By Anne H. Oman
Reporter-At-Large

“Fernandina ranked fifth among the U.S. communities that contributed to the trucker convoy.”

Outline of Zip Code 32034.

Twenty-nine residents of zip code 32034 contributed a total of $2,413 to the so-called “Freedom Convoy” of truck drivers who occupied Canada’s capital and disrupted commerce between the U.S. and its second-largest trading partner in a protest against vaccine mandates. Fernandina ranked fifth among the U.S. communities that contributed to the trucker convoy.
The list of contributing communities was first published in a copyrighted article in the Washington Post on February 15, gleaned from leaked fundraising data posted online. Most donations were channeled through a Christian website called GiveSendGo. {The popular funding website GoFundMe stopped accepting donations for the convoy earlier this month.)

The Post’s analysis found that most donations came from affluent, Republican-leaning zip codes. In addition to Fernandina Beach, the communities included: Roswell, Georgia ($3,159); Eagle, Idaho ($2,731); Beverly Hills, California ($2,609); Marietta, Georgia ($2,559); Alpharetta, Georgia ($2,330); Parker, Colorado ($2,123); Leander, Texas ($1,859); Green Cove Springs, Florida ($1,847); and Cypress, Texas ($1,510). Distribution of money from the website was halted by an order issued February 17 by an Ontario court.

The information posted online by hackers did not reveal all the names of the donors since contributors were not required to authenticate their names or email addresses. But credit card transactions required a zip code, so those were available. One contributor name included in the information shared with some journalists by the nonprofit leak publisher Distributed Denial of Secrets was that of George Leing , who contributed $350 according to the Post article. Mr. Leing’s Linkedin profile lists his home as Fernandina Beach, and the website VoterRecords.com lists him as a registered voter (Republican} living at an address in Amelia Park in 2020. He was Acting Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Commerce Department during the Trump Administration and a former Republican National Committeeman from Colorado. A phone number for the Fernandina address has been disconnected, and a phone number in Colorado associated with Mr. Leing was not answered. Nor was an email sent to an intermediary who promised to forward it t Mr. Leing.

According to Census Bureau figures, U.S. trade with Canada totals some $602 billion annually, exceeded only by our trade with Mexico. The Ambassador Bridge, between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, carries some $360 million worth of goods each day. Protesters closed that bridge for six days, but it has been reopened. An analysis by the Anderson Economic Group found that the automobile industry suffered some $300 million in losses due to the disruption in commerce caused by the convoy, including nearly $145 million in lost wages for workers. Several plants reduced production and cut shifts due to difficulties in obtaining parts and materials.

The truckers were initially protesting a Canadian government rule that truckers crossing into Canada from the United States show proof of vaccination. Later they called for an end to all pandemic restrictions.

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Raiza Arnone
Raiza Arnone
4 months ago

Are you serious?!! You are releasing the name of a private citizen and his private donation?!! Disgusting!

Mark Tomes
Mark Tomes
4 months ago

Besides recognizing the social immaturity of pandemic deniers, let’s also remember that zip code 32034 includes many residents not in the city limits of Fernandina Beach. My guess is that many of the convoy contributors were not city residents, looking at the map of 32034.

Michael Carabetta
Michael Carabetta
4 months ago

Any reason you needed to include a donor’s name in your article? Was your purpose doxxing? Would you have published the names of the other donors had you got your hands on them? Just not called for.

Cheri Vander Biezen
Cheri Vander Biezen
4 months ago

Completely agree… I find this disturbing. This is a small community publication and reporting such as this is not beneficial to our community.

Patricia Taylor
Patricia Taylor
4 months ago

Agreed. Posted this comment earlier, but apparently not accepted:
https://www.wired.com/story/what-do-to-if-you-are-being-doxed/

Susan Steger
Editor
4 months ago

Due to the links placed in your previous comment, it delayed posting.

Patricia Taylor
Patricia Taylor
4 months ago

THERE ARE FEW more toxic practices online than doxing, the distribution of someone’s personal information across the internet against their will. It’s all too common, though, deployed regularly and devastatingly as a means to harass and intimidate. The practice is not limited to public—or briefly internet famous—figures either. Anyone can be a victim, at any time.
https://www.wired.com/story/what-do-to-if-you-are-being-doxed/

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr.
4 months ago

What’s wrong with following the money?

