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Moores sue political strategists for allegedly smearing him during the 2017 campaign for US Senate

Embattled Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore testifies during his ethics trial at the Alabama Court of the Judiciary at the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday September 28, 2016.

Wednesday, Judge Roy Moore, his wife Kayla, and their defense team held a press conference at the Gadsden Courthouse to announce a defamation suit against several of the political PACs and operations that ran campaign ads against him in November and December. Moore claims that the groups ran the ads knowing that the allegations against him were false and they ran their ads anyway causing him and his family irreparable harm.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Moore and his wife, Kayla, are suing Adam Muhlendorf, Longleaf Strategies, Edward Still, Highway 31 Super PAC, Bully Pulpit Interactive, Jim Margolis, Waterfront Strategies, Priorities USA, and Josh Schwerin.

Longleaf Strategies is Montgomery based while Highway 31 was later revealed to be largely a front group mostly funded by the Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate campaign’s, Majority Strategies PAC.

The suit alleges that the defendants: “defamed, conspired to defame, knowingly funded false material or conspired to produce false material with the purpose of disseminating said material and whose actions caused the plaintiffs’ injuries on the occasion made the basis of this suit.” The suit also claim that the defendants had, “defame, conspired to defame, knowingly fund false material or conspire to produce the false material with the purpose of disseminating said material and whose actions caused the plaintiffs’ injuries on the occasion made the basis of this suit.” The suit also charges that the defendants, “Who was responsible for the rental, sale, or lease of the advertisements who knew or should have known that same were false and defaming which made the basis of this suit.

The suit claims that Highway 31 ran a false ad stating that Moore had been banned from the Gadsden Mall and that they completely ignored witnesses that said this was not true and ran the ad anyway and even continued to run the ad after Secretary of State John Merrill (R) ordered them to take the false and misleading ad down.

The suit claims that, “Despite knowing that the content was false or in reckless disregard thereof each one of (the defendants) did in fact run advertisements that contained false and defaming material.”

Attorney Melissa Isaak was the spokeswoman for the Moore’s and the defense and the only one answering any questions.

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Isaak said, “This was a political hit job. There is no question about it.”

The Alabama Political Reporter asked: Was this a wider conspiracy or were the parties in this just behaving like sharks when there is blood in the water.
Isaak said that there was collaboration and that they hoped to learn more during discovery.

APR asked: During the campaign Doug Jones’s campaign ran 40 years old pictures of ten or twelve little girls. Why is the Doug Jones campaign also not a defendant in this suit.

Isaak said that that that might be a possibility in the future.

Moore was defeated in a special election on December 12 by Birmingham attorney Doug Jones for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions. Moore appeared to be cruising to an easy victory in this very red state where no Democrat had won any statewide office in nine years; until the Washington Post produced claims that Moore may have mistreated teen young women during the 1970s.

Moore had denied the allegations; but the national media devoted thousands of hours of coverage to the allegations and groups, including the defendants ran an endless string of media buys claiming that Moore had abused young women in the seventies.

Leigh Korfman claims that she went out with Moore when she was 15 in 1976 and that she and Moore undressed down to their underwear and engaged in some inappropriate touching through the claims. Moore denies the alleged encounter. Both of them are suing each other for defamation. Moore is also suing the other women with claims about Moore.

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Moore was outspent $23 million (most of it from out of state Democrats) to $5 million. Despite this Moore only lost the race by about 1.7 percent of the vote. Jones had 673,896 votes (50 percent) to Roy Moore’s 651,972 (48.3 percent). Various write-in candidates received 22,852 (1.7 percent).

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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