HD-49: Did Wand campaign libel community member?

T.A. Barnhart

The Matt Wand campaign today issued a press release that stated, in part:

The campaign of Nick Kahl (D-Gresham) is working with a woman under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for her involvement in a scam directed at the City of Troutdale.

The woman in question is Troutdale resident and sustainable energy entrepreneur Marni Zollinger. In the course of researching the story of her involvement with the city of Troutdale regarding a partnership she was proposing, I was able to get the facts that Matt Friesen, Wand's campaign manager, failed to get before issuing the press release that appears, to me, to libel Zollinger.

The egregious charge, and the most easily refuted, is that the FBI is investigating her fraud. This is categorically false. I spoke yesterday with FBI Public Information Officer Mike Kummerand. The FBI is in the process of determining whether an allegation made against Zollinger merits an investigation. At this point, the FBI is gathering more information. There is no "investigation" because the FBI has yet to determine if any federal violations have occurred. They will not find that any violations have occurred because everything Zollinger has stated about her business proposal can be backed up by other parties. I have spoken to these parties, including the Mayor of Holly Springs, MS, and will be presenting my findings in a few days at EnzymePDX.com.

And given that the allegations were made at the end of March, and that Zollinger has provided the FBI with all requested information, it's unlikely any charges will ever be brought. At the least, this is not an allegation that is causing the Portland office of the FBI any great concern.

Second false charge: Zollinger is not a "worker" for the Kahl campaign; she is a precinct committee person with the Multnomah Democratic Party (as am I) and volunteers for a number of campaigns (she only registered as a Democrat in the past year or so). Another fact Friesen apparently decided wasn't worth his time. But if they can tie Democratic incumbent Kahl to a (non-existent) FBI investigation, well, he's just another Charley Rangel, isn't he?

Except he isn't.

Matt Wand is challenging Kahl for the House District 49 seat that Kahl won in 2008, succeeding former Speaker (and now Washington state resident) Karen Minnis. After conducting what I thought was a frank, cordial interview this afternoon with Wand regarding the Zollinger/Troutdale story, I'm dismayed that Wand would allow his campaign to publish unsubstantiated facts in this manner. He is a lawyer, after all; he's got to understand the consequences of impugning another person's character by making statements that he or his staff should have verified — and failed to do.

I'm not a lawyer. I call those kinds of statements "lies".

The PR was printed by the steaming pile-o-crap known as NWRepublican. I will ask you to Google their site so as not to give them any SEO points with a link. They don't deserve any help with their dishonesty and thuggery.


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    TA, thank you for helping to shed light on Wand's libel.

    Here is my response. Inasmuch as the sentences in Wand's press release contained an average of three untrue items, the only format through which I could deal with the many layers of untruth was Powerpoint -- animating the answers.

    Once this is opened, it needs to be DOWNLOADED to activate the animation, which is necessary to viewing all the material.


    (don't forget to click the green download button, on the bottom right)

    Again, I thank all of the Blueoregon folks for wedging open the truth for 'east county.' The Oregonian and the Outlook have had the true information and have not cared to enlighten the public. Without Blueoregon, truth would have a lonely lunch out here.

    My thanks again,

    Marni Zollinger

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    It sounds like Matt Wand is desperate to win this race at any cost, and is afraid that the slime he used to falsely accuse one of his constituents will get on him. Perhaps she will sue to shine some light on that mess.... And I'm really disappointed to see that it's so easy to corrupt one of our local politicians.

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    Looking back at this discussion after the elections, it reminds us how truly sad it is that smear campaigns work.

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