You wrote: "Unfortunately, she cannot defend herself because she is not saying anything."
If Rother is not saying anything, then some imposter has [issued a statement] in her name. ;-)
Your questions about the U-T are noted, but they do not bear on the veracity of Rother's story. Her account simply does not square with the facts as laid out in the emails and the scope of work that delineated her assignment. Indeed, it raises more questions:
-- What kind of "legitimate balanced journalism" would concentrate on the "negative information" and rely on other reporters to find positive information, as Rother claimed was her intent?
-- Why would legitimate journalism require contracting through a campaign committee?
-- What is the text of the updated scope of work Rother refers to in her statement?
-- When was this updated scope of work adopted?
-- If such an updated scope of work actually exists, why wasn't it in the documents released by the FPPC?
I believe Rother's assertion that she didn't want to be associated with anything but a pure information-gathering project. "Associated" is the key word -- such statements require careful parsing. Far from being a reluctant opp researcher, Rother even implied in an email that she would like more such assignments. She just wanted her name kept out of it.
As Gayle said earlier, "transparency is everything", but Rother wanted opacity.
Given such huge holes in Rother's story, I think you've needlessly committed yourself to defending her veracity. Regardless of what you were told off-the-record, you would be entirely within journalistic ethics to maintain a discreet silence. — March 29, 2013 10:57 p.m.