Diana Herman
Diana Herman
4 months ago

Supporting Nazi and Confederate flag waivers–so sad.

Tim Walker
Tim Walker
4 months ago
Reply to  Diana Herman

The media told you that so it must be true right. Everyone who is against government over reach is now a Nazi, Got a clue Diana, they are lying to you.

Tim Walker
Tim Walker
4 months ago

Why is this information news? Here is some more breaking news, I am proud to be one of them. I am so glad we now have a reporter from the Washington Post. One of the biggest DNC propaganda spewing fish wrappers in the country to write this swill in our local digital news.

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr.
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim Walker

Swill comes in many forms these days, Tim. False flags are abundant, especially without context. I would rather know, than not know – that’s what journalism is all about. It’s not a commercial.

Anne Oman
Anne Oman
4 months ago

The name of the local contributor was already published in the Washington Post, which has a much larger circulation than the Fernandina Observer. I tried very hard to get in touch with the individual named, and we held the story for several days awaiting his reply. I wanted to ask why he contributed. Had he responded and asked me not to include his name, I would have given his comments anonymously. I found it interesting that a former Commerce Department official helped fund people who were disrupting commerce. Out of consideration for his privacy, we did not publish his address. I looked up the word “doxxing”, which was new to me. It seems to require malicious intent, which I did not have.,

Mary Giberson.
Mary Giberson.
4 months ago
Reply to  Anne Oman

Shame on you.

Betsie Huben
Betsie Huben
4 months ago
Reply to  Anne Oman

The fact that WaPo published a name does not make the practice acceptable. Doxing is inappropriate and unnecessary.

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr.
4 months ago
Reply to  Betsie Huben

Doxing or illumination in this case, Betsy?

Connie Chapman
Connie Chapman
4 months ago
Reply to  Anne Oman

It would have been much more appropriate – and ethical – if you had written a report on the devastation to families, children especially and the economy caused by the over reaching government mandates. The truckers were protesting loss of freedom – the same freedom that gives you the right to write such a disgusting article but evidently not their right to protest. Where is your article naming donors to the BLM movement, looting, burning and murder that took place in Minneapolis, LA, Seattle, etc? That kind of “protesting” is supported by the media (like you) and government while the freedom convoy is reported as violent and terroristic. Doxxing is despicable and you should be ashamed of yourself even if the Washington Post did it first.

Doug Mowery
Doug Mowery
4 months ago
Reply to  Anne Oman

Anne……I think the number of local readers of the FO far exceeds WAPO readers. Highlighting the name and general residence of a local resident in this publication, which is read by many, was not a good thing to do. I’m surprised the editors allowed it. Is it illegal? No…….but it is most definitely not in good taste.

I’d like to think the vast majority of Fernandina residents are above this behavior. But, welcome to Fernandina Beach…..you’ll find it’s a delightful and civil place to live.

Patricia Taylor
Patricia Taylor
4 months ago
Reply to  Anne Oman

WAPO dox citation in no way justifies local iteration. It is always a toxic practice. Naked partisanship — from either direction. Not journalism.

Susan Steger
Editor
4 months ago

From Anne H Oman: ” I tried very hard to get in touch with the individual named, and we held the story for several days awaiting his reply. I wanted to ask why he contributed. Had he responded and asked me not to include his name, I would have given his comments anonymously. I found it interesting that a former Commerce Department official helped fund people who were disrupting commerce. Out of consideration for his privacy, we did not publish his address.”

Patricia Taylor
Patricia Taylor
4 months ago
Reply to  Susan Steger

Weak defense of an indefensible practice. Either direction.
It’s painting a target with a powerful weapon: the “Fourth Estate”

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr.
4 months ago

The Fourth Estate has saved our butts more often than we know, Patricia. That’s why it’s protection is embedded in the First Amendment. Transparency. It helps us judge motive.

Doug Mowery
Doug Mowery
4 months ago
Reply to  Susan Steger

Through Susan to Anne…….that was a lame excuse, IMO. He didn’t respond so what you did was acceptable? He has every right not to talk to you and probably chose not to do so after doing a little research on your background.

