "W"...could work.....

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Damn you Chad Lawhorn, Mike Vestal, and all the rest of you for mocking me and my misfortune! I am comforted only by the fact that I have marked my calender for the annual Baldwin Bald Beaver Daze which are just around the corner.

hanni213 10 years, 8 months ago

Only in America...newspaper is more concerned about some public official looking at a couple of boobs than current events around the world. Where exactly is the email racist???...give me a break!

gerbilsniper 10 years, 8 months ago

I hope the reporter reads the comments on his article and realize it came back to bite him in the ass.I also hope all of you like i did, added Chad Lawhorn to your email contact list and make sure that you forward him every single obnoxious forward you get. Because if this is what he considers news, he's gonna need lots of material in order to keep getting those big Journal World paychecks.

Grump 10 years, 8 months ago

I take it this article means that no LJW reporter has ever forwarded on a joke email from that reporter's private email account? That could easily be proven otherwise.

purplesage 10 years, 8 months ago

"This is something I don't usually do. . .". I'm sure that's not exactly the case.

Marion is right about the double standard, laughing at comedians about things similar. Just read some of the above posts and there will be found the evidence that he is correct.

The one thing the mayor said that is right? "I should have deleted it."

pimp11 10 years, 8 months ago

Ridiculous.... after reading everyones comments, I choose to email this chicken chit writer about why he choose to make this public. Lets see if he responds! Bring it on LJW, like it was said before, Mr. Vestal should get a lawyer. Tired of seeing LJW poke their nose where it doesnt belong.

mike_vestal 10 years, 8 months ago

From the Mayor;

I would like to thank everyone for their comments in my defense. However It does not justify what I did. I make NO excuses for my actions, but would like to give a heartfelt apology to reporter Haley Harrison of Ch 6 News. I attempted to contact her personally to apologize, however I was unable to reach her. She is a very good person as well as a great reporter. What I did was wrong, I make no excuses for my actions. I believe I can still lead my City in the right direction.
I would like to add in closing; The Reporters failed to mention a comment that I felt was very important to convey to the public that "I AM NOT A RACIST"...However I apoligize to all of those who were offended by my lack of judgement.

Sincerely; Mike Vestal Mayor City of Tonganoxie

afred 10 years, 8 months ago

Shame on you ljworld. This is a crap story an you know it. What did this guy do to get your goat, besides write some bad poetry for your 'Mirror'? I often times defend you when people call you a rag. Stories like this make me agree with them though.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

mike_vestal (Anonymous) says: From the Mayor; However I apoligize to all of those who were offended by my lack of judgement.

Let's see if the LJW will be as magnanimous.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

And, Mike, I wouldn't be that quick to apologize. What you "did" is so far below the radar of any thinking person. Of course, some will read the "racist" and "pornographic" comments from the media and take those at face value, and that's where the LJW and the reporter were irresponsible. This wasn't reporting, it was editorial in nature, fingerpointing, holier-than-thou and just plain stupid to plaster this article in print.

Anyone offended by what you did is either a liar, hypocrite or a saint. Let those without fault cast the first stones...and this stone should have been left laying on the ground. Get a lawyer if that's what it takes to get an apology.

mick 10 years, 8 months ago

For punishment have him send out emails- "Mayor Vestal's Breasts Appreciation Day"

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

Very gracious of you Mr. Mayor. I too believe the JW owes you an apology. They have a right to publish the story if they think it's newsworthy (an opinion not shared apparently by the majority of its readers), but adding judgmental adjectives like "racist" and "pornographic" took the story well over the line of fair, balanced and decent reporting. The reporter for this story, the editor who wrote the headlines and the channel 6 prude all owe you an apology. Shame on all of them.

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 8 months ago

it's really been too long since something this awesome has happened.

Sexist and racist emails are "awesome"?


kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if Ms Haley Harrison of Ch 6 News forwarded this to Mr. Chad Lawhorn of the LJW via email? If so, wouldn't they be guilty of exactly what they are accusing Mr. Vestal of? Or is there some journalistic black hole that allows them to do things for which the rest of us are held up to public ridicule?

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Mayor Vestal, I can appreciate you are embarrassment and I completely understand your attempt to contact and apologize to Ms. Harrison. However I strongly disagree with your assessment of her as "really good person and a great reporter."

A really good person and a great reporterette would have accepted your phone calls, your apology, and moved on to something more important and relevant to Lawrencians like, well, the rising price of tea in China. Halfway decent human beings, reporters, and media companies should be apologizing to you for their lack of maturity and judgment. I doubt seriously if there will be any significant number of Tongie's (or whatever you call yourselves) demanding your resignation. Hopefully a much larger number will cancel their subscriptions to World Company publications. The only thing cheap and tawdry here are Haley Harrison, Chad Lawhorn, and the LJW.

But just in case Chad or Haley receive an accidental email from me, I too have an embarrassing little secret that I need to admit publicly for the first time. I secretly wish that Jimmy Olsen had gotten a few "candid snaps" of Lois Lane's boobies and Perry White had published them (wink, wink, nod, nod, know what I mean, know what I mean). Great Caesar's Ghost!

