THE WEEK IN COMMENTS: Petitions, manifestos and our comment policy

Sunday, October 23, 2011 | 4:43 p.m. CDT; updated 8:10 p.m. CDT, Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stories dominating commenters' attention this week included a petition to recall a councilman, Occupy COMO's new manifesto and the comment policy. Here are some highlights.

Petition to recall councilman Daryl Dudley falls short

Comments: 15 / Commenters: 6

A petition submitted Oct. 17 to recall Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley because of his support for ward reappointment Trial D fell short with 830 of the 1,521 signatures needed. If the petition group collects 691 more signatures by Nov. 1, the recall would be put on the next available ballot. However, because the Columbia City Council passed Trial E later that night, the petition leaders don't plan to pursue the effort any further.

Mike Martin acknowledged the results of the effort.

"More moral authority and political gravitas probably accrues to 4th Ward residents if they drop the recall effort, while acknowleging the astounding results: hundreds of signatures in a couple of days; and an amplified voice to media types and Council representatives that surely helped move them toward Trial E.

"The 4th Ward narrowly escaped a political body blow. Daryl Dudley narrowly escaped a political body blow. Fair enough."

Michael Williams said he wanted the petition effort to continue to show whether the group's concerns represented the entire ward or just a minority of it.

“As it stands now, we don't know if the group abandoned the effort because they got their immediate desire (Trial E) or because they saw an undesired handwriting on the wall. We know what they 'say,' but what is the real truth?”

Occupy COMO adopts an official statement

Comments: 24 /Commenters: 12

Occupy COMO protesters adopted an official statement declaring their mission and beliefs. "We are leaderless," the statement read. "We come as individuals, autonomous, with distinct concerns about a variety of issues."

Cecil Murphy defended the group.

"Seriously, I realize it is hard to believe, but we're a very diverse group of individuals," Murphy wrote. "Some of us are houseless, some are highly educated, some are children, some are parents, some just came to take someone home. We stay because we care."

Corey Parks said the protesters have been led astray: "You have Soros providing funding and printing Occupied Wall Street Journal, and you cheer forgetting the fact that he destroys economies for a living and earns 2.1 billion last year.

"You gathering might have started out with good intentions but remember your part of a larger group. Even though the rich hypocrites do not come down to City Hall with you you are still associated with them. Your 'ideas' have been hijacked by others and many of you did not even realize it."

DEAR READER: Respect, constructive debate are cornerstones of comment policy

Comments: 19 / Commenters: 6

Tom Warhover, executive editor of the Missourian, reminded readers of the rules for commenting on Responding to recent criticism from frequent commenters, he explained what violates the policy and how editors determine a comment should be removed.

Michael Williams admitted his comments had been removed before, but he didn't mind because they violated the rules. He said he was OK with the policy but offered some advice: "When a comment is flagged by we hoi polloi, how about providing a small text box where we can state 'why' we flagged the comment in the first place? Or would that just exacerbate the argument, lol?" 

Commenter Sally Willis said she generally supported the policy.

“I have also had a couple comments removed, though I knew they would," she wrote. "I agree with the policy, and I think it's very fair. I just think some people who continually harass, threaten and mock and belittle others should maybe be permanently be blocked. Some people may not want to comment even though they might have something important to say because of previous harassment."

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