Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Columbian has "interviewed" me over the fake degree/fake doctor debacle.

Regular readers are well aware of the, ahem, high esteem with which I hold the Columbian Newspaper.

Well, imagine my surprise when I received the following:

I'm investigating your accusations against Jon Russell re his academic credentials and his wife's professional status. If this results in a story, I will be naming you as the accuser. I will also be reporting Russell's response to your accusations.

Russell claims that you and Ann Rivers are business associates, that you support Rivers in the 18th District race, and that Jon Russell Watch is an attempt to undermine his campaign so Rivers will win the primary. True? What if any role are you playing in Rivers' campaign? Thank you for your prompt response.

Far be it from me to be obstructionist to the press, so, I was more then happy to reply as follows:

Russell claims that you and Ann Rivers are business associates,


that you support Rivers in the 18th District race


and that Jon Russell Watch is an attempt to undermine his campaign so Rivers will win the primary. True?

Only secondarily.

My opposition to Russell stretches back to last Summer, (long before he bailed out of his abortive congressional run) where I told him directly that I would do everything I could to oppose him. My first blog post against Russell was on June 16 of last year. Today's political yuk: Jon Russell to run for Congress? I wrote many posts on CCP opposing him for Congress and criticizing him for the Washougal debacle. I told Russell personally last summer that I did not want him anywhere in government, based on my interactions with him in the past and his poor performance as an elected official, much of which is detailed in my blogs.

I set up Jon Russell Watch (and Jaime Herrera Watch, come to think of it) when it became clear that the volume of posts I was doing on Russell was taking up too much space on that blog. As of now, I have done 37 posts on Russell on Jon Russell Watch. And while many of them are placed on both CCP and Russell Watch, it was with an eye towards weaning one from the other, so I could get a focus for each blog, using CCP for issues of local and national importance to me, while separating out the issues of the campaigns that concern me the most so that they would have their own readership.

I call that “secondarily” because first, I publically and loudly opposed Russell before I started Russell Watch when he was running for Congress; and second, I would have written every word I put up if Ann was not running.

Russell Watch has nothing to do with Ann Rivers. The evidence I have provided; that Russell has indicated his wife is a “physician” to the 18th District PCO’s, that he called her a ”doctor” in the Vancouver Business Journal and then changed the story to “family nurse practitioner” after I blogged about it and that Sarah Russell has advertised herself as a doctor at the Columbia River Gorge Medical Clinic in a newspaper owned by the Columbian, if I’m not mistaken, is not something I fabricated. The allegations contained within the PDC complaints I filed against Russell were not manufactured out of whole cloth.

The simple defense for Russell is to prove me wrong. Had he provided that proof, I would have immediately posted it and apologized, a policy I’ve made clear on CCP, and have, in fact, done in the past: (Redux) In keeping with my policy of correcting errors, I post the following from Richard Carson, Independent Candidate for the 18th.

The fact is that I first emailed and then called (in response to their email) the registrar’s office at Thomas Edison yesterday. They verified that they had not awarded Russell with a degree, a verification I would imagine that anyone could get by using the numbers that post provided… which is why I provided them.

I get that Russell’s defense is to attack my motives and motivation. But whatever my motives and motivation, that has nothing to do with the evidence. This, however, shouldn’t have anything to do with me if the evidence proves my assertions. I’m not in this for the greater glory of me. I’m in this to provide information about a candidate who holds himself out to be one thing while the evidence tends to show he’s something else.

I did not make him falsely tell the world that he had “finished his degree at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ.” He wrote that here without any help or urging from me.

I did not make him tell the 18th District PCO’s his wife was a “physician.

I did not make him tell the Vancouver Business Journal his wife was a doctor and then ask them to go back and change the story after he was caught.

And I certainly did not make him advertise in the Post Record that his wife was a doctor as a part of his “clinic” that we hear about incessantly.

Those were decisions Russell made. And in the Richard Blumenthal era, I think it’s safe to say they were the wrong decisions to make.

I write what I write because *I* want to write it. No one has any say or sway over the words I post. They are what I believe, my opinions and where the evidence takes me. No one is paying me or controlling me... though some have tried to control me.

As for my role in the River’s campaign, that title is “friend and supporter.” She is her own woman, her positions are her own and in no way are caused by me. We agree on many of the issues, but my support of Rivers is because I know all of the candidates actually running a serious campaign on the GOP side, and she is the best qualified, experienced, knowledgeable and most visionary candidate running.

As far as that goes, I look forward to another column from Brancaccio about how worthless bloggers are.


I publish this here on the off chance that the newspaper might actually do a story on the local version of Mr. Blumnethal. I provide this here to make sure that readers of our local august publication get ALL of the story, so nothing is lost in translation.


  1. I have no idea whether Russell contacted the paper over this, or if they decided to look into it by themselves. But, if Russell is behind stirring this up, for whatever reason he has, it will only further hurt his campaign.

    The day I had coffee with him days ago, I gave him the advice of being more up front and honest, not to "tweak" qualifications, if he desires to further his political career.

    Apparently, he did not listen.

    From his poor attempt at trying to paint Ann as not being pro-life, even after admitting to me that he knew of her history, to his admission of not having heard of the improprieties of Stacee Sellers until Sean Guard read the letter before the Washougal Council that he sent to the State Auditor, after for months saying he saw the problems, but could not get the "progressive" council members to back him up in trying to correct them, he shows that his political ambition outweighs his political savvy in what people want in elected officials.

    Little wonder that his campaign has done so poorly.

    I have not had a personal ax to grind with Jon, but reading him say that others "poisoned my mind against him" makes it more personal than it needs be. At my age and life experience, I think I have the ability to think for myself.

  2. There are many well-known universities that offer fake degree. The people have many reasons to buy fake degree. Fake degrees are seems to be like as original degree as they use high quality paper.

    fake degree