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Letters: Weston candidate responds to reader’s criticism

in Opinion

Editor’s note: The following is a response to a letter published Feb. 14 by a reader expressing concerns about the campaign of Shawn Black, a candidate for the Weston Board of Trustees. Wausau Pilot and Review gladly publishes letters discussing issues that impact people in central Wisconsin. The views of our readers are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot and Review. To submit a letter, email or mail to P.O. Box 532, Wausau, Wis., 54402-0532.

Dear Editor,

Thank you for allowing me this rebuttal in regard to the editorial letter submitted to your readers by Andy Sutton. Mr. Sutton in his letter makes several false statements and has failed to disclose key facts. Last week I received an online notice of a request for me to personally call Mr. Sutton. A volunteer with our Campaign gave me an apparent work phone number for Mr. Sutton in which I called, however had been disconnected.

The very next day, Mr. Sutton grew impatient on Facebook and demanded that I respond to his personal agenda in how I felt about a specific sitting Village Administrator with the Village of Weston. My volunteer correctly relayed to Mr. Sutton that I would not engage in judging a sitting officials current work.

It was further relayed to Mr. Sutton that I will not engage in any personal attacks or vendetta. My belief is that attacks of this nature do not benefit the citizens of Weston, not do they accomplish good results. Mr. Sutton’s personal agenda and conversations are angry and confrontational in nature. And his preferred method of dialogue is online public baiting, attacks and humiliation.

The clear example of my observation is upon yesterdays published Wausau Herald article concerning all Weston candidates. Mr. Sutton proceeded to continue his online attacks and posted an angry, accusatory attack in the comments section.

Mr. Sutton proceeded to engage in an online personal character assassination by calling me – “A huckster, a con and a hack”. Mr. Sutton also failed to disclose this apparent attack to your readers. As a result of his aggressive unmerited actions with an obvious political agenda, we were correct in making the prior decision to ban Mr. Sutton from the Campaign Facebook page.

Mr. Sutton was not satisfied with his actions and choose yet again to make further false allegations today through his letter to your readers. Mr. Sutton falsely implies that Governor Walker had endorsed me through a campaign email subject line. The campaign email is no more than a dinner invitation and an endorsement announcement by Sheriff Scott Parks.

Mr. Sutton attempts to paint a false narrative of my campaign, which reveals that he has a hidden agenda by trying to bait our campaign and others with confrontations that do not benefit the Village of Weston nor serve its residents well.

As a public figure, I will continue to engage in a positive, across the isle discussion. I believe in productive conversations which are beneficial and which offer solutions to the residents and people regardless of agenda and affiliations. It is worth noting that diplomacy, tact and respect for one another are a quality that I embrace and that I consider fundamental for a public servant. Thank you.


Shawn Black

Village of Weston Candidate for Trustee



  1. Well, this is not helping anyone. A candidate for public office is attacking an individual voter in public. This does not bode well for the leadership experience. If this candidate wins, will this candidate respond this way to all public criticism? This is a first for me.

    • What are you talking about, Dino? So a candidate CAN’T defend himself? Give me a freaking break. For the record, I do NOT live in Weston and don’t have a horse in this race. I really don’t know who to believe in either side of the story, but saying that just because he’s a candidate, he doesn’t have the right to defend or refute allegations made against him is just pure BS. So he should turtle when someone lashes out publicly against him?

  2. He has every right to do whatever he wants. Jesus. Did I say that ANYWHERE? Did I even hint at that? You want to comment on what was said, that is fine, but using me as some sort of strawman for your comment is irrelevant.

    My point is, it points to questionable leadership ideas if a candidate is going to take to personal attacks everytime he is criticized in public. He is leaving private life, and entering public life. And public life comes with lots of slings and arrows.

    • Dino, I don’t have to be your “strawman”. You do a perfectly fine job of that for yourself. Re-read your original post and you just said it again: “if a candidate is going to take to personal attacks”. Huh? Who in the hell STARTED the personal attack against the candidate? Don’t think it was the candidate himself, now was it? I have no idea if these two people previously know each other or if there’s simply some kind of burr in Mr. Sutton’s saddle, but when anyone……ANYONE is attacked in a public forum way (whether he/she is a candidate for public office or not), I certainly believe the person/candidate has the right to defend themselves.
      Of course public life comes with slings and arrows, but it doesn’t eliminate someone from protecting their reputation.

    • 14 ….the number of times Mr Black mentioned Mr Sutton by name in his brief and short letter to the editor. 14 times – 14, slightly less than the amount of actual votes Mr Black received. Needless to say, this letter did nothing to help him. In my opinion, in came across as juvenile and sophomoric at best.

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