Tuesday, July 24, 2012

North Idaho GOP Campaign Worker Identified as Mystery Blogger

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Not waiting to be outed by a court order, a north Idaho woman revealed late Monday that she was the anonymous blogger behind a flap that began as a comment on a Spokesman-Review website and eventually ended up in court, where Idaho 1st District Judge John Luster ordered that the blogger be named.

This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Linda Cook, who worked on previous Republican campaigns for Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage, state Rep. Kathleen Sims, state Sen. Mike Jorgenson and the unsuccessful congressional campaign of Vaughn Ward in 2010, admitted that she is the mystery blogger "almostinnocentbystander."

"I'm a person of conviction and I'm not afraid to speak out," Cook told the Press. "On the other hand, I have a life so I don't like the spotlight. It's a little bit of a firestorm right now."

The drama began in February, when almostinnocentbystander wrote that $10,000 in missing funds might be found on the body of Tina Jacobson, former chair of the Kootenai County Republican Party Central Committee.

Almostinnocentbystander wrote: "Is that the missing $10,000 from Kootenai County Central Committee funds actually stuffed inside Tina's blouse??? Let's not try to find out."

The comment was deleted but had been visible for 2-1/2 hours.

Jacobson sued to obtain the blogger's identity, and the Spokesman-Review filed a motion to quash Jacobson's effort to reveal the identity, but to no avail.

Luster ordered the newspaper to provide any information to Jacobson that could lead to the identity of almostinnocentbystander. The ruling said the paper must provide a copy of any communication between Spokesman-Review employees and the commenter and must also confirm that almostinnocentbystander has not been re-established as a commenter on Spokesman-Review blogs.

A lawyer for the Spokesman-Review said he still expected Jacobson to proceed with a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper.

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