Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Proft responds *** Drury loses another round against Proft
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 - Proft responds *** Drury loses another round against Proft

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017

* Cook County Record

An Illinois state representative and Democratic candidate for governor has failed in another attempt to sue an Illinois conservative radio talk show host and political activist and his political organization for statements made in 2014 political advertisements, as a Cook County judge has again tossed the defamation lawsuit brought by State Rep. Scott Drury against Dan Proft and Liberty Principles PAC.

On Sept. 12, Cook County Circuit Judge Franklin Valderrama dismissed without prejudice Drury’s first amended complaint, leaving it to Drury to decide whether to continue to pursue the litigation he has chased in court for nearly three years.

Drury, of Highwood, first filed suit in 2014, as he neared the end of his campaign to win another term in office from the state’s 58th Legislative District, which includes a large swath of shoreline in southeastern Lake County, including the suburbs of Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Bannockburn and Highland Park.

In that lawsuit, Drury accused Proft and Liberty Principles PAC, as well as his Republican opponent, Dr. Mark Neerhof, of Lake Forest, and Neerhof’s campaign organization of lying about Drury’s positions on an education funding bill then pending in the Illinois General Assembly.

That legislation, known as Senate Bill 16, would have reformed Illinois education funding, potentially cutting state funding to education in more affluent districts to redirect it to other, poorer communities – a move opponents said would unfairly benefit the city of Chicago. […]

In the 2014 campaign, however, Proft and Liberty Principles funded ads on cable television and in direct mail pieces telling voters that Drury supported cutting funding for local schools in the district “by as much as 70 percent;” was in favor of sending the district’s “tax dollars to Chicago schools;” and “has put his Chicago Democrat Party bosses ahead of our schools.”

Upon publication of the mailer, Drury filed suit, alleging Proft and Liberty Principles had coordinated with Neerhof’s campaign to unfairly smear him, and asking the court to order them to pay for publishing false statements about him and his political positions.

Most of the lawsuit, however, was dismissed, as the judge said Drury, as a public figure and politician, needed to do more than demonstrate the statements were false. Rather, the judge said, Drury needed to show the defendants made the statements, knowing they were false and had still published them with “actual malice.”

*** UPDATE ***  From Dan Proft…

In 2014, in the course of the Illinois District 58 House race, Democrat State Rep. Scott Drury filed a baseless defamation complaint against me and Liberty Principles PAC and his Republican opponent Mark Neerhof and Neerhoff’s campaign committee. Drury claimed that statements made regarding his support the Democrat school funding bill which were false and defamatory. In fact, they turned out to be both accurate and prescient. Remarkably, this year, Drury came out in support of an identical school funding bill.

We successfully moved to dismiss Drury’s first complaint in 2014. The Court found that Drury failed to plead “actual malice”. As an attorney, Drury is well aware of the legal standard in such cases. His litigatiousness was completely political in nature. His frivolous lawsuit was designed to chill free speech in the political arena by eliminating dissent. Unfortunately for him, he ran into defendants who will not be intimidated.

In the initial dismissal order, the court permitted Drury to file an amended complaint, as to certain of his allegations, giving him yet another chance to try assert a viable claim. We moved to dismiss again.

On Tuesday, the Court again ruled against Drury, dismissing his amended complaint. In a meticulous, 16-page opinion, the Court found, again, that Drury failed to meet the exacting standard required to salvage his baseless complaint.

The Court concluded that, “Drury has failed to allege that Defendants acted with actual malice.” The Court permitted Drury to file a second amended complaint, which is due in 35 days.

Nonetheless, the Court suggested that Drury is going to have a difficult time alleging facts sufficient to satisfy the actual malice standard.

In fact, he cannot truthfully make a defamation claim. This may not stop him for attempting yet again. But we will not be harrassed out of our First Amendment rights by a thin-skinned political hack like Drury who seeks to use the state to silence political opponents because he is unable to defend his record during the time in which he was supposed to be a servant of the state and her families.