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

With all due respects RT I think most of the voices in support of the mayor above are from those "idiots" you refer to. Somehow they seem to have figured it out without your input, thank you.

haiku, sexist and racist emails are not awesome, the question here being does this email reach the level of those pejoratives, and the answer seems to be a resounding "no."

nonbeliever 10 years, 8 months ago

Please do not resign, Mayor Vestal----an error in judgement and jokes sent in poor taste does not compare to the fate of our city if Jason Ward would replace you as Mayor. And then we will see how well changing the quorum number to 4 would work---of course Mr. Ward would appoint a new council member--think I'm getting sick to my stomach.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

Hey Chad & Haley! You guys have never, ever been involved in any poor taste emails? I know you can't say the same thing about poor taste newspaper articles....ya oughta be ashamed of yourselves.

imastinker 10 years, 8 months ago

I hope there will be a lot of LTE's about this topic.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Thanks to an anonymous reader who sent me this exclusive video of the LJW's interview training tape used by the crack reporting staff at the LJW and Channel 6. The bit at the end appears to be from a documentary on homelessness in Lawrence.

MyName 10 years, 8 months ago

Well this was bone headed to say the least! I think this was something that was in poor taste, but not shockingly so. The fact that he was dumb enough to be sending it to people from that account, especially to the wrong people, bothers me more than the email itself.

pimp11 10 years, 8 months ago


I am sure that you have never sent out an "inappropriate" email. I do not classify his FORWARD as inappropriate. It was a FORWARD....Now if he MADE the email his own and came up with everything that was seen in it, THEN we should make a big deal about it. Seriously, we have so many other things in THE WORLD to deal with, that we do not need to make a big deal out of something so small.

If the Reporters need something to write about here are some ideas: send a reporter to all local/area sporting/school events so all kids are covered in their events; have reporters research on past stories so that we are UPDATED--- the man on the loose in Tongie---- I may be wrong, but I do not recall seeing any update in the Mirror/LJW.... Think I had to see it on the KC news. Send reporters to Iraq and cover a story over there, what its like to be over there, instead of just hearsay, send reporters to cover MEANINGFUL STORIES.....

Hopefully we as a society will one day come together and be one. We all send out the forwards, whether they are right or wrong....Just like one said earlier....Did Ms. Harrison ( i think that was her name--dont really care) did she forward the forwarded forward from Mr. Vestal? If so, there needs to be a story about her and her "business ethics"....If Mr. Mayor Vestal is forced out, I call for an investigation of her "business ethics"!!!!!!!!!

Pull it together people!!

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

I was just pondering. The article only cites an anon. source at channel 6 as the unintentional recipient of the heinous email. Above, Mike Vestal apologizes and names Haley Harrison. That's how we know the original rat's name in this. I wonder if MV was blowing the whistle intentionally, seves her right if he does.

And another thing, Chad Lawhorn's pious, self righteous comment about, "although he (Vestal) stopped short of saying this was the first time he had ever forwarded such an e-mail message.", just about made me hurl. What kind of a stupid judgement is that, Chad? You mean, you uncovered a "multiple-forwarder"....OMG, I smell another story.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

I'll say that there is more agreement on the senselessness of this article than on any other subject I've yet seen, except maybe the pig truck wreck where the survivors were shuffled off to the slaughterhouse. Priceless pig story.

hanni213 10 years, 8 months ago

I don't even think this email is sexist...I am a woman, celebrating breasts--how is that degrating to women?

cmdln 10 years, 8 months ago

wow, Its really hard for me to believe this was "Top Story" worthy. Really? Some guy sent a forward, and it makes it on the news?

beatrice 10 years, 8 months ago

Jokes about women and Martin Luther King. Oh gosh that is funny. And not at all sexist or racist. Who cares what all those liberals who whine about respecting other people and such. Yep, nothing sexist or racist about an overweight, pasty white guy making jokes that involve half-naked women and Martin Luther King, Jr. I'm just glad it wasn't a joke about a Jabba the Hut looking white mayor who probably has larger breasts than most women. Not a joke about Jabba the Mayor. Now that would be in bad taste.

I think my favorite part is his going all evangelical when busted -- "Oh my God, oh my God ... oh Lord." If you support this mayor, I suggest you go into the men's room, tap your foot, and give me an "Amen!"

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

mike_vestal (Anonymous) says: From the Mayor; ..., but would like to give a heartfelt apology to reporter Haley Harrison of Ch 6 News.

Why apologize? She's a dam* snitch. What is she, 8 yrs old? A vestal (hahaha) virgin? Pollyana Do Good? She is the one who needs to apologize, publicly.

laughingatallofu 10 years, 8 months ago

If the LJW is waiting for a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting to show up at their door, they've got a long wait,

I wonder how this particular e-mail traveled through the LJW's own e-mail system.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

beatrice (Anonymous) says: Jokes about women and Martin Luther King. Oh gosh that is funny.

You totally missed the entire point, beatrice. And tell me, why can't I make jokes about MLK or women? There are a lot of subjects covered in joke material. These are only two of them.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 8 months ago

I should be ostracized from society for saying...

I hope they let him keep his red stapler.

I apologize!

