Jeff Frederick has Threatened Me With A Libel Suit

Me? Lovable little fuzzball me? The target in a libel suit? From the esteemed former, (or should that be formerly esteemed?), head of the Republican Party of Virginia?

Well friends it’s true. Last night [Sunday] I was threatened with such a suit from former RPV chairman Jeff Fredrick.

What did I do to warrant such a threat? I’ll leave it up to you to decide. On a fellow Bearing Drifter’s Facebook post about Susan Stimson, I wrote the following;

“Anyone who continued to support Jeff after the facts of L’affaire Frederick became known, lost all credibility with me. I’m pleased to know she’s not one.” And later said, “No Chris, the evidence of corruption was overwhelming.” and then, “The same type of corruption he campaigned against.”

Now, I ask you, is that worth filing a lawsuit? I never mentioned him by name. Never directly accused him of anything at all. Just stated an opinion.

Now, let’s throw a backlight on this subject. I first mentioned Mr. Frederick in a public manner this way; (will open in a new window/tab)

My next public statement was a bit less friendly, but not antagonistic;

See, the problem is, most everyone who paid real dollars to travel to Richmond last year, and real dollars to stay at that really nice hotel across the street from the convention, and even more real dollars for food and drink while they were there in support of Jeff Frederick came back from that convention well pleased that their guy had won.

Almost immediately they began to hear rumbles and non-specific gripes from their party elders who had supported Lt. Governor Hager. Some had even been pressured by those same party elders to change their mind at the last minute to vote for Hager.

By the time of the Advance, in December, those rumbles had grown to a dull roar. Yet still there were no specific charges against Chairman Frederick. Just complaints from those whose guy had lost many months before.

I was still, at least at heart, a Jeff Frederick supporter. I was losing that tenderness quickly though.

Now we come to the point, a few weeks ago, where news reports began leaking that the SCC had decided it was time for Jeff to go. He had been asked to resign, had been told that if he didn’t he would be removed in April. But still no specific charges were put forth to the people who had elected him. It still looked to those good people as if the party elders, who had been griping incessantly, were about to exercise their muscle. Strongarm style.

Finally someone had the good sense to release the specific charges to the press. Now the people could at least decide if their party elders were exercising muscle or brain. With Chairman Frederick’s release of his response to the charges, one by one, it seemed to most that there was much more muscle than brain at work on the SCC. And then I said this

See? At that time I’m still a Frederick supporter. Lukewarm, yes, but still a supporter.

If you read that link, you’ll see I stood by him until the end.

But not yet. Not quite. I’ve maintained an open mind on this episode this far, I’ll keep it open a few more hours. My SCC contact will be visiting me in the morning for coffee. He has what he calls the smoking gun. He has permission to show it, let people read it, let them absorb it, but they cannot copy it.

Fair enough. I’ll look at it. I’ll absorb it. I’ll treat my friend to a cup of great Honduras Coffee and we’ll talk about it.

Now, to get back to my original thought. I expressed an opinion on a friend’s Facebook page. That’s all I did, express an opinion without using anyone’s name.

Mr. High and Mighty Jeff Frederick decided I had overstepped my station, I suppose, and threatened me with a libel suit.

I can find “objective third party’s” that will swear I’m blue-eyed blond and handsome. Well, at least I do have blue eyes.

Then later he said this;

I responded to him via Facebook with this:

So. Go ahead. Make your case here and now. I will include it in my next article on Bearing Drift. The one where I tell of your threats to me last night. It’s coming soon, so do so as succinctly as possible please.

His answer? See below.

Bring it on Mr. Frederick, You hire the highest priced lawyer(s) you can find. I’ll defend myself.

@altonfoley | Facebook | Alton’s posts | E-mail me

  • EPIC.

  • Coming soon at an Imax theater near you. Pwnage theater.

  • Um….Alton, big difference in succulently (delicious and juicy) and succinctly (quickly and short) haha

  • GopBobby

    Alton, this reminds me of the old adage about getting in a mud fight with a pig, you’ll just end up splattered in mud and the pig will love it!

  • I’ll be buying tickets to the show.

  • This is proof that the terrorists have already won.

  • Speaking as an attorney, Frederick does not have a case. Defamation is knowingly publishing false FACTS with the intention to harm. As you noted in your post, what you wrote on Facebook was OPINION, and opinion can never be the basis for a claim of defamation. In addition, since Frederick is a public figure, even if you had published false facts, he would have to prove malicious intent. I sincerely doubt that your comments would be considered malicious. If her were to file a defamation suit under these circumstances, he would not only lose, but you might even have a chance of getting the court to order him to pay your legal fees and costs for filing a frivolous action.

    • “Defamation is knowingly posting false facts”, Ken Falkenstein

      Ok, Ken. Read the following word “facts” in the upcoming quote of Alton’s:

      “Anyone who continued to support Jeff after the facts of L’affaire Frederick became known, lost all credibility with me. I’m pleased to know she’s not one.” And later said, “No Chris, the evidence of corruption was overwhelming.” and then, “The same type of corruption he campaigned against.”

      **Facts of the affair?** Overwhelming evidence of corruption? Good thing the party didn’t let you copy the charges. My eyes roll after hearing that again. It just REALLY gives you the idea that the charges are bull. I think I now know where Nancy Pelosi got the idea of voting for Obamacare to see what was in it….
      As for malicious intent, political agendas can probably be seen as motive for malicious intent. You lose on that one too, I bet, Ken.
      I’m not some hot shot lawyer like you Ken, but I would guess proving that Alton did “damage” would be far harder to show in court than suggesting to the court Alton attempted to use false facts. He used the word “facts”! Did he do any real damage to Jeff? No. Jeff already has a slandered reputation. No need to break what is already broken.

  • It is a very poor move for a public figure to threaten defamation suits, not the least of which is that it is basically impossible to win – so you only look foolish and oversensitive by proceeding.

    That said, it’s hard not to notice the talent that some BD contributors have for repeating and promoting aggressive, unsourced hearsay criticism of candidates not in their favor.

    Some adult needs to stand up and say, “Knock it off, you two!”

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