GOP CHAIRMAN FLOYD FORMS LEGAL TRUST FUND FOR FUTURE EFFORTS
Lyman, SC – September 17, 2009 – State Representative Rita Allison joined with state Republican Party Chairman Karen Floyd and SC House Speaker Bobby Harrell to announce the filing of a defamation suit, aimed at sending the message that false and slanderous attacks won’t be tolerated in South Carolina.
Rep. Allison’s personal reputation was recently attacked in an anonymous mailing that was sent to dozens or more of her friends and constituents in her House district. Rather than ignoring the attack, Rep. Allison and Chairman Floyd decided to fight back, today filing a “John Doe” lawsuit, with the hope of encouraging someone to come forward with information about who was behind the attack.
Floyd also announced the formation of a SC GOP Legal Defense Fund, which is being created to help other elected officials who are victim of defamatory attacks.
“Bare-knuckled politics is a South Carolina tradition, but when someone crosses the line from hardball to falsely attacking someone’s reputation, it cannot be allowed to stand,” Floyd said. “It does not matter whether the person is a Republican or a Democrat, or a man or a woman. We are here today to say ‘no more’ and to put anyone engaging in these kinds of tactics on notice that it will not be tolerated.”
Allison said she filed the suit in hopes of keeping other people from going through a similar experience.
“A lot of people told me I should just ignore this and let it go away, but I thought if it were possible for me to make a difference that I should take a stand,” Allison said. “This has been an incredibly hurtful situation for me and my family, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my years in public service. If we can find out who did this and prevent others from going through the same thing, it will salvage some good from this situation.”
SC Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell joined Floyd and Allison for the announcement, noting that these attack tactics “cheapen the political process.”
“Making these false charges against someone is cowardly, and cheapens the political process. These types of attacks are one of the reasons why good people hesitate to get into politics,” said House Speaker Bobby Harrell. “I am proud to stand with my good friend Rita against these unwarranted attacks. Rita and I came into the legislature at the same time and during that time I have seen how she is a dedicated public servant and a devoted wife, mother and grandmother.”