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A Congressional Candidate Pre-Emptively Threatens Libel Lawsuits;

will henceforth be referred to as "Congressional candidate Ms. Cafaro, who testified in a criminal case under a grant of immunity, and who has preemptively threatened to sue anyone who says that she did anything illegal." Sometimes threatening a defamation lawsuit -- and thus further focusing people's attention on the charges that you're so forcefully denying -- is worse than doing nothing at all. Perhaps a sad fact about the world, but one that political candidates would be wise to remember.

Thanks to John Fund (OpinionJournal's Political Diary) for the pointer.

Nobody (mail):
the lawyer's letter (at the linked page) is hilarious.
4.19.2006 2:10pm
Nunzio (mail):
This letter does not state that Ms. Cafaro ever said or offered to testify without statutory immunity.

It said she never insisted upon immunity. Why would she? Statutory immunity is something forced upon a witness who refuses to testify, you can't insist upon it. You can say, I'm not testifying because of a reasonable belief that any statements I make may be used against me in a criminal proceeding. But if statutory immunity is forced on you, you have to testify.

Of course, it doesn't mean she did anything illegal, just that she had a reasonable belief that any statements she might make could be used against her in a criminal case.
4.19.2006 2:44pm
Fishbane (mail):
If I were running against her, I'd just send copies of that letter around to everyone who knows her name, and paraphrase it for those who don't. Who needs a platform when your opponent is already declaring "I am not a crook"?
4.19.2006 2:45pm
James of England:
I understand that this is of general import, but a look at this progressive democrat blog and at the rest of the website you link to should emphasise that this is far from her greatest fault. It's straining at the gnat.

What's really scary is that there's a decent chance that she'll win. Ohio's 13th district has had a 20-45 point lead since before I was born (I'm 28), with the exception of 1994, when it was just 4%.

Her chief, indeed, apparently only economic platform is that she'd shut down trade while getting the government to employ and offer grants to people who employ workers in alternative fuels and other strengths of the region. This, of course, includes a number of Cafaros. Not ethical, competent, economically literate, or doomed. Their primary is in 2 weeks. Ohio 13th will be one to watch.
4.19.2006 2:53pm
JoeSchmoe:
This is also the third Congressional district Cafaro has lived in during the past three election cycles. She spent nearly 2 million dollars getting beat (badly) in the last cycle, running in a district where she had never resided until AFTER she won the primary. But when you have this kind of money, and aren't afraid to forum shop or sue your opposition, perhaps it is only a matter of time before you get lucky on election day.

I hope the voters have enough sense to send her packing.
4.19.2006 3:05pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I like Fishbane's solution. Her opponent can simply advertise:

"Capri Cafaro's lawyer says that just because she got immunity before providing evidence against her criminal father, that doesn't mean she's a criminal."
4.20.2006 6:22am
carpundit (www):
In my long law enforcement career, I've never seen an <i>innocent</i> person demand immunity, let alone get it.
4.20.2006 10:08am
JoeSchmoe:
Nor do "innocent" people generally have testimony worth granting immunity for.
4.20.2006 1:50pm
SimonD (www):
Will she sue me if I point out that her statement that her banner headline quote that "We are letting other nations destroy our economic base---jobs, industry and family stability . . . It simply has to stop" seems pretty vacuous and empty, even for a member of Congress? Is there really anyone so gullible as to think that it is that "simple"? Rain is bad; "it simply has to stop". It sucks that the Jets keep losing; "it simply has to stop". We could have fun with this for hours. "Massachusetts electing staggeringly dull Senators is bad; it simply has to stop."

Ms. Cafari should take a few moments out of her campaign scedule to avail herself of a reminder of the story of King Canute's commanding of the tide to recede.
4.20.2006 6:42pm