Now that’s one helluva lobbyist

When my friend Carla at Blue Oregon dared to accuse lobbyist Hasina Squires of feeding negative stories to the press (a skill, by the way, that’s pretty much part of the job description of “lobbyist”), angry trolls swarmed the comment threads, raising the threatening (if silly) specter of defamation. And how did Squires and/or her surrogates ultimately respond to Carla’s charge? Apparently by doing a little op-research on Carla, and attempting to feed a negative story to the press.

Doncha just love the irony?

It’s bullshit of course, but at least one reporter is asking questions; whether  anyone runs the smear—which appears to be a feeble attempt to cost Carla her day job—remains to be seen, and largely depends on how lazy the reporter is, or how in bed with the Salem establishment. We’ll see.


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    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Trying to defame a lobbyist is like trying to kill a cockroach that’s already dead.

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    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Merck makes a cervical cancer vaccine whose sales are slumping. Merck has asked the FDA to approve use of the vaccine in boys even though only girls get cervical cancer. Merck also has been lobbying lawmakers to make cervical cancer vaccinations mandatory.

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Where’s the Republican outrage over this? A giant corporation wants to boost vaccine sales by forcing girls and boys to get vaccinations. If some politician lobbied for this, the right would be all over him! Apparently it doesn’t bother them when greedy corporations and their lobbyists do it, because I haven’t seen any righties brandishing guns and waving signs outside Merck’s headquarters.

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    I don’t know Hasina Squires. I supported Carla’s position on the Metolius and spoke to some of the Democratic legislators including Larry Galizio about changing their vote. But I have to ask, is any of this really a surprise?

    Carla posted an unsubstantiated hit piece on a lobbyist who is by all accounts one of the more vindictive in Salem. And the post appears to be intended to damage her professional career. Now that lobbyist appears to be hitting back in the same way. In the military we’d call that a proportional response.

    Personally, I don’t believe that Carla’s piece on Squires was defamatory. But she has posted at least one piece that clearly qualified in the last year “Tim Trickey is a lying scumbag”. Even after warnings from the founder of Willamette Week, hardly an establishment rag, she refused to even consider the possibility that she may have crossed a legal and ethical line, and has continued on occasion to needlessly expose herself and Blue Oregon to liability.

    She’s arguably the best investigative blogger in Oregon. She doesn’t need to come anywhere near that line to influence policy and politics.

    With regard to the post itself, at least some of the people who raised the issue of defamation appeared to be genuinely trying to make Carla aware of the risk involved with some of her posts. Blundering in the way you did without having even a basic knowledge of the politics and people in Salem was not particularly helpful and did little to enhance your credibility among those who know some of the (non-pseudonymous) commenters involved.

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    The piece I posted on Squires is completely substantiated. It’s my supposition, backed up with relevant and strong evidence, that Ms Squires is feeding stories to the media. These stories, based on all the evidence that I’ve followed during two years of work are false.

    Calling Tim Trickey a “lying scumbag” is no more defamatory than when a columnist for the New York Times refers to Dick Cheney as “using lies and fear to try to create a political advantage..” (Frank Rich, May 30, 2009). Or Maureen Down referring to Sarah Palin as a “nutty puppy” (July 4, 2009). It’s ludicrous to assert that what I’ve written or what these columnists wrote reaches a legal threshold.

    The irony that I’ve opined that Ms. Squires may be feeding stories to the media–only to merely a week later finding myself the possible target of a probably-fed story to the media, is apparently lost on some. Even “Oregon Dem” seems ready and willing to assert that this latest happening is Squires attempting to come after me.

    The attempts to equivocate a well-heeled corporate lobbyist going after a blogger’s tiny livelihood vs the possibility that a client might drop her are completely silly.

    It’s an attempt to get me to back off and intimidate me into quietness. I have no intention of doing either.