Thursday, November 16, 2006

Greater Wisconsin Committee Files Dismissal Motion of Van Hollen Defamation Claim

Lawyers for the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund, a part of the Greater Wisconsin Committee, say Attorney General-elect J.B. Van Hollen's claim that a campaign ad defamed the Republican should be dismissed because he can't prove that it is false or defamatory.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee's ad questioned Van Hollen's handling of the Stanley Newago case, specifically whether then Bayfield County DA Van Hollen should have revoked Newago's bail. Newago was free on bail when Van Hollen became Bayfield DA in December 1999. Newago killed a girl in February 2000.

The GWPF dismissal motion says Van Hollen hasn't disputed the ad's claim that he didn't question the Newago release or tryto revoke his bail in the eight weeks between taking over as DA and the murder, and argues that Van Hollen's claim that he had no legal basis to revoke bail "states a legal conclusion, not a claim for defamation."

The dismissal motion also claims that Van Hollen has not met the standard for defamation because he has failed to show the advertisement caused him to lose votes.

The attorneys also filed a motion for change of venue from Bayfield County, disputing Van Hollen's claim that the commercial ran in that county. In fact, the ad aired only on Milwaukee, Rhinelander and Wausau stations, which don't reach Bayfield County via broadcast or cable systems, the motion argues.

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