Christine Anderson 10 years, 8 months ago

Hey, LJW, want to know something? Vestal does not deserve to be vilified. I am a woman, and I happen to have laughed myself silly at this! Hooray for those ladies who do have boobs! BTW, District Attorney Amy McGowan believes that a "small amount" of child porn is okay. So does Jean Shephard. Lawrence/Dg. County is so over-liberal I could puke! There is a certain divorced mom in Lawrence. She has two young sons. Her ex-husband's computer was seized by LPD, who found confirmed images of child porn on the hard drive, specifically photos of nude, prepubescent girls. The man was interviewed by detectives, and he CONFESSED to deliberately downloading the child porn. The file was then turned over to Amy McGowan, who, when contacted by the mother in question, stated she DECLINED TO PRESS CHARGES, because the EVIDENCE WAS TOO THIN! Too thin my big fat butt! The pervert confessed! So, Mr. LJW reporter, if you want a juicy, truly newsworthy story about indecent things on the internet, look up my personal info and email me. You can call me at 785-550-4220, anytime night or day. I'm just itchin' to talk.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

Hmm wonder if Chad will make the phone call, misplaced. Keep us updated as to when the call comes in and be sure to notify us when the story breaks.

Beatrice, I feel personally offended by your post. I'm an overweight, pasty-white, male with man boobs and you've been terribly insensitive. You think it's easy find a woman with jugs bigger than mine? Don't be so critical until you've walked a mile in our shoes. How dare you be critical of others until you've cleaned up your own act. Jabba the mayor, indeed! The man is a quadriplegic and can't exactly exercise ( a fact neatly cropped from the JW photo).

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

The Journal World attacked a quadriplegic email forwarder?! This story really backfired LJW/Chad. Boys, get the tar & feathers ready.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

The video and script for this farce is still being labeled a "top story" and a "pornographic e-mail"

One can only hope that the citizens of Tongie boo the daylights out of the JW staff if they show up at the Council meeting on Monday night. The one who should resign is that wimp Truesdell.

beatrice 10 years, 8 months ago

kjerk: "She is the one who needs to apologize, publicly." Oh really? So you really think it is okay for elected officials to send around images of half-naked women? You not only aren't against, but now support sexualized images in the workplace. You conservatives just keep getting funnier and stranger at every turn.

U-H: I admit, I didn't realize he was in a chair. That makes what I wrote just awful. Not that being in a chair, however, should clear him from being the butt of a joke -- isn't that the point everybody here keeps making? Aren't people arguing against being PC, and claiming that everybody should be fair game for a joke? I guess it is just a good thing I'm not an elected official or sending this from work. Otherwise I would have to apologize and offer to step down if that was the desire of the people.

beatrice 10 years, 8 months ago

To all the defenders -- would your comments be the same if this had been Boog? If not, then you are a hypocrit, as simple as that.

compmd 10 years, 8 months ago


"Your IP will then show up as like or even better,!"

No. That would violate the TCP handshake requirements. If you have a source address of, and you send a TCP SYN to some destination host like, the source host will never receive the destination host's SYN/ACK because there is no route to the source host. In other words, your above statement is very wrong.

Your proxy running on ThePlanet isn't a machine I would trust if I were you. You see, they aren't very good about patching security flaws on their managed servers. If I were a black hat, there are two vectors of attack I would use to pwn the box.

"there are guys out there who have server farms running which through the software can track you right down to the MAC address of your computer"

Unless you are on the same network as your adversary, he does not have your MAC address. Your adversary would be looking at a different layer.

"online free proxies...are not really capable of grabbing you info...Getting your info requires intrusion into your box and what is happening when you use a proxy is that you are going through their box basically. If anyone tried to get into your box your security programs should warn you and halt the intrusion."

They are 100% completely capable of grabbing your info unless it is being encrypted. It is quite trivial for the admin of the proxy to sniff the packets of his users. It would take about 5 seconds for the admin of the box to do it and watch it in realtime. I know because the same tools can be used for simple diagnostics to identify "problem clients" inside a corporate network for example.

Security is always an entertaining topic.

The LJW should be ashamed to have published this.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

Beatrice, I think the folks on here have been remarkably consistent with this story. No one has asked what the mayor's politics are, and both progressives and conservatives have been uniformly supportive of the mayor. That's a good thing. If some religious prude had denounced a KU prof for showing a picture of a topless woman in a class on human sexuality, you know what the response on here would be. Well, that was the response today, the politics of the actors notwithstanding.

The first amendment is for all of us, and certainly we expect a higher level of sensitivity from those who represent, or should represent, all of us. But this just doesn't rise to that level. Had Emma Goldman been a contemporary of Martin Luther King and had they ever met, I'm betting they'd both celebrated breast awareness day before returning to the struggle.

This must have been a slooooooowwwww news day, because usually, the JW is much better than this.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

Incidentally, Beatrice, I do agree with your comments about a hostile workplace, but this was a private e-mail that was accidentally sent to the reporter. For that, the mayor has either apologized, or attempted to apologize personally, as he should.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

compmd is precisely correct on all counts and down to the particulars, network layer and all. One of the problems with pay-as-you-surf "anonymous" proxy servers, especially if you have something to hide and you paid by credit card, is you are NOT anonymous to the proxy server admin. You want to trust the anonymous admin? Feel free, but everyone I know who knows anything computer security wouldn't. But here is a puzzler for you all, I can think of a valid reason to have in your routing table. I wonder how many people know when and why?