The opinion is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    Proft finally found an arena and an opponent where he can win.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    Drury needs a hug.


  3. - LakeEffect - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    I’m not sure if having the ad pulled off the air by Comcast the day after the 2014 lawsuit was filed and spending tens of thousands of dollars in litigation fees is a “win” for Proft.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    It probably got more discussion after it wasn’t running then when it was running.

    “Opportunity Costs”


  5. - G'Kar - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    “But your honor, there was no malice directed at the representative, we published those statements strictly for a political advantage.”/s


  6. - Periwinkle - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    I thought Drury was a federal prosecutor? How can he not know the basic standard for defamation of a public figure?


  7. - Quizzical - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    As he’s a former federal prosecutor, i thought Drury would be more successful in court.


  8. - Ghost - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    most of the world thinks we are nuts for letting stiff like this go. (yes i am empowered to speak for the world dont question my hyperbole) In australia and england this would actualy be criminal conduct as well.


  9. - Downers Grove Guy - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    It’s not about actually winning the case, it’s about costing Proft resources (legal fees). In any case, it’s really tough to get the courts to go along with an accusation of a political lie.


  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    Did Drury claim to have been put in a “false light?”


  11. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    ==Drury needed to show the defendants made the statements, knowing they were false and had still published them with “actual malice”==
    This seems like a pretty low bar, actually.

    Has there ever been a campaign for governor, for example, in which neither campaign knowingly made malicious false statements in their negative ads?


  12. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    Amazing. Only Scott Drury could turn Dan Proft into a sympathetic figure. Reading this and his response, I found myself agreeing with Dan. Good Lord.


  13. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Scott, just go away. You continue to embarrass yourself.


  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    I’m torn here. How come both sides can’t lose? Seriously, Proft is right on the law, though that doesn’t mean he wasn’t following LBJ’s 11th commandment (make’m deny it). And tho his description of drury is apt, I just can’t bring myself to enjoy it because of the source. Think I’ll lay down until my head stops hurting trying to reconcile this moral delima.


  15. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    Clearly the court is confirmin’ that Proft is such a magoo that he cannot be the victim of malice. Thanks for confirmin’


  16. - Jibba - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    I would be embarrassed that my defense is that I knowingly lied but did not have actual malice. Glad I am not a politician or PAC spokesman.


  17. - anon2 - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    === That seems like a pretty low bar (to establish malice) ===

    How would one prove the motives of the defendants? Assuming they won’t admit that they knew the accusations were false and did it anyway because they hated the target.


  18. - JoanP - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    @Jibba -

    You misunderstand the status of the case. At this point, Proft et al. are not asserting a defense. They are arguing that the plaintiff’s complaint is legally insufficient in that it does not allege a necessary element of defamation.


  19. - G'Kar - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    So, will Proft’s dark money still support that “thin-skinned political hack” as a stalking horse in the primary?


  20. - DuPage Bard - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    With this judgement you can pretty much say anything at this point, with no fear at all of defamation, according to the courts?
    This is why we don’t have nice things.
    Most expensive and now largest lie filled campaign in history.


  21. - Jibba - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    Hey Joan, I guess I’m glad I’m not a lawyer, either. Perhaps it is a little premature to call it a defense, and while it may be a legal winner, it would be a PR loser to say you are not guilty only because you did not act with actual malice. At least in the real world.


  22. - NorthsideNoMore - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    name on ballot = get thicker skin


  23. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    In other news, Proft joins forces with Jon Zahm.


