The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

October 20, 2006

Porter files suit against English

3rd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT — Dr. Steven Porter, the Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat, is suing Republican incumbent Rep. Phil English for defamation.

Porter said his attorney Alan Natalie filed a writ of summons Friday morning in Erie County Courthouse on behalf of Porter and his wife Rita in a suit against English and English’s campaign.

A writ of summons is essentially a notice that a suit has been filed. It includes no details of the suit, although Natalie expects to file the formal complaint within 30 days.

Porter declined to talk about specifics of the litigation except to say his positions had been “deliberately and maliciously misrepresented” by English’s political advertisements “in an attempt to defame” him.

He hopes the suit will help him accomplish a couple things.

“I want to clear my name, set the record straight about my views and restore my credibility in my community and in the academic community at large,” he said. “I would also like to stop Phil English and all other politicians of his ilk from continuing to do this to the American electoral process. It’s a disgrace to our democracy.”

The way to stand up to it is in a court of law, he added, not by becoming “part of the process of character assassination.”

Natalie said “all financial damages applicable to this kind of suit are on the table.” Porter, however, emphasized he filed the suit over principle, not money.

“This is completely without merit and nothing but another frivilous lawsuit,” said Brad Moore, English’s campaign manager.

Moore explained all of English’s campaign ads are approved by an outside, independent legal counsel who reviews all the documentation and signs off on them before they go on the air.

“This is a clear sign of a desperate campaign that is losing handily,” Moore said.

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