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Removing Candidate’s Ballotpedia Page Isn’t Libelous

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From Judge Phillip Green’s report and recommendation of Tuesday in Trouten vs. Ballotpedia (WD Mich.):

Plaintiff alleges that Ballotpedia “withdrew the ‘Bryan Trouten for the United States House of Representatives’ campaign from its website.” Plaintiff alleges that this action constitutes defamation and/or defamation under state law. Plaintiff seeks $5,000,000.00 in damages.

First of all, it should be noted that the plaintiff does not allege that the defendant made false or defamatory statements about him. Instead, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant merely removed information about him from their website. The defendant argues that the plaintiff’s allegation fails to satisfy the first element. But the plaintiff goes on to allege that by removing the information in question from its website, the defendant falsely “claimed that”. [Plaintiff] has withdrawn his campaign.” Thus, Plaintiff contends that Defendant’s actions falsely implied that Plaintiff had withdrawn his campaign.

Michigan implicitly admits a cause of defamation. To enforce such a claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defamatory implication is “materially false.” Plaintiff alleges that he did not withdraw his candidacy for the US House of Representatives and that, moreover, he submitted in a timely manner to the State of Michigan the documents necessary to be considered a written candidate. Thus, contrary to the arguments of the defendants, the plaintiff’s allegations fulfill the original element of the analysis.

{Defendant claims it is merely “listed [Plaintiff] as an inactive candidate after the Michigan State Department released an official list of candidates with no [Plaintiff’s] name on it.” The defendant further alleges that “[w]When Trouten informed Ballotpedia that he was an active write-in candidate, Ballotpedia updated its encyclopedia to reflect that status.” These claims are not supported by any evidence and go beyond the scope of a request made under the federal provision of the Code of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) The Court therefore disregarded the allegations in question. If Defendant wanted to present evidence and argue that it was entitled to a remedy by right, it should have filed a motion [for summary judgment] pursuant to Federal Code of Civil Procedure 56.}

Plaintiff’s claim nevertheless fails because the suggestion that plaintiff withdrew his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives is simply not defamatory because it does not tend to damage plaintiff’s reputation or discourage third parties from communicating with plaintiff to kick. See, for example, Kevorkian v. American Medical Association (Mich. Ct. App. 1999) (the court “may by operation of law determine whether a statement may actually have libellous substance”).

The plaintiff’s claim also fails for a second Centre County Report. Because the Complainant was a candidate for public office, he will be considered a public figure for the present purposes. Therefore, the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted with “actual malice” or “with knowledge thereof”. [its implied statement] was false or with reckless disregard for whether or not it was false.” Plaintiff has made no allegations of facts which, if proven, would meet that standard. Thus, plaintiff’s claim alternatively fails on that ground.

In its response to the present motion, Plaintiff fails to advance any argument or name any authority against Defendant’s motion. Rather, the plaintiff simply states: “I didn’t want that[o] much information about my case disclosed to the defense because I have factual material facts as well as much other factual evidence deemed problematic in this case.” This vague, unsworn testimony does not advance the plaintiff’s position. The plaintiff goes on to say, “I’d like to end this” and asked to “speak [his] side of the case personally” because “[i]It will definitely provide the material needed to understand the case a little better….” The court appreciates plaintiff’s desire to be heard, but plaintiff has presented no argument or authority to suggest that a hearing would help the court determine the legal sufficiency of the allegations in the plaintiff’s lawsuit….

Congratulations to Joseph E. Richotte, Jennifer A. Dukarski, and Barrett RH Young of Butzel Long, PC, who represent Ballotpedia.

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Senator John Kennedy Criticizes Biden’s Energy Policy As Only He Can (VIDEO)

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Joe Biden’s energy policy makes absolutely no sense.

He will not allow America to pursue its own interests and drill here, but he will allow Chevron to drill for oil in Venezuela.

Republican Louisiana Senator John Kennedy was asked about this during a recent appearance on FOX News and answered in a way only John Kennedy can. The man has a real way with words.

city ​​hall Reports:

TRENDING: FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY – The National Group exposes real-time Democratic voter fraud – HERE’S HOW THEY DID IT

“I used to have a beagle named Roger, and Roger was a rascal,” remarked Kennedy. “About every two weeks Roger ran away – he always came back – but about half the time he came back with dead animals that he hid under my back porch,” he explained. “President Biden’s energy policy looks like something Roger used to keep under my porch.”

“The fact is that America has the largest and strongest economy in all of human history,” Kennedy continued. “We cannot run it without fossil fuels – not today, not tomorrow. It is also a fact that America, through reserves and technology, can produce every drop of oil and natural gas that we need and that we can sell to our friends,” he recalled.

“This poses a problem for President Biden because he has embraced the awakened or berserk wing of the Democratic Party and the awakened ideology is that we need to get rid of oil and gas in the United States,” Kennedy said of his radical colleagues in Congress.

“So President Biden came up with a new energy policy, and it’s this: Instead of producing our own oil and gas cheaper in America, we’re going to buy oil from foreign countries that hate us — in this case, Venezuela — so those foreign countries are going to get more money have to buy guns to try to kill us. It’s bullshit,” Kennedy quipped about Biden and his party’s energy policies.

Watch the video:

Moronathon.

This is a new instant classic.

cross posted by American lookout.

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A pharma millionaire is suing four hunters for $7 million, and the results will have a huge impact

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As The New York Times As reported on Saturday, the OnX app is at the center of the controversial case now being heard in Carbon County, Wyoming, for using the app by a Missouri bow hunter Bradly Cape planned how he would gain access to the public lands around Elk Mountain in Wyoming.

