LPM Online

July 22, 2003

Contents

  1. Upcoming Events
  2. LPOC v. Pappageorge
  3. Leadership Conference August 10

  1. Upcoming Events

    July 22, 2003 - 7:00 PM
    Libertarian Discussion Group. Kalamazoo-St. Joseph Valley Libertarian Party (Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph Counties). Open to the public.
    Location: Denny's Restaurant, 3817 E Cork, Kalamazoo, Sprinkle and Cork at I-94.
    Contact: Gerald Phillips Phone: (269) 382-0927 E-mail: gaphillips@jasnetworks.net

    July 23, 2003 - 6:30 PM
    LP of Oakland County General Membership Meeting. Public welcome. Meet for dinner at 6:30pm, business begins at 7:30pm.
    Location: Sila's Restaurant, 4033 W. 12 Mile Rd, Berkley. Sila's is 2 blocks east of Greenfield on Twelve Mile Road.
    Contact: Nathan Allen Phone: (248) 891-3003 E-mail: chair@LpocMi.org

    July 23, 2003 - 7:00 PM
    SWLMC will hold the fifth in a series of six "Politics, Pizza and Pop" discussion meetings open to everyone. Chairman Bill Bradley of the Van Buren County Liberation Party will lead a discussion on the topic "Losing Our Rights and What We Can Do About It"
    Location: St. Joseph, Pizza Hut, 2049 Niles Road, St. Joseph
    Contact: Bill Bradley Phone: (269) 637-4525 E-mail: bbradley@cybersol.com

    July 24, 2003 - 7:30 PM
    Libertarian Party of Washtenaw County - Ann Arbor City Election Caucus and Planning Session.
    Location: Cubs' A.C. Restaurant, 1950 S. Industrial Highway, Ann Arbor.
    Contact: James Hudler Phone: (734) 475-9792 E-mail: aguli@provide.net

    July 31, 2003 - 7:00 PM
    The Southwest Michigan Liberty Council will hold the last in a series of six "Politics, Pizza and Pop" discussion meetings open to everyone. Chairman Bill Bradley of the Van Buren County Liberation Party will lead a discussion on the topic of "Losing Our Rights and What We Can Do About It." Additional meetings may be scheduled later if needed.
    Location: Lawrence: Van Buren Conference Center. 490 South Paw Paw Street, Lawrence
    Contact: Bill Bradley Phone: (269) 637-4525 E-mail: bbradley@cybersol.com

    August 4, 2003 - 7:00 PM
    Kalamazoo-St. Joseph Valley Libertarian Party Meeting. Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph Counties. Open to the public.
    Location: T.G.I. Friday's Restaurant, 5650 W Main, Oshtemo at State Hwy 131 and W Main (Kalamazoo).
    Contact: Gerald Phillips Phone: (269) 382-0927 E-mail: gaphillips@jasnetworks.net

    August 10, 2003 - 2:00 PM
    Libertarian Party of Michigan Executive Committee Meeting. All dues-paying members are welcome.
    Location: LaSeniorita Restaurant, 2706 Lake Lansing Rd in Lansing
    Contact: Bill Gelineau Phone: (616) 897-0488 E-mail: chair@michiganlp.org

    August 14, 2003 - 7:00 PM
    Libertarian Party of West Michiganís monthly membership meeting,
    drinks and dinner at 6:30 PM, meeting begins at 7:00 PM
    Location: Club North (Banquet Room)1359 Plainfield Ave NE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49505
    Contact: Tom Horan Phone: (616) 887-2428 E-mail: tomh@lpwm.org

    August 21, 2003 - 7:00 PM
    Van Buren Libertarian group has the month August to enjoy our families. The next meeting will be September 18th as scheduled. The third thursday of each month.
    Location: Bill Bradley
    Contact: Bill Bradley Phone: (269) 637-4525 E-mail: bbradley@cybersol.com

    September 11, 2003 - 7:00 PM
    Libertarian Party of West Michiganís monthly membership meeting,
    drinks and dinner at 6:30 PM, meeting begins at 7:00 PM
    Location: Club North (Banquet Room)1359 Plainfield Ave NE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49505
    Contact: Tom Horan Phone: (616) 887-2428 E-mail: tomh@lpwm.org

    More
    For more events, see the online calendar at:
    http://www.michiganlp.org/lpmonline/events.php

  2. LPOC v. Pappageorge by Leonard Schwartz

    Judge Rules that Pappageorge's False Remarks Are Nonactionable Political Hyperbole

    At a televised Troy City Council candidate debate in February, Christina Pappageorge used her two-minute closing statement to attack incumbent Martin Howrylak for being a member of the Libertarian Party. She said that Martin and the Libertarian Party encourage children to use illicit drugs. Because he had already given his closing statement, Martin had no opportunity to respond.

    The Libertarian Party of Oakland County filed a defamation lawsuit against Pappageorge, who is married to a Republican state representative. David Collver was the LPOC lead attorney, assisted by Leonard Schwartz.

    Pappageorge filed a motion to dismiss the LPOC lawsuit. The motion gave five grounds, each of which is sufficient for dismissal:

    1. Her closing statement was truthful.

    2. Even if false, her statement is protected by the First Amendment.

    3. Her statement did not concern LPOC and it is not a proper plaintiff.

    4. She did not make her statement with malice.

    5. Her statement did not harm LPOC.

    At the July 14 hearing on this motion, Judge Martone agreed with Pappageorge only on the First Amendment issue. He ruled that her false remarks were nonactionable political hyperbole protected by the First Amendment. And he dismissed the lawsuit.

    Although LPOC lost, Dave Collver and I don't feel that the many hours we spent on this case was a waste of our time. The lawsuit had some favorable effects.

    1. As soon as we filed the lawsuit, Pappageorge and her running mate, Jeanne Stine, stop all negative campaigning against Martin Howrylak.

    2. The lawsuit generated newspaper articles about Pappageorge's vicious personal attack on Martin Howrylak. The articles correctly reported that the Libertarian Party advocates the decriminalization of drugs, but doesn't advocate that children, or anyone else, use illicit drugs. This lessened the harm from Pappageorge's lies.

    In retrospect, with 20/20 hindsight, could we have done anything that would have increased our chances of winning the case? Yes. The plaintiffs should have been not only LPOC, but also two LPOC officers who had not been candidates for partisan office in 2000 or 2002 and two members who were candidates for partisan office in 2000 or 2002 and who sign affidavits that they plan to be candidates for partisan office in 2004. Judge Martone hinted that he might have ruled differently regarding those persons.

    There was no point in having Martin Howrylak as a plaintiff. When deciding what lies are permissible political hyperbole, courts are most generous to the defendant when the plaintiff is a rival candidate.

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  3. Leadership Conference August 10 by Bill Gelineau

    The August 10 meeting of the LEC will take place at LaSeniorita Restaurant, 2706 Lake Lansing Rd in Lansing at 2 pm. All members are welcome. This site was chosen to work in conjunction with our first Leadership Conference of the year. The Leadership Conference to start at 10 am and run until about 1. Lunch and beverages will be available off the menu as you wish. There is no food or other charge obligation. The LEC meeting will run approximately 2 to 4. Details on the conference will be posted on the website, LPM on-line, and communicated to local affiliates.

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