WWW Opinion Times

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Update On Fired Swiftie. . . .

Captain's Quarters has a further update on Stephen Gardner, the Swift Boat mate of John Kerry who opposed him publicly during the election. As I reported in a previous article, the timing of his dismissal from his company was suspiciously close to his vehement public opposition to his former shipmate, John Kerry.

Captain's Quarters gives informaiton on how to financially help Mr. Gardner in this difficult financial time for him. And he deserves it. He has a PayPal account, so you can log into yours and send him some money at his email address, sgardner5@carolina.rr.com.

I stated in that previous article,
"I don't know what his true work record is--that's an unknown that often derails the validity of such stories. We'll have to find out more about that to be clear about the timing. But it sure seems more that coincidental."

In the interest of fairness, Mr. Garnder's former employer, Millennium Information Services, has sent out an explanation of the reasons for his layoff which I have copied in it entirety from Captain's post. It turns out that prudence dictates complete understanding of the situation:
Millennium Information Services is a small business that has been wrongly stigmatized by the Chicago Sun-Times article about Steve Gardner. The article is clearly meant to create the impression that Steve Gardner’s layoff was politically motivated. That just simply isn’t true. It is also important to note that the Sun-Times reporter, Mary Laney, never contacted us regarding this article.

Here are some key facts that correct missing or inaccurate statements made in the Sun-Times article:

For purely financial reasons, we had to reduce management expenses. A decision was made to consolidate field management from five managers to three. The two affected field managers resided in the areas where our business had the most significant decreases. Mr. Gardner was one of those managers. Two additional corporate managers were laid off on the same day. No one in the company’s management was even aware of Mr. Gardner’s connection to John Kerry.

To help offset the elimination of Mr. Gardner’s supervisory position, Millennium offered Mr. Gardner other non-supervisory work, which he decided not to take. Since that time Millennium has offered Mr. Gardner additional work opportunities, which he has also declined.

The Sun-Times article states that Mr. Gardner was terminated via email. That is also incorrect. Mr. Gardner was informed of the layoff in a personal phone conversation with his supervisor. The
email referenced in the article was simply a formal follow-up, not the primary means of informing Mr. Gardner. The only reason he was not contacted face-to-face was because he was an out-of-state

In the Sun-Times article, Ms. Laney stated that Mr. Gardner had “seen the company advertising his old position.” A simple check of the facts would have shown that to be false. The advertisement placed by Millennium was for a non- supervisory position.

The Sun-Times article does not accurately reflect what occurred with Steve Gardner in regards to his employment with Millennium. It creates an erroneous perception that he was singled out for his
political involvement. That is false. Three other employees also lost their jobs on that day for the same economic reasons.

Millennium as a company does not endorse or support any political position or candidate. We leave those personal decisions to individuals.

We sincerely hope this helps to clarify the truth[.]

To be certain, the Chicago Sun Times did not pin down the information needed to confirm or deny the validity of either side of the story (something to which Opinion Times itself is not immune). It would have been nice to see what really happened. And certainly Kerry's people and the company will not freely admit any wrongdoing.

Let's see how it plays out. I still suspect some funny business.