“Out of consideration of his privacy, we did not publish his address.” Well, you provided enough information that anyone could find it easily in Nassau County’s public records.

You messed up here and your excuses are making it worse.

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr.
4 months ago
Reply to  Susan Steger

Yep. Former Trump appointee to the Commerce Department… Transparency. Helps interpret motive and provides context.

Joe Blanchard
Joe Blanchard
4 months ago
Reply to  Anne Oman

The assumption that you should NOT print the names without approval from the individual should have taken precedence. You have it backwards!

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr.
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe Blanchard

News is news, Joe. It’s why the 1st Amendment is first.

Drew Skonberg
Drew Skonberg
4 months ago

Another media hit piece ultimately meant to support the failed PHarma narrative of a mandated experimental vax only approach without liability necessarily driven by a removal of informed consent and freedom of choice. The conflicts of interest created between PHarma, Fauci and all our “health” care agencies, and the $9 billion annually spent in media advertising are well known and allowed this corrupt and fraudulent approach to take place. As a healthcare provider for 30 years, I’ve been witness to the steady erosion of both good scientific research being published due to these conflicts of interest, and the concomitant increase in chronic disease (10%-54%) due to the interests of Big PHarma, Food, Ag, and the complicit media. I’m calling out your hit piece as part of the smear taking place by the media fir anyone who dares to step outside the agenda.

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr.
4 months ago
Reply to  Drew Skonberg

Some of us place high confidence in credibility and competence, Drew. Not into publishing without responsibility.

Barnes Moore
Barnes Moore
4 months ago

Not into publishing without responsibility, seriously? The media, big pharma, Fauci, and our health agencies have zero credibility. They all suppressed the use of FDA approved drugs for early treatment – many doctors had developed protocols as early as March 2020 – well before vaccines were available – using either IVM and/or HcQ along with other supplements and achieved very positive outcomes. Not only did Fauci, et. al, ignore letters from these doctors, they actively worked to suppress the use of these drugs and participated in a smear campaign against them claiming, among other things, that somehow, these 2 drugs with an extraordinary safety profile proven over decades of use suddenly became dangerous because of covid. You, like all others who think there is only one way to deal with covid will likely smear this comment. Instead, I challenge you to watch the videos on the FLCCC website, read Dr. Vladimir Zelenko’s Senate testimony, Dr. George Fareed’s open letter to Fauci, and watch the video from Dr. David Chelser re: his use of Ivermectin in 7 nursing homes in Virginia. Ask yourself, why would these doctors be ignored? At the beginning of this pandemic, they did what doctors have been doing for decades when confronted with a novel disease for which no treatment was available – they looked to FDA approved drugs with robust safety profiles that had properties that might be able to prevent and/or treat the disease. Re-purposing of drugs is a common practice – at least before covid – and the line that IVM or HcQ has not been approved by the FDA to treat covid is pure BS – IVM has not been approved by the FDA to treat scabies either, but that was it’s most common use in the US before covid.

Drew Skonberg
Drew Skonberg
4 months ago

Care to elaborate with any specifics Robert, this is quite generalized and opaque. Credibility and competence are measured with full transparency as to the data being used. Unfortunately, with our current university research programs funded by grants from Pharma and Fauci, any semblance to true science was lost starting in 1983 when Fauci began at the helm. Research which goes against the vax only narrative results in terminations, public smears to reputations, and death to scientific careers. It’s now on display for America and the world to witness the fear, fraud, and corruption for profit used in place of patient centered early treatment options that research data began to support.

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr.
4 months ago
Reply to  Drew Skonberg

Sorry, guys. Not buying into your efforts to disparage competency. It is what it is. I believe in credible, competent government – as the referee of sound science. That’s why the Civil Service system exists, instead of the “spoils system”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_service

John Moore
John Moore
4 months ago

So where is your take on the Black Lives Matter donations? This tabloid should stick to local stuff not your left wing agenda Ms Oman.

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr.
4 months ago
Reply to  John Moore

We all need to stand up for what we believe, and be counted, John. The Observer is an excellent and credible local news resource.

Robert S. Warner, Jr.
Robert S. Warner, Jr.
4 months ago

Disparage all you want, Jon. The news is just that, news. It goes beyond platitudes and commercials. Thomas Paine knew his business.