Dr. Tom Stevens at Liberty Lion:
Warren Redlich, the New York Libertarian Party’s Gubernatorial Candidate in 2010, has filed a defamation lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York seeking 10 million dollars in compensatory damages and 20 million dollars in punitive damages for a flyer mailed in October, 2010 that claimed he was “a sick twisted pervert” and a “sexual predator”.
Redlich named Republican candidate Carl Paladino and Anti-Prohibition Party candidate Kristin Davis as defendants accusing them of conspiring to send out the campaign mailer said to have come from a group called People For A Safer New York, which claimed to be a “First Amendment” organization that does “not advocate the election or defeat of any candidate for public office” and only wishes “to shine the spotlight on those who would exploit children or advocate or defend sex with underage children”. In addition to the campaign mailer, People For A Safer New York also posted a video entitled “Is Warren Redlich A Sexual Predator”, which still can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/16343004.
Also named in the lawsuit are Michael Caputo, who was Paladino’s campaign manager; Andrew Miller, who worked for Paladino and Davis in 2010; and political operative Roger Stone, who consulted for Kristin Davis. They are all accused of having conspired to send out the mailing purported to be a “Sexual Predator Alert” that claimed Redlich was a “public danger”.
On August 25, 2011, Roger Stone responded to having been served as a defendant in the lawsuit by posting the following story entitled “Warren Redlich Sexual Predator” to his StoneZone blog:
In the 40 years I have been in American politics, I have never met a more obnoxious or distasteful individual then Albany lawyer Warren Redlich.
Last year, Redlich was the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of New York who attacked his competitor Independent candidate Kristin Davis as a “whore” in an Albany Times Union article. Although Davis once ran the most successful escort agency in US History, there is no evidence she ever worked as a prostitute. A former Hedge Fund Vice President, Davis’s interest in the sex industry was strictly business.
Redlich profited from a website he owned that promised access to nude photos of Delaware Republican US Senate Nominee Christine O’Donnell but tried to re-position himself as a family values candidate who could dish it by calling Davis a “ whore” but couldn’t take it when attacked for his own words.
In every public encounter with Redlich Davis, despite her attempts to be cordial, was viciously attacked in verbal assaults by this rude, know-it-all jerk. His unhinged, erratic manner, bullying and shouting make it clear he could be a danger to people. I’d keep him away from pets and small farm animals too.
During last year’s campaign, Internet writings by Redlich were revealed where he defended sex with underage girls. As a father with one daughter and four granddaughters, I find these assertions disgusting. Redlich was attempting to be erudite and cosmopolitan but his meaning is clear-and disgusting. When a neighborhood watch organization published a mailer exposing Redlich as a pervert, he played the victim.
In my opinion, Warren Redlich is a sexual predator, a sick twisted pervert and a general danger to the public. These are not just reasonable conclusions based on his writings and actions; these assertions are also Constitutionally protected speech.
Last week, Redlich filed a meritless lawsuit claiming he had been smeared by the use of his own words and charged that a conspiracy of individuals – including Davis and Republican Carl Paladino – had worked in concert to libel him. Unfortunately, you cannot have a conspiracy to commit a legal act.
Libel per se? Bullshit.
If Redlich had been called a “Sex Offender” – that is, someone convicted of a sex crime – he might have a case. Designating him as a sexual predator is a fair observation based on his lewd and repugnant internet ravings. Anyone who has met Redlich could conclude by his loud, obnoxious and offensive behavior that he is a danger to the public. Jimmy McMillan- the Rent is too Damn High Party nominee for Governor told me Redlich was “such a prick I wanted to punch him out”
The folks at the People for A Safer New York assure me their attorney reviewed the language in their ads and mailings and issued a written opinion that they were constitutionally protected free speech and not libelous.
Redlich burst into temporary prominence only because Republican nominee for Governor Carl Paladino insisted on the inclusion of minor party candidates in his only debate with Democrat Andrew Cuomo. With Redlich as their candidate, the Libertarian Party fell short of the 50,000 votes required to win a ballot position. Pity.
Mr. Redlich is a lawyer who makes a living getting drunk drivers off the hook. A slimeball drowning in ego mania. Posing as a family man while making money off a porno linked website. A guy who lusts after teens on-line.
Sanctions will be sought against the attorney who filed Redlich’s lawsuit and, with Redlich’s recent move to West Palm Beach, his new Florida neighbors will soon learn a pervert has moved into their midst.
Since Warren Redlich was a “public figure” during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign period, he will need to prove People For A Safer New York made the statements about him with “actual malice” (i.e. knowing the statements were false or acting with reckless disregard of whether the statements were false or not). If he can establish the statements were defamatory, he will then have to prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” that the named defendants were involved in writing or sending out the mailing.
Warren Redlich responds:
It is unfortunate that politics attracts people like Roger Stone. They can never compete with good people in an open, honest and decent discussion of the issues. Because of that, they try to drive out the good people by attacking us. Mr. Stone’s continued attacks on me are false and clearly intended to cause personal harm. He has succeeded in driving me out as a candidate.
While I will not glorify his latest attack by linking to it or responding to all of it, I do want to respond to certain statements in his blog post:
“In the 40 years I have been in American politics, I have never met a more obnoxious or distasteful individual then Albany lawyer Warren Redlich.”
Mr. Stone and I have never met.
“Redlich … [called] Kristin Davis a ‘whore’ in an Albany Times Union article. Although Davis once ran [an] escort agency …, there is no evidence she ever worked as a prostitute. … Davis’s interest in the sex industry was strictly business.”
1. I didn’t call her a prostitute. The blog post in question was about Stone, not about Davis. She was only mentioned as an aside.
2. Ms. Davis does not refer to her past business as an “escort agency.” Her book title is: The Manhattan Madam: Sex, Drugs, Scandal And Greed Inside America’s Most Successful Prostitution Ring.
3. The term whore is not limited to prostitutes, with one definition being “a promiscuous or immoral woman.” Some people think running a prostitution ring, or having a business interest in the sex industry, is immoral.
4. If Ms. Davis is offended by the word, it’s odd that she would use it in the debate so casually:
“Redlich … tried to re-position himself as a family values candidate”
My campaign was never about family values. The campaign theme was “Stop Wasting Money.” I focused on wasteful spending.
In every public encounter with Redlich[,] Davis, despite her attempts to be cordial, was viciously attacked in verbal assaults by this rude, know-it-all jerk. His unhinged, erratic manner, bullying and shouting make it clear he could be a danger to people.
The only public encounter I had with Davis was a televised debate. I focused on my positive message. I did criticize other candidates, but my criticisms were directed at Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino. I did not mention Ms. Davis at all. I sat next to her for the entire debate (90 minutes or so). My behavior in the debate does not fit Mr. Stone’s comments in any way. Video here: 2010 New York Governor debate.
Nor did I engage in such behavior privately. I met Ms. Davis twice that I recall. The first was at a Manhattan Libertarian event early in 2010. She spoke before me. I complimented her both in person and when I spoke. The second time was after the debate in October, at the WPIX-11 studio. We spoke briefly in the “green room” and we were both cordial.
I hope voters will recognize this. Any candidate who hires Roger Stone is a person you shouldn’t vote for.
Note from Paulie: Paladino was also the Taxpayers Party and Conservative Party candidate.