Knowing how irritable many landowners are to hunters trespassing on their property, Cape has identified an area of ​​”checkerboard” control. That is, the land is divided into mile-by-mile sections, half of which are public property and half private property, like the black and white squares on a chess board.

At one point on this checkerboard map, Eshelman controlled two squares that met at a corner. The other two squares were public property. Using OnX, Cape mapped the exact location and led three friends to walk around the corner from one public space to another. Not only did they not set foot on Eshelman’s land, they also crossed the territory of his possessions infinite small. Not a single state has laws against this “corner crossing,” which is common in areas where railroad companies were once granted public land to “open up” to the West.

Legally, Eshelman can’t put a fence across that corner. So instead he installed “Keep Out” signs at the corners of each of his squares, leaving only a few inches between them (a photo of the signs is in the Times Article). But on a return visit, the hunters, aware of the shields after scouting the site, brought back a specially constructed short ladder that allowed them to leap across the space between the shields.

As WyoFile Eshelman’s ranch manager reportedly spotted Cape’s group on the public property. After ranch employees harassed the hunters, including chasing them in pickup trucks driving Eshelman’s men across public lands, the manager, along with Wyoming Fish and Game, called the local sheriff to charge the hunters with criminal trespassing. Initially, officials from both agencies told this manager that they had not issued a trespassing charge for corner crossing. But days later, after the manager pressured local officials by reminding them of Eshelman’s importance in the district, another Fish and Game MP pressed charges.

Eshelman owns 23,277 acres near Elk Mountain, but when prosecuting this case for corner crossing, he attempted to block access to 1.6 million acres of public land.

The case went to court in April, with the local district attorney claiming someone was wanted for trespassing simply for violating “airspace” over private land (which would surely be news to the FAA). It was only about two hours before a local jury decided the whole thing was ridiculous and found the four men not guilty.

That should have been the end of the whole thing, but after not getting what he wanted in the criminal trespassing case, Eshelman pounced on the hunters with a civil suit “for causing millions of dollars in damage,” which is demanding not only compensation for this alleged damage, but also the payment of all legal fees, both criminal and civil, by the hunters. He’s seeking a staggering $7 million in damages for disturbing a few inches of air over his land.

As Donald Trump has demonstrated so many times, those rich enough can endlessly work the courts, using them both as a means of coercing others into submission and as a means of evading personal responsibility for anything. Hunting groups and other public-land access advocates have raised $110,000 to cover legal fees that threaten to wipe out the four hunters.

No matter how ridiculous this all seems, and no matter how fast the jury trial ends, Wyoming officials are convinced that the landowners will win in the end. According to a Republican attorney who used to work for the attorney general’s office, if the hunters win“It wouldn’t surprise me at all that legislators would come back and pass legislation stating corner crossing is illegal. If you win you lose and if you lose you lose.”

Although most people are unaware, this type of checkerboard control covers a large portion of the American West, and blocking access to public lands in this way would render equally vast areas completely inaccessible. The impact would extend far beyond a dopey pharmaceutical millionaire using his Wall Street earnings to snag some of Wyoming’s finest real estate.

The answer to a Wyoming law that says corner crossing is illegal is simply enough: a federal law that says it is. But Republicans are unlikely to allow such a law, even if every hunter in America is clamoring for it. Because for Republicans, when there’s a competition between middle-class hunters and wealthy landowners…it’s not even a competition.

Corresponding forbes, Eshelman made his millions when one of several pharmaceutical companies he was an executive at sold for $3.9 billion in 2011. “Eshelman personally made at least $160 million from the after-tax sale. FORBES estimates his fortune is worth at least $380 million. Eshelman declined to comment on his net worth or how much he made by selling his shares in any of his companies.”

Eshelman is a longtime supporter of conservative Republican politicians. According to WyoFile:

He has donated millions to conservative Republican candidates running for federal office. In the 2008 election cycle, according to Open Secrets, he pumped $5.5 million into Rightchange.org, Eshelman’s tax-exempt “527” organization “founded primarily to influence a political election.”

Open Secrets lists Eshelman as the second-highest single donor to “Outside Money Organizations” in the 2010 election cycle with $6,359,660. His total contribution to Republican candidates for federal office is at least $28.5 million.


The Republican Party keeps hitting and pointing fingers at each other. The traditional media act like they didn’t totally screw it up when they predicted a “red wave” a few weeks ago. In tonight’s episode, Markos is joined by democratic political strategist Simon Rosenberg. Rosenberg was one of the few outsiders who, like Daily Kos, kept telling the world that these midterms were closer than was reported. The two are a bit pleased that they are right in their optimism about the 2022 midterm elections, and they offer their analysis of why Democratic candidates have been successful and how terrified the Republican Party is heading into 2024.


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Lindsey Graham Is Teaming Up With Elizabeth Warren To Regulate Twitter, Apple, Google, And Facebook

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Sen. Lindsey Graham announced that he is working with Sen. Elizabeth Warren to introduce a digital regulatory commission to regulate social media companies.

Video:

Graham (R-SC) said on Fox News: “Big Tech, you can’t sue these people under Section 230, so there’s no regulatory system that works, so I’m going to unveil a digital regulatory commission that looks at social issues, media companies like Apple, Twitter and Google. We need a regulatory environment to control the abuse of power here, so I’m going to do that with Elizabeth Warren. They’re looking for something that can bring us together in Washington. Social media is out of control, it needs to be regulated in some way and I think that brings both parties together.”

Big Tech has gotten so out of hand that it has made Lindsey Graham and Elizabeth Warren (DMA) allies on the same issue.

Graham is right. Elon Musk’s only flaw was that he was so blatant about his abuse of power. Musk could be the last straw, forcing the government to crack down on social media companies.

There are too few people with too much power running a few giant social media companies. The abuse of power in social media must be combated.

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