Franklin Center Rallies Right to Battle Libel Suit

The Franklin Center, a conservative nonprofit that covers local governments nationwide, is hosting a conference call this afternoon to draw attention to a lawsuit it’s battling by a car company founded by Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D).

“We’re hoping to get more attention to this free-speech infringing action and that those with big spheres of influence could help the effort,” reads an email from Melissa Clouthier, who does blogger outreach for the Center. “There are such important implications for us all. Every blogger/writer is vulnerable to being sued to be shut up. To be suing an organization like the Franklin Center is ballsy.”

GreenTech, the car company, is suing the Center for $85 million for stories reported by its website that suggest the company is a type of scam and in bed with the federal government. McAuliffe resigned from the company in December, though during his campaign he had often cited its creation as proof of his business savvy.

“They (GreenTech) grossly miscalculated because we will not be silent and we will continue to report on this and any story that is important to the public,” Franklin Center President Jason Stevrak said in a statement. “Are we scared? No, we have truth on our side and facts to back up our story.”

News of the lawsuit has been reported mostly on conservative sites like Human Events and National Review but also on WaPo.

The email from Clouthier says the conference call is for “a select few bigwigs on the right” and is scheduled for today at 1 p.m. The conference dial-in number is (530) 881-1400 and the access code is 69784.

Publish date: April 15, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT