Not only is his assertion not based in reality, but it is potentially damaging to my reputation, and he offered it as fact with no attribution or basis. No such e-mail was ever sent by me or Robert. (I just checked, and the press release addressing the House Banking Scandal was sent on March 27 by Candace Martin. The last e-mail sent by Robert Kellar from the campaign was on Feb. 29. I would be more than happy to provide those records for your review.) Also, for your information, I advocated very strongly against the use of the House Banking Scandal in the campaign. You or Ryan could and should have contacted me prior to publishing the article, and I'd have been happy to set the record straight. Unfortunately, you both chose not to do so, and I am contacting you as the publisher of Ryan's material.
Wagner says she is not planning legal action against Howey and Nees at this time, but she is demanding the column be removed from his website and a correction or retraction be made in next week's publication. "As you well know, I am perfectly willing to endure the hyperbolic slings and arrows that come with working in politics," Wagner writes. "I am not, however, willing to endure this kind of grossly negligent disregard for the truth."
I don't know all the facts behind this, but I certainly respect Wagner's position if she believes the column represents she took certain actions in which she had no part. As you know, I've been in that exact same position in the past. I don't believe Brian would deliberately set out to maliciously defame Wagner, although he and Wagner have certainly had their differences after Wagner made some less than flattering comments about his grammar skills. He once dubbed her the "nastiest woman in Indiana politics." Having been on the receiving end of some of her personal attacks (e.g., suggesting I'm mentally unstable, a certifiable nut, cracking up, etc.), I understand Howey's point of view. Nees, although fresh out of high school, is an impressive young lad with great writing skills. I'm sure he will correct any mistakes, if any, he made in his initial reporting.
UPDATE: Ryan Nees has acknowledged he made a mistake in his column concerning the e-mail in question. "Jennifer is correct that the press release was e-mailed from Candace Martin, not Robert Kellar," Nees said. "This has now been corrected. I regret the error. "
UPDATE II: Wagner is not satisfied with Nees' correction as you can see from the comment she posted below. She writes, "Unfortunately, you didn't correct the overarching issue -- that I didn't send that press release." "The nature of your tightly written correction still implies that I somehow had clandestine access to Jim's e-mail blast system and was sending things using other people's names." "That was the crux of my original complaint, and you have yet to address it." "Your allegation remains false, and I would appreciate a further retraction."