On Fact, Fiction and Washougalgate

I must start this post by noting that I do not have a clause in my contract requiring me to “blog about Washougal political blogs” once per week. It only seems that way.

And breathe …

This week’s installment of Washogual Blog Excellence (WBE) comes from Jon Russell Watch, where the councilman’s wife, Sarah, allegedly wrote a comment on the site Aug. 17 that has created some waves in cyberspace among a small group of anonymous people.

Sarah Russell allegedly wrote her husband once used aliases when commenting on newspaper and blog forums but doesn’t do that anymore. I am using the word allegedly because no one has provided proof Sarah Russell actually wrote the comment.

An Aug. 18 post highlights something Sarah Russell allegedly wrote underneath a post penned the previous day. The original comment either never existed or was deleted.

“I don’t know what that’s about,” Sarah Russell said when asked Wednesday whether she posted the comment about her husband’s alleged forum peccadilloes. She neither confirmed nor denied she wrote the post.

None other than former Washougal Planning Commissioner Mike Briggs labeled Sarah Russell’s alleged remark a “scandal” on my Facebook wall. But he has not once called the “scandal” Washougalgate. Quick: Say Washougalgate five times fast.

Could there be repercussions for Russell if he did use fake names? The answer is no, according to Mayor Sean Guard.

“That particular piece has caused a number of comments,” Guard wrote in an email, referring to Sarah Russell’s alleged statement. “The city, however, has no policy or regulation against it, however. Thus, no, there is no investigation.”

Washougal has an ethics policy detailing acceptable behavior for council members, but that policy does not specifically label what council members can and can’t say on social media.

Such a provision would have violated council members’ free speech rights, officials said.

And there you have it … I might just have written a blog post absurd enough for publication on the Daily Couve. PS: That’s not a Washougal blog, if you’re keeping score at home.

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