MI GOP Official Sues News Website Over ‘Lose Your Home Lose Your Vote’ Story

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A Republican official in Michigan has filed a defamation suit against an independent news site, over a story in which he is quoted as stating his party plans to challenge voters whose names and addresses appear on foreclosure lists.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” James Carabelli, the chairman of the Macomb County Republican Party is quoted as saying in the Michigan Messenger in an article published September 10.

Just a few days after the article was published, Carabelli back-tracked on his statement, telling the Macomb Daily that the party has “no plans to do anything.” Later, he issued a full-throated denial, calling the original article “not true.”

The Michigan Messenger is an independent news site that is part of the Center for Independent Media (CIM).

CIM president and CEO David Bennahum told TPMmuckraker this morning that they had not yet received a copy of the suit, but said that CIM stands by the story and the reporter.

“We’ve stood by this story since day one and we continue to stand by it,” he said. “I think this is a use of defamation to stifle free speech, and it ain’t gonna work. . . Just because the truth is inconvenient you can’t sue it away.”