On a somewhat related issue, even if the sites you visit say "https://" and your browser has the little "locked padlock," you are not nearly as safe as you would like to believe. There is a little thing security experts like to call "the man in the middle attack." It would be trivial to implement if I were the admin on your "anonymous proxy" server or you were using a open wireless network at a coffee shop, and only slightly more difficult to implement if the wireless network were "secured."

beatrice 10 years, 8 months ago

hawk: Al Gore never said he invented the internet. Why won't people quit repeating this lie? His actual response to a question was: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system. During a quarter century of public service, including most of it long before I came into my current job, I have worked to try to improve the quality of life in our country and in our world. And what I've seen during that experience is an emerging future that's very exciting, about which I'm very optimistic, and toward which I want to lead."

It is a bit of a rambling response to a question, but not the same thing as saying he invented the internet. Plus, some time later he explained: "The day I made that statement, [about the inventing the internet] I was tired because I'd been up all night inventing the Camcorder."

Now, if you want to look at a politician who has bungled his words, we have this new guy in office ... goes by the letter W.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

gogoplata, I think if he showed his balls they would ask him to resign. I know, a double standard, he can hang some anonymous woman's udders out for a public showing and we all support him, but freak out if he shows his own balls. Just another demonstration of the unfairness of life.

And yes, I believe it was Al Gore who invented the Internet, hawkperchedsomewhereintheareacrappingonourshoulders.

I'm sorry, it's been a long day. Let me apologize now and offer to resign my public office if ever I'm elected to one. Thank you.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Beatrice and Uhlrick, I thought it impossible that I would find any two people more repressed and self righteous than Chad and Haley in this story, but you two have proved me wrong once again! And to answer your question Beatrice, even if the story had been about Boog I would feel exactly the same.

Butt Beatrice, this story wouldn't have been written about Booger for a variety of reasons including the editors at the LJW know he has a Law degree and would recognize libel when he saw it. You see the Fourth Estate (that is the Press for Uhlrick and Beatrice) has great freedom to print what it likes about public figures without fear of being sued, but it is not an absolute privilege. Proving "actual malice" is difficult, but not impossible and calling the email "pornography," well given the description I doubt it goes beyond bawdy, let alone obscene.

There is little doubt in my mind that the LJW article and its and original headline were inaccurate, defamatory, injurious and given that the LJW, Chad, and Haley took days to craft this story, ignoring his attempts at apology then printed it with a "Breaking News" red banner yesterday, was motivated by actual malice on their part.

It is apparent that Mr. Vestal seems willing to forget and forgive, the next target of a LJW smear campaign may not be so understanding. Even if the victim does not win, defending such an action can get very expensive, and remember plaintiffs attorneys work on contingency if the defendant has big bucks.

If I were the LJW, I would apologize publicly to Mr. Vestal and then promote to Haley Harrison and Chad Lawhorn to the World Company's division in BFE, Kansas.

spammer89 10 years, 8 months ago

waiting for the sexual harassment suit to be filed over this, everybody is so sue happy.

tell_it_like_it_is 10 years, 8 months ago

I swear this country has gone nuts. No common sense and no sense of humor at all anymore. This shouldn't even have made the news.

hottruckinmama 10 years, 8 months ago

If people worked half as hard at getting along as they did finding something to get "offended" about think how great things would be. Maybe people just need to live in their own little bubbles nowadays. That way no one can be offended by anyone.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

The really sad thing is, not one person in the Mayor's office nor one recipient of the email, aside from Chad and Haley, objected to this email. Any suggestion that of a "hostile workplace" fails miserably unless Chad, Haley, and the LJW wish to claim Mr. Vestal works for the LJW or that they work for the City of Tonganoxie.

Correction to my earlier post: No need to implement a "man in the middle" attack if you ran the anonymous proxy server. A simple sniff and capture allowing original unencrypted traffic to pass would be sufficient for gaining access to a "https://" secured site. Only if all the traffic were encrypted would that be necessary. It's a good thing Bruce Schriner doesn't read my posts here, he would have jumped all over me.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

Sigmund, we agree on this issue, but I'm horribly repressed - yet again? I must have missed something, or you haven't been reading what I've been posting. (Not that being in the same company with Beatrice is a bad thing, at least she understands what she's reading.)

beatrice 10 years, 8 months ago

Sigmund: Yep, I must be repressed to think city employees, let alone the mayor, shouldn't be forwarding questionable jokes involving half-naked women and arguably racist commentary from the e-mail address they use as their official address. Think me self righteous for believing Vestal sending this "joke" to a reporter is a fairly stupid thing for an elected official to do, and brings into question his decision making abilities. There is a time and place for everything, and this wasn't it. (Being sexist and racist is best kept in private, you see, keeping it among your fellow racist and sexist friends.)

And how exactly is it a smear campaign if the paper reports what a mayor of a town actually did? Isn't that just called reporting? And I guarantee you that if Boog had sent something like this to a reporter while mayor, they would have reported it. To claim otherwise is to admit ignorance of how newspaper reporters work. In fact, if the reporter hadn't reported this, it would be covering up the truth. And to clarify one point, Vestal isn't a "public figure," he is an "elected official." Elected officials get called on their stupidity, especially when they act stupidly in front of a reporter.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Uhlrick, sorry I'm too had a long day. Apologies if I misunderstood you.

Beatrice, is it a "good idea" for a Mayor to send bawdy emails from his personal email account that he (not the City) pays for but is also happens to be used as an official point of contact, obviously not. Was it "pronographic", racist, and news worthy let alone front page news? Apparently you, Chad, and Haley think so.

But when i look at this story as one of poor judgment and realize that the only people who were offended were Chad and reporterette Haley and they took nearly a week (while ignoring his repeated calls and attempts to apologize) then decided to print this "story," I have concluded that the real villains here all work for the LJW.

