TJ’s Transparency Just Got a Bit Foggy

A number of people, myself included, wondered how TJ Juskiewicz, who one day after quitting Ragbrai told the listeners of KXNO radio that he had the greatest job in the world and was looking forward to the 50th anniversary of Ragbrai. Just how could one news story cause him to spiral downward in 2 weeks and leave.

Also amazing was the day he left, his web site for his new ride was up complete with logo, primal shirts for sale, and registration. He claimed he did this all in 2 weeks on his own time. The guy who made it a point to emphasize his transparency failed to mention he and his wife created a nonprofit over a year before, this nonprofit just happens to be running his new ride.

So the guy who claimed his motives were related to Carson King has been waiting in the long grass 14 months for just the right time to destroy RAGBRAI. Drawing a salary from Ragbrai while actually running his new gig.

This story answers many questions.

When the disclosure statement on the finances of this nonprofit hits the light of day, we will also see the salaries for TJ, his wife, and other employees and officers. That ride he touted as totally for charity, well like they say, charity starts at home, TJ’s that is.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2019/10/22/former-ragbrai-director-juskiewicz-operated-non-profit-year-before-resignation/4057785002/

26 Replies

Sandaltan ., November 15, 2019 at 12:41 pm

WHO Television has called the newspaper’s transparency into question. So far no answers.
https://whotv.com/2019/11/15/channel-13-investigation-into-ragbrais-charitable-contribution-claims/

RIDE RIGHT

#1313087

Joseph Schlau, November 15, 2019 at 1:23 pm

I hope the investigation expands to whomever the director of Ragbrai was over, let’s say, the last 16 years.

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RDaryl Daryl, November 15, 2019 at 5:42 pm

Seems like more people need to listen to the entire Q&A video posted November 4 on the Iowa’s Ride Facebook page.

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Joseph Schlau, November 15, 2019 at 6:24 pm

Maybe you can give us a Cliff Notes summation of what we need to know.

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RDaryl Daryl, November 15, 2019 at 6:45 pm

The Iowa Festivals and Events Nonprofit was started over 2 years ago by a group of approximately 25 Iowa event planners in an effort to network and improve events in Iowa.

The RAGBRAI staff was not allowed to make any decisions relating to the distribution of RAGBRAI profits to charity.

#1313118

Ken Reed, November 16, 2019 at 2:47 pm

Maybe I’m going to sound like an a-hole but I couldn’t care less about what RAGBRAI does when it comes to charitable donations. I ride because it’s a great time. It’s honestly something I don’t think about when I’m riding.

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Joseph Schlau, November 16, 2019 at 2:55 pm

The Iowa Festivals and Events Nonprofit was started over 2 years ago by a group of approximately 25 Iowa event planners in an effort to network and improve events in Iowa.

The RAGBRAI staff was not allowed to make any decisions relating to the distribution of RAGBRAI profits to charity.

And your source of information is who?

#1313148

hnschipper, November 16, 2019 at 3:31 pm

Maybe I’m going to sound like an a-hole but I couldn’t care less about what RAGBRAI does when it comes to charitable donations. I ride because it’s a great time. It’s honestly something I don’t think about when I’m riding.

This is the first year I’ve seen it be an issue with so many people.

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BarryTantlinger, November 16, 2019 at 7:09 pm

Maybe I’m going to sound like an a-hole but I couldn’t care less about what RAGBRAI does when it comes to charitable donations. I ride because it’s a great time. It’s honestly something I don’t think about when I’m riding.

This. I’ve never really thought or cared about the DMR does with their profits for the ride. I’m a Californian, so I come to Iowa to enjoy the ride, but I’ve also assumed that the presence of 20,000 riders in small towns across the state is, in itself, a positive financial gain for the people of Iowa. If the DMR pockets proceeds, it probably helps them keep the lights on.

All this charity nonsense is manufactured outrage. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see just how much money TJ turns over to charity, though. I suspect it will be less than expected.

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Jboz, November 16, 2019 at 7:22 pm

My hunch is that none of the parties in this saga are 100% right or wrong. This is just a run of the mill, slightly contentious employer/employee separation…happens all the time. All the drama, name-calling, accusations and crap being thrown around isn’t coming TJ nor is it coming the Register. End of the day, this is between them.

But either way, I’m really looking forward to when riding a bike across Iowa is just riding a bike across Iowa again. No politics, no drama, no BS. Disconnecting from reality for a few days to ride bikes, have fun, eat pie, and everything good. Just reveling in the freedom. The freedom of it all, and freedom from it all.

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Joseph Schlau, November 19, 2019 at 9:36 am

On the Facebook portion on the Channel 13 story, a reader asked the same question I would have asked.

“So I assume that you could have interviewed the former staff to get answers to your questions right? They worked for Ragbrai during the time in question right? It seems like there is only half a story here. It would be more interesting if there was comments from Gannett and more reporting.”

Sonya Heitshusen is the reporter doing the story replies;

“I asked for an interview with the former director. He and his attorney declined my request.”

One month ago TJ Juskiewicz could not wait to tell us about his honesty, transparency, and charitable intentions. And now neither he nor his attorney can speak to the allegations leveled at Ragbrai?

What type of civil or criminal concerns does he have that not only compelled him to retain counsel, but now remain silent as well.

Are some of you IR folks thinking twice on getting that refund? Better hurry, now that TJ is paying an attorney, that 100% refund offer may not last long. There won’t be much left to refund.

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