Monday, July 24, 2006

What Happened to the Taylor Lawsuit?

Remember those lawsuits that were filed during the course of the Democratic Primary for Governor? Media reports indicated that the Taylor Campaign filed a lawsuit alleging that Cox had violated the Open Records law, and then Ben Cawthorn, a former Blakely city councilman, sued Peter Jackson, press secretary to Ms. Cox's campaign.

Many assumed that in a spirit of unifying the Party, these suits would be dropped post-primary. Does anybody know whether that has happened or the current status of this litigation? I hope they've been dropped. If not, after a bitter primary battle, there's a lot of healing that needs to occur so that Democrats can move forward, together, focused on the November elections. Seems like this would be a good place to begin, a gesture becoming a Governor.

14 comments:

Lyman Hall said...

I thought the Open Records suit was dropped once CC's office released the tapes of the PSAs and commericials from the Investment Fraud campaign.

StnMntnRon said...

"Many assumed that in a spirit of unifying the Party, these suits would be dropped post-primary."

So is this why Mr. Jackson acted like he was above the law, because he assumed he could do whatever or say whatever he likes because its just a primary election, and that whatever he did would just be forgiven.

Libel Per Se is quite easy to understand it is the "broadcast or written publication of a false statement about another which accuses him/her of a crime, immoral acts, inability to perform"

If Mr. Jackson said that an African American former councilman was about to be arrested on fraud to a newspaper reporter, (which is pretty clear what happened) it doesn't matter whether Mr. Jackson believed the statements to be on or off the record. Mr. Jackson accused someone of a crime which he didn't commit. Thats libel.

Mr. Jackson will pay for his actions. Ms. Morton for you to suggest otherwise is atrocious. This man libeled someone and its a very serious action. He cannot be allowed to move on to his next campaign where he will have no reason not to do it again. Just because he may have worked for a candidate that you supported is no reason to forgive his actions. Especially a candidate that ran on a platform of changing government for the better. Jackson showed us what politics in Georgia was like 20 years ago, and we must not go back.

His actions are beyond the scope of the Taylor v. Cox race. Mr. Jackson committed libel against Mr. cawthorn, and its to him that he will pay his due reparations.

Amy Morton said...

Many different people did offer the opinion that the lawsuits would disappear post primary. I was doing some checking to find out whether they were right. Lyman, you may be right about that Open Records litigation. I could not find any recent information in media reports on the status of either of the actions. And, stnmntnron, I'm not a lawyer and am not making any judgement about the merits of the Cawthorn suit, but, yes, I do think that these suits, born in the context of the campaign, will not make healing for the Party any easier. I do understand that the Taylor Campaign did not file the Cawthorn suit, and whether or not it goes forward is up to Mr. Cawthorn. Whether or not the lawsuit has merit, if it is moving forward during the Governor's race, I think that it will serve as a reminder of all the mud that was slung- from both sides- during the primary. I'm not sure that helps Taylor.

Kudzulicious said...

It doesn't help Taylor and the Democratic party the Cox refuses to endorse Taylor.

She claimed that it would be unethical for her to do so in light of her SOS capacity.

Let me get this straight. It's OK for her to run and in effect ENDORSE HERSELF, but it's not OK for her to get beaten and NOT endorse the winner.

Explain to me that logic.

CC needs to endorse Mark Taylor and provide her campaign apparatus to him and the Dem party in order to ensure Dem victory in November. Doing less only fuels the perception that she is a DINO and might switch parties and run as a Republican in the future.

Ed Hula III said...

Hey Amy et al,

CC can't endorse anyone as Sec of State.

What she can do as a member of the state party is endorse MT via that position.

StnMntnRon said...

Ms. Morton- The mudslinging that happened during this campaign is precisley the reason why this lawsuit must go further.

Both campaigns slung mud, but only one person, one person (unless you want to argue that someone from with the Cox hierarchy ordered Mr. Jackson to libel Mr. Cawthon) crossed the legal line. Negative campaigns are an unfortunate part of politics, but we have a set of legal codes in this state for a reason, and when that code is broken someone must pay a price.

This is not about helping Taylor. For the good of the State of Georgia, we need to send a message that while we may not like negative campaigning... We won't tolerate illegal activities.

If you want to see this kinds of things in Georgia continue, go ahead and call on Mr. Cawthorn to dismiss the lawsuit.

But if you, as I want to see a change in Georgia politics, this lawsuit must continue.

Amy Morton said...

I agree that Cathy has some responsibility when it comes to unifying the party, but so does Mark, doesn't he? Let me ask this: what constructive steps would you like to see him take to speed healing?

By the way, I'm supporting Taylor. I want him to win. Perhaps I should've made that clear.

Britt Andrews said...

Just because Jackson is associated with the Cox campaign and Taylor won means nothing. Jackson slanderized an innocent man, a civil right's leader at that!

This is nothing about "healing". Taylor passed one step, and he is on to the next. I don't think he needs to "heal". His victory was all he needed.

In conclusion, Jackson, a fledgling spokesguy, has to learn that just because an election can heat up and get ugly, there is no room for defamation.

Tina said...

How 'bout we all get together and try to take back the capitol and the legislature? The energy being misspent on primary post-mortems could be better used on working to get out the vote on August 8 and in the general election in November. There's no question that there was a lot of verbal scratching, biting, kicking and gouging going on during the primary, and it was not all restricted to the gubernatorial candidates or to the Democrats. I am old enough to remember bitter, mean, racist campaigns that would make this past primary look like a tea party. So my comment is: GET OVER IT! Let's elect Democrats in 2006 and 2008.

decaturguy said...

illegal activities?

Since when was 1st Amendment express (even if it is libel) a crime?

Do you really think a former city councilman who interjects himself into a statewide political campaign is going to be able to have a sucessful libel suit against the spokesman of a campaign for something he said in the middle of a heated political campaign?

Good luck. You must be on crack.

Button Gwinnett said...

Good lord people, the primary has been over with for a whole week now. It's history and it can't be changed.

Yeah I think that the Taylor lawsuit should be dropped and may have been already. As for the Jackson lawsuit, in my opinion it's a personal matter that just so happens to be tied to a campaign, which is a hazzard that you venture when you interject yourself into a campaign. Nevertheless, I have to be responsible for everything that I say and do in my job. I expect that Peter Jackson must do the same. I think if I were Peter, I would've already made a private and public apology to the man in Blakely and then put the ball in his court - no pun intended.

Now on to this crap about Cathy not "endorsing" Mark Taylor. I've seen this 3 or 4 times and it's utterly ridiculous. The only difference between Cathy "endorsing" Mark and supporting Mark is that she didn't use the word "endorse" in an official manner. She pledged personal support to help Mark and all other Democratic candidates. Mark acknowledged this once in his victory speech on Tuesday night and in two different interviews (at least) on Wed. Not only that, but she's asked people who helped and supported her to "unite" and do the same. What more do you want?

Maybe this reveals a little bit of showboating on Cathy's part about not "endorsing" candidates as part of her ethics reform. But will the word "endorse" really do any more for Mark than what she's already said and plans to do?

There's lots to be done. Mark Taylor's the only horse we have. If we're gonna spare Georgia 4 more years of Sonny Perdue, I suggest we put aside the semantics and ride him as far as we can take him.

MelGX said...

Neither lawsuit has been dropped. Unfortunately. I can't think of a worse waste of time, energy or money, especially now.

psonica said...

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Amy Morton said...

Thank you!