As for calling you repressed and self righteous, allow me to amend my remarks to include humorless.

EXks 10 years, 8 months ago

Homer Simpson and Tongie's mayor one in the same???? DOH!

beatrice 10 years, 8 months ago

Sigmund, I suspect your sense of humor runs towards the "Reba Show" variety, that is the only way I can think anyone would find his e-mail funny. It is dumb.

Now, let me get this straight -- if an elected official does something stupid, then apologizes to the reporter before the story runs, the reporter should drop the story? Is that it? I'm not sure where you lifted the "pronographic" from, but it wasn't me. I never made that claim. For it to be pornographic, it would likely have required some form of penetration of body parts, or so I would imagine. I also never said it should be front page news. That isn't my call, though it would likely require Tonganoxie to be a substantial place, and it isn't. Nor have I said he should resign.

What I do say is that the e-mail was intended for those who laugh at sexist and racist humor, probably more so when combined. If you think this was funny and can't see how it is both sexist and racist (and terribly stupid to have been sent to a reporter by a mayor) then you qualify for being labeled as sophomoric and ignorant.

Would you mind if the picture was of your mother / sister / daughter? If so, add hypocritical as well.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Beatrice, if the email was mischaracterized as "pornographic", when in fact it was merely risque as the amended headline now reads, yes I would characterize the original article as a smear on his reputation and yellow sheet journalism at its best (read worst). I think there is a big difference legally and in most readers minds between risque and pornographic. The original headline for this story and on the Tongy website read pornographic, and no, no penetration is needed for something to be considered pornographic.

And yes Beatrice if only the Reporterette were offended, most people would accept the apology and go on with life instead of making a front page mountain out of a no story molehill. And yes if my Mother / Sister / Daughter / Wife willingly posed for such a picture, I would feel that exactly same way. They are all adults, and they get to make their own decisions about their own bodies and lives. So allow me to add hysterical to my earlier repressed, self-righteous and humorless description of your apparent outrage. Get a life and grow up and save your moralistic judgmentalism for something worthy of your passionate protestations.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 8 months ago

The JW labeled it as pornographic on the channel 6 broadcast and I believe also the Tongie paper.

Again, the email was sent by accident to the reporter.

What makes this over the top is the attention the JW gave the story as well as the terminology they used to describe the email. The story at best is dicta to be given a couple of inches on page whatever near the obits. A personal apology is owed to the unintended recipient, which the mayor tried to give.

I agree, the facts suggest a vendetta. The guy has in no way tried to deny anything,or minimize the importance of his mistake, and that is a component of what makes a story newsworthy. If he had agreed with most of the posters here, then the JW might have had grounds to make its case, albeit on the editorial page, not in biased headlines, a front page assault and an overly dramatic article and TV story. Just way over the top. They should be ashamed.

Calliope877 10 years, 8 months ago

I agree that the PC thing has gotten out of hand. It seems like people have to apologize for the dumbest things. Since he's a public figure, I guess it's good he apologized, but I don't think he should have to resign.

ontheotherhand 10 years, 8 months ago

All this situation proves is that yet another man sees no degradation in displaying women's breast and adding a cute little tag line that insinuates that tits are grrrrrrrreat! Most female leaders would never stoop so low as to send the same type of display (substitute the breasts with a penis), but women also don't have sex on their minds 24-7. Let him stay; otherwise, we would have to get rid of 99% of the other male leaders who have done the same thing.

LINANGEL 10 years, 8 months ago

Its a shame that the email or joke cant be taken for what it was a joke. The guy who wrote about it in the journal world needs his butt kicked between his ears. Shame on picking on a hanicapped man who has enough problems of his own. The person who wrote about it needs to be looking for another job hiself not the poor mayor wheres the compassion . It sounds as if the journal world is hard up for news its a shame too been reading it for years.

Kat Christian 10 years, 8 months ago

Good thing not many blacks in Tonganoxie becuase there'd be a riot for sure. If I were black I'd be there, if fact I'd be there anyway. I think the joke was discussing. As a community leader he should have had better judgement and deleted the email. But that's small town mentality for you. Obviously that guy doesn't travel outside of small town much or maybe never. Discrimination, offensive behavior is just about the upmost top of the list this days. Everyone is so over-sensitive about these things that its difficult to even have a conversation with the oppositive sex much less different nationalities without trying not to be offensive. And this guy does this. WHoa not so bright I think. YOU're FIRED!! as far a I'm concerned. That was so ignorant!!

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Sunshine_Nosy, sayeth "I think the joke was discussing." Really? What exactly was this joke "discussing"? Assuming you ignorantly typed "discussing" but meant "disgusting" (typical small town mentality, you should have had better judgment, but that is small town, small minded mentality for you) please explain how this joke is offensive. Martin Luther King, Jr. was black. How exactly is "National Breast Appreciation Day beating the (the F expletive) out of MLK Day" racist? As you are so worldly an big city please explain how it is racist or fosters discrimination,. You need to travel more to big cities. You are SO ignorant!

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

In 1989, Ralph Abernathy, a close associate of King's in the civil right movement, stated in a book he authored that King was a womanizer. The book was titled And The Walls Came Tumbling Down, and was published by Harper & Row. The book was reviewed in the New York Times on October 29, 1989, and the allegations of the sexual conduct of King were discussed in that review, where Abernathy says that he only wrote in the terms womanizing, and did not specifically say King did have extramarital sex.

