JacobsonThis is a story that is embarrassing to a Republican Party chair

JacobsonThis is a story that is embarrassing to a Republican Party chair in Idaho, and you have her to thank for it. She apparently feels someone has accused her of a crime – taking $10,000 and hiding it on “her person.” This was said in a Spokane newspaper column called Huckleberries Online – not by the columnist, but by an anonymous commenter. The claim was later removed, and might have since been forgotten. But Kootenai County GOP Central Committee Chair Tina Jacobson has now filed a lawsuit to force the newspaper to identity the commenter, turning a little story into a bigger one.As a commenter says now that the bigger story has developed, “Cool… this should be fun to watch…”The Spokane Spokesman-Review says it will file a motion to quash the Republican’s subpoena, not wanting to get into the habit of revealing names or e-mails of its registered commenters. Jacobson wants the names of three of them – “almostinnocentbystander,” “Phaedrus” and “OutofStaterTater” – who posted on a February 14 comments thread. In particular, she was offended by a comment from almostinnocentbystander. Says the lawsuit, which cost $88 to file:The entry as published via the internet stated there was $10,000 missing from the Republican Central Committee funds and that the missing funds were hidden on the person of Mrs. Jacobson. The blog statement of missing funds was false. The blog statement that the missing funds were secreted on Mrs. Jacobson was false.She has been libeled, her attorney says, by “a malicious defamation” and must identify almostinnocentbystander if she is to sue successfully for having been “offended and embarrassed.” She wants the names of Phaedrus and OutofStateTater because they commented on the comment, the attorney says.Jacobson also wants an injunction, apparently against the newspaper, to prevent the commenter from “committing future acts of libel.”The writer of the column, Dave Oliveria, removed the comment the same day and later posted his own comment stating the claim was baseless, says the suit.Jacobson says the comment has damaged her reputation, her emotions, her standing in the community, and “drawn suspicion to her” by claiming she took $10,000.She seeks damages of “not less than $10,000.”Several Spokesman stories about the lawsuit have created a comment heyday, with more than 150 chiming in, anonymously. Some debate the legal angles, including the responsibility of newspapers in allowing, if only briefly, anonymous commenters to fire wildly away. Columnist Oliveria says “the position of The Spokesman Review is that we will protect the names of confidential sources and anonymous posters to the extent provided by law.”But most clearly it’s a story with a new life, deepened, as one commenter says, by “the mystery” of “the phrase ‘$10,000 hidden on her person….’. “Does that mean, the commenter asks, “ten thousand dollars in cash? A check? Money spent on personal services, clothing, jewelery, entertainment, fancy dining? Was Almost Innocent Bystander trying to be funny or was he actually making a serious accusation against her integrity?”

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

King County weather: Dec. 3-5

Here is your King County area weather forecast for Dec. 3-5, 2021.… Continue reading

Former UW Medicine peer support specialist James Encinas sitting in his home. Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing
Former Harborview social worker was victim of racial discrimination and retaliation

James Encinas worked for behavioral health program that aimed to house the chronically homeless.

Keith Wagoner
Senator becomes first GOP candidate for secretary of state

Sen. Keith Wagoner will challenge Democrat Steve Hobbs, who was appointed to the statewide post in November

Snoqualmie Falls and the Salish Lodge & Spa. File photo
Snoqualmie Tribe concerned with unregulated air traffic at Snoqualmie Falls

Tribe urges federal regulators to introduce flight restrictions over sacred site.

The Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center is located at 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
FEMA to send mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit to Western Washington

The mobile site is set to open Dec. 20 in Federal Way; additional locations to come.

Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Washington health officials discuss response to new COVID variant

Things will be handled with Omicron variant similar to the Delta variant.

File photo
As new COVID-19 variant looms, vaccination disparities linger in King County

County data shows gaps among age, geography and race.

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn
King County Councilmember Dunn will challenge Rep. Kim Schrier for U.S. Congress seat

The current County Councilmember would be following in his late mother’s footsteps

Garbage at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Maple Valley. FILE PHOTO
King County and Port of Seattle to collaborate on waste-to-fuel study

The study is aimed at identifying logistics of developing aviation fuel out of municipal garbage.

Most Read