SANDPOINT — The source of a controversial YouTube video involving Bonner County Commissioner Dan McDonald is vouching for the authenticity of the clip.
McDonald, who can be heard on the clip nonchalantly urging landowners to sell their homes if they have a problem with PacWest Silcon’s proposed smelter in Newport, contends the nine-minute clip has been doctored. But Carol Lamberson, the Oldtown resident who recorded the clip on her phone’s video camera, said the clip was not altered in any way.
“I don’t even know how to edit it. I just copied from my phone onto my computer,” said Lamberson.
The video was recorded at the Bonner County Administration Building in November 2017, after commissioners met with an Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to discuss the silicon smelter proposal. It was posted to the video-sharing website earlier this month by Citizens Against the Newport Silicon Smelter.
Lamberson said she started recording her interactions with public officials because of the outrageous things that have come out of their mouths during the smelter debate.
“Not once does it pause or stop,” Lamberson said of her recording. “That’s the whole recording.”
McDonald is also heard on the recording accusing the Kalispel Tribe of taking kickbacks and claimed to have proof of the chicanery. The tribe has declined to comment on McDonald’s allegation of corruption.
Also vouching for the authenticity of the clip are Theresa and Axel Hiesener, who are also heard on the video.
The Hieseners are speaking out because they are weary of being called liars by McDonald’s supporters.
“The bottom line is he’s busted and he knows it. He’s backpedaling. He’s flat-out lying is what he’s doing,” Theresa Hiesener said.
Axel Hiesener , a retired law officer and veteran, said he has experience with evaluating recordings and notes that there is clear continuity among the conversations, some of which overlap.
“The audible evidence is pretty clear that the tape is accurate,” Axel Hiesener said.
The Hieseners and Lamberson also dispute that the recording was made for political purposes, such as to aid Steve Lockwood, a Democrat whose running against McDonald for the District 3 seat on the board.
Axel Hiesener said he’s a career conservative and a lifelong Republican.
“This ain’t political for me,” Lamberson said. “I’m not a fan of Lockwood and I’m not a fan of Dan McDonald because of his mouth.”
Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.