Evidence indicating that King possibly engaged in sexual affairs is detailed by history professor David Garrow in his book Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, published in 1986 by William Morrow & Company.

Being a heterosexual male, I bet you Martin Luther King, Jr liked boobies too! Or am I now being a "racist." You all need to grow up, get a life, and take your prudish small town, small minded, politically correct hyper-sensitivities and loosen those oh so tightly wadded panties.

geekin_topekan 10 years, 8 months ago

Did somebody say "milk cannons" early on? Good God man!"Floppywhoppers" is the proper term!! Carry on...

speedy 10 years, 8 months ago

quick lets destroy all of the paintings in the art gallerys,burn the books in the libraries that are showing breasts! i thought it was deceided by the supreme court that the nude body of a woman was not in itself porno. i propose that we celebrate somthing worth while. evelyn west day. (ask your grandfather) not mae. voted most beautiful breasts of the 20th century. i know and agree i saw them!!!

cptgarbanzo 10 years, 8 months ago

yegads. I can't belive that anybody would take this seriously. whats next for midwest america? we start destroying works of art because they ( have nekkid people parts in them? are we going to burn down the nelson atkins? i know this isn't like art or anything, and yea, the email is in poor taste, but not because it has breasts on it, or because it mentions martin luthor king day, but because it's a sophmoric joke at best. BAD LJWORLD! this isn't news. tell me more about iraq, or about the people who may become the next president of the U.S. or perhaps more ways the city is going to waste my taxpayer money on garbage i don't use? or about some of the things that really are important around lawrence. this article made me wonder why i bother to pay LJworld for the right to read their paper. what garbage.

warthog 10 years, 8 months ago

There are so many excellent comments here, that, when reading through, I may have missed it, but isn't funny that the World Co., who owns LJW, Sunflower, and Channel 6, wants to condemn a man who forwarded a relatively mild and harmless emal, while, at the same time, selling porn on their cable system? By the way, channel 49 in Topeka, which is owned by the same company, broadcast this story using the terms "dirty" and "pornographic" to describe the picture. They seem to have done something that even the supreme court can't agree on: they defined pornography.

"Demeaning" and "racist"? I fail to see the connection. I see women every day that dress to show off their "assets" to the fullest. Apparently they don't find that to be demeaning at all. If the picture had been of a Hooters waitress, would that have been more acceptable? And how is referring to MLK day considered racist? Given the option, I'd take National Breast Day over just about any other holiday on the calendar.

beatrice 10 years, 8 months ago

Sigmund -- outrage? Hardly. I think this is quite funny. I mean, for a mayor to send an e-mail like that -- very funny. And to see all the conservatives here coming to the rescue -- the same conservatives who likely backed Ashcroft when he had the statue of justice covered up because it showed a bare breast or try to get breast feeding in public banned -- makes this story a laugh riot. Adding MLK to the mix, rather than, say Groundhog Day, or Veterans Day, is the frosting on the cake. Too, too funny.

Now he is saying he won't resign. Good for him, and I mean that. If he wants to be sexist and racist on his own time (and I know that not everyone agrees that he was being either), then that is his choice. Just as it is the people's choice on whether or not to vote for him again in the future.

But I am left with wondering how anyone would think the image described was funny enough to forward. Seriously. Of all the crap people get in their e-mail every day, this is the one that gets a chuckle and is forwarded? I just don't get it. Maybe it is because seeing boobies doesn't thrill me in the same way it might a repressed conservative populace. I also don't see how questioning the single holiday designated to honor an African American doesn't raise an eyebrow regarding race. If one thing is better than another, then what is wrong with the first thing?

Oh well, I guess questioning such matters among people who enjoy such humor is silly of me. How dare anyone question the good-old-boy attitude. So add silly to your list, too. But please know I am laughing at the stupidity of it all.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Beatrice, you don't get it yet do ya, hun? The e-mail was not one I would find funny or forward. But many men and women do find such bawdy humor funny as far back as Shakespeare (he is a older English writer who was quite popular, you may not have heard of him, just google for more information). But it is NOT racist pornography as was suggested by the LJWorld article.

You're missing the whole point here, I suspect intentionally. This isn't a story about a momentary misstep by naive Mayor anymore. It IS about twisting and hiding facts by numerous World Company employees to defame a man and then cover up their libelous acts.

I have no idea of Mr. Vestal politics nor does it matter much to me nor have I brought politics into this discussion. But your suggestion that my politics is somehow shaping my outrage suggest that you yourself allow politics to shape yours. Much like Haley Harrison, Beatrice, methinks the lady protesteth too much!

beatrice 10 years, 8 months ago

Oh Siggi, my lad, I get it now. Thanks for clarifying. Let's see if I got it straight -- Boobies and MLK are funny, especially when combined. Shakespeare is an old comedian, kind of like Benny Hill. Reporters shouldn't report a story if the person apologizes before the story runs, and stories about elected officials have nothing to do with politics. Got it.

Further, when a conservative writes in defense of someone sending nude images through e-mail, that in no way should reflect on the puritanical history of the modern conservative movement in this country. Check.

Oh, and e-mails with half-nekid women that also discuss MLK have nothing to do with a person's views on sexism or racism, I guess in the way a joke about a kid and a priest has nothing to do with pedophilia and religion. Got it. That, and reporters shouldn't report stories about mayors who stupidly send reporters e-mails with images of nudity and questionable racial content. In fact, it might even be best to let someone know they will run a story to see if they care to apologize first, thus saving the rest of us the burden of reading about the incident.

Also, I am loving that Vestal is now saying he isn't sure the rules for city employees applies to him. Wow, with justification like that, this guy could be President. (Not that I mean anything political by that.)

By the way, I'll bet you a million bucks that the original "joke" originated with a white man and was forwarded to Vestal by a white man, although I'm sure that is just a coincidence given how the joke has nothing to do with race or a sexist value system, as you proclaim.

Thanks for taking the time to explain it, like such a sweet boy would. You probably make your mother proud.

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Oh Beatrice, seriously quit hysterically overstating the case, it is tiresome. And just so you'll feel better the are LOTS of white male politicians I have been critical of. But I guess if I had such a weak position that I felt the need confuse this matter with a Presidents action in the Oval Office with one young intern and who then lied under oath about it, I too would try a pathetic attempt muddy the waters and hide from the real facts of the case here.

But I don't need to attempt that kind of obfuscation because instead of lying about his actions, this Mayor made numerous attempts to apologize and continues to apologize at every opportunity to Ms. Harrison (the only offended person here as far as I can tell, excepting yourself of course) and his constituents, who for the most part appear not to be terribly bothered by this momentary lapse of his common sense.

I have compared and contrasted that misjudgment with the week worth of planning and the gross over characterization of the facts between Chad and Haley to smear Mr. Vestal including their withholding of relevant facts of this story from their readers. It hasn't bothered me a bit that a white male millionaire whose politics I generally agree with, as far as I can tell, and who I have praised publicly owns the LJWorld and I haven't excluded him from his fair share of criticism.

Butt Beatrice, before I continue this discussion further with you, would you please tell us of any single liberal politician, including the white millionaire former president who lied under oath, that you have ever criticized and the nature of that criticism?

Beatrice, have you ever considered a career in journalism? As you have no problem with their tactics, ethics or journalistic standards, I do think you would fit right in at the World Company and they would welcome you with open arms.

rhd99 10 years, 8 months ago

Why this idiot told Channel 6 & LJW about this e-mail in the first place is beyond me. He says he wants to keep his job. Fine, Mayor, YOU'RE FIRED!

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

Umm, rhd99 you might want to reread the story and all the comments (try focusing this time) including the post by mike_vestal before you start calling people idiots. I'm just saying.

budwhysir 10 years, 8 months ago

Well I for one think that the main road problems are to blame. All the chuck holes creating broken belts in tires and all the shock problems now a days. But who am I to say. Its not me that is in trouble

Bill Chapman 10 years, 8 months ago

Political Correctness is out of hand! This also goes for the media allowing their personal views to flavor their news reporting. Just watch any of the national news shows and pay attention to how the reporters use their voice (inflection, tone, etc.), body language(not looking straight into the camera, fidgeting with papers, etc.) and any other means to influence the emotional content of whatever news they report. The objectivity of news reporting should be absolute in it's neutrality. Otherwise, the reporting of the news becomes nothing more than gossip and innuendo.

As for Political Correctness - when the need to avoid hurting or offending someone becomes more important than stating one's point, we have crossed the line into censorship. Even if it is done by the society rather than a select group or individual. This is because this nation has the rule of free speech as part of its' core laws. The only real exception to this is when making a statement, the speaker must be willing to back it up with proof of some type - especially when accusing another of some malfeasance or crime.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 10 years, 8 months ago

I'm amazed at how many people on here are going out of their way to minimize the situation. I have a friend that works for the courts who forwarded a risque e-mail and was taken to the woodshed over it. The incident almost cost him his job. It sets a poor example for those workers to be punished for it but the folks who have a hand in administering them aren't held to AT LEAST the same standard. It was his personal account, but it is also listed as his official point of contact. I don't expect for them not to be punished...they are using a system paid for by the taxpayers and should be used for official business only. If they want to participate in that sort of activity, fine, use your personal e-mail, do it on your personal time, and DON'T associate it with your official or professional activities. With a Sunflower account, he could set up a second e-mail address on his account that is strictly for official business. I'll bet some of the same folks that are defending the situation are the same ones that raised a big stink over getting a BJ in the White House. It seems that they are outraged when it serves as a convenience to them. Why not set a standard and stick by it. It sounds like the city of Tonganoxie has a standard in black & white.

acg 10 years, 8 months ago

Why was it racist? Because it said it booby day beats the s out of MLK day? I don't understand why that's racist. Most holidays beat the s out of MLK day, so what of it? I also don't get why people think breasts are porn. Guess what, all women (and alot of men) have them. Not porn, just natural. I have an idea. Grow up, quit whining, stop pushing your issues about race and nudity on to everyone else and try laughing once in a while. It just might surprise you.

Kontum1972 10 years, 8 months ago

that town gives me the creeps.... all it needs is Dueling Banjos banjos playing over the street loudspeaker system and it would be the perfect Deliverance town.... talk about racial profiling....

Jason Bailey 10 years, 8 months ago

Personally, I don't want a mayor in a position of authority who can't even work his email outbox correctly. I mean, give me a break. If I accidentally sent a nasty gram to my boss and meant to berate him only to my peers, I'd fully expect to be terminated. Maybe the grounds for termination wouldn't be "because you sent that email", but there'd be some reason found.

I would like to see the people of Tonganoxie stand up and expect more from their elected leaders. One question I have that isn't addressed here: Was this email sent from Vestal's personal email or from his City Hall address? That changes the whole landscape of this issue.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

jason2007 (Anonymous) says: Personally, I don't want a mayor in a position of authority who can't even work his email outbox correctly.

Only a superficial point Poindexter. Maybe the email generation is outraged by this heinous lack of manual dexterity, but the majority of people who are able to READ, know that Vestal:

  1. didn't send it to his boss;
  2. did work his email correctly, too correctly;
  3. did use his personal account, that he allows the city to use too (read b4 you post hotshot).

Sigmund 10 years, 8 months ago

jason, there is no indication that this mistake occurs regularly, just that he made this one mistake. Are you so perfect that you feel free to judge the rest of humanity that occasionally makes a mistakes? Does the phrase to err is human ring a bell with you? You may be perfect but you are also a pompous jerk.

purplesage 10 years, 8 months ago

He blew it. Everyone has somehow, someway. It is now on all the KC television stations and they even sent crews to Tong. City Hall. I think the tawdry-bawdry story is getting too much coverage.

Jason Bailey 10 years, 8 months ago


Apparently you failed to parse my post correctly since your intellect was clouded by your scramble to jump on the "don't judge!" bandwagon and to hurl insults. I said, the real world is harsh and there are repercussions based on our actions. I've seen staff level persons dismissed for these types of infractions. How much less should we hold an elected official (the top-level official of a city, nonetheless!) to a high standard?

I'm not saying that people don't make mistakes or that we shouldn't give them a second chance but there should be accountability and respect for the office that he holds.

(Commentary: You'll notice that I refrained from slinging insults. I'm assuming you live in Lawrence, the "bastion of intellectual enlightenment and free exchange of ideas". I'd hope you could have a debate without degrading yourself)

Jason Bailey 10 years, 8 months ago


I'll concede the point regarding Vestal sending the email from an account that he pays for but the spirit of the issue remains: it is an account that he uses for official mayoral business. I personally have three email accounts. One used for my business that is only used for business, one that is used for spam and web signups, and another that is used for personal stuff. This is not rocket science....if he has to send this type of email, he should send it from his personal "can't-be-linked-to-my-professional-life" email account.

My other two points still remain: I was making a point that in the real world there are ramifications to your actions and that he actually can't use his email correctly. I can't remember a time when I sent an email to someone who should not have been included and I send probably 40-50 emails per day. Before I hit send, I scan every recipient. If there's a distribution list included, I expand it to see who are members. This is not hard.

Crossfire 10 years, 8 months ago

...not porn. ...not racist. ...not a big deal.

nf bad... <I;{

dminear60 10 years, 8 months ago

I live in Tonganoxie and I am embarrassed and ashamed of the mayor's email. He has brought too much negative attention to a lovely community. I may be in the minority but I am in favor of him stepping down. Are his supporters so sure his lack of good judgment stops with email?

Jason Bailey 10 years, 8 months ago

dminear60: You've hit the nail on the head. This behavior is juvenile and something you'd expect from a 16-year old, not the mayor of a city.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 8 months ago

jason2007 (Anonymous) says: This (Vestal's) behavior is juvenile and something you'd expect from a 16-year old, not the mayor of a city.

Jason, I maintain, and many others do as well, that this email was a non issue, neither racist nor pornographic. Poor judgement, kinda stupid, sure, but nontheless a non-issue. Many poor-taste emails are forwarded every day that do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the senders.

JeepTJ 10 years, 8 months ago

Another fine example of no accountability,,,that is to say he is not being held accountable for his lack of judgement. The city of Tonganoxie has a Code of Ethics in their city ordinances that were put in place to govern the city employees and then they don't enforce it...the following is taken from Tonganoxie's City Ordinance:

1-212. CODE OF ETHICS. (a) Declaration of Policy - The proper operation of our government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; that governmental decisions and policy be made in the proper channels and that the public have confidence in the integrity of its government. In recognition of those goals, there is hereby established a Code of Ethics for all officials and employees, whether elected or appointed, paid or unpaid. The purpose of this code is to establish ethical standards by setting forth those acts or actions that are incompatible with the best interests of the city. (b) Responsibilities of Public Office - Public officials and employees are agents of public purpose and hold office for the benefit of the public. They are bound to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State and to carry out impartially the laws of the nation, state, and city and thus to foster respect for all government. They are bound to observe in their official acts the highest standards of morality and to discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that the long term public interest must be their primary concern. Their conduct in both their official and private affairs should be above reproach.

Lets just laugh it off and it will go away.

dminear60 10 years, 8 months ago

kneejerkreaction: Many poor-taste emails are forwarded every day that do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the senders. ??? Why not just delete the email you think is in poor taste rather than sending it on to others? At what point do people become accountable for their actions and at what point do public officials put the public interests first? The Code of Ethics clearly states that public officials "...conduct in both their official and private affairs should be above reproach." This story was on every television news station in Kansas City, Lawrence and Topeka as well as multiple newspapers. If the mayor's poor judgment was not so reprehensible, it might not have been so news worthy. At any rate, it is hardly a laughing matter and it most certainly is not in the best interests of Tonganoxie.

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