  24. - anon2 - Wednesday, Sep 13, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    In England and Australia, truth has a higher priority than freedom to lie. Americans say they hate mudslinging. Imagine how much different campaigns would be if those putting out lies could be held liable.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Rauner appoints Dunkin to MWRD
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* ERA opponents' logic questioned
* Question of the day
* More IDVA shakeup as embattled director quits
* Sanguinetti ties gun issue to Cuban heritage while talking AV
* Stop Illinois Big Coal Bailouts
* After stinging criticism, tronc reportedly calls cops on picketing reporters
* Captains obvious
* Chicago political ad spending almost three times higher than closest national competitor
* Cullerton heard "Laurel"
* Black Caucus claims Rauner paying "lip service" to black vendors
* Bitter infighting continues at troubled SIU
* Peoria paper compares Rauner to Trump - and not in a good way
* Harmon essentially claims Madigan is living in Rauner's head rent-free
* Marion mayor fumes over state response to water shortage
* NRA and Rauner in close step on two bills
* *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner admin responds *** Madigan blames Rauner for Quincy, says members have unanswered questions
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* Water main break in Southern Illinois leaves 17.....
* A big mistake in the Prairie State - LaGrange D.....
* Gov. Bruce Rauner: Comprehensive gun bill would.....
* Disaster order for 9 S. Illinois counties hit b.....


* Bridge replacement to close rural route near Peoria
* CTA getting new high-definition cameras for downtown stops
* Police suspect driver who killed pedestrian was drunk
* Wildlife Prairie Park to add 14 new cabins
* Winner of karaoke contest to perform at Illinois State Fair
* U of I performing arts center to mark 50th anniversary
* EXCHANGE: Sensory bags, story times to benefit autistics
* EXCHANGE: Retiring owner hoping to keep radio station local
* Trump nominates Chicago businessman for Belgium ambassador
* East St. Louis police officer who earned $200K put on leave

* Illinois GOP chairman re-elected; Republicans display unity
* GoFundMe makes saving Lincoln artifacts modern, accessible
* Gov. Rauner ally Ken Dunkin given $70K Chicago post
* Madigan wants information on governor's Legionnaires' fix
* State lawmaker to SIU president: 'Go to hell, sir'
* Bill permitting medical marijuana use in schools goes to Rauner
* Madigan: Rauner's death penalty proposal to get hearing Monday
* Illinois Senate approves $40,000 minimum salary for teachers
* Justice Charles Freeman announces retirement from Illinois Supreme Court
* Under the Dome Podcast: Death penalty. Guns. ERA. GOP unity.

* Trump taps Ron Gidwitz to be Belgian ambassador
* Art Institute uses data to give visitors what they want
* Crain's wins 4 Chicago journalism awards
* A tougher carjacking law is about crime, not race, says police chief
* Crain's largest publicly traded companies


* Police investigating possible body part found in Chicago River
* Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber delivers fireworks with HR, ejection and ‘a choice word’
* Boy, 16, killed in single vehicle crash in Morton Grove
* A look at the winners and losers from the NBA Draft Combine
* Woman, 68, missing from Bronzeville may need medical attention
* Ed Carpenter wins the pole for Indianapolis 500
* U.S. tops Canada to take bronze medal in world hockey championships
* Expansion dream: Golden Knights advance to Stanley Cup Final
* Yu Darvish survives tough first to regroup and beat Reds for first win as a Cub
* Man, 19, dies a day after being shot in Sauk Village


* DOJ seeks inquiry after Trump demands probe into whether FBI surveilled his campaign for 'political purposes'
* Man accused of harassing WLS-TV meteorologist
* Expansion Vegas Golden Knights advance to Stanley Cup Final
* Joe Maddon credits Javier Baez for owning up to lack of hustle
* White Sox's Reynaldo Lopez wins over manager, stifles Rangers with 8-inning gem
* Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1
* Yu Darvish shows progress, aggressiveness to earn first victory as a Cub
* Sweden beats Switzerland to retain world ice hockey title
* Confusion, squabbling undermine Trump's steps forward on the world stage
* Time for the Manny Machado watch to go into overdrive in Chicago


» The Quandary Behind A Quincy Legionnaires’ Victim’s Death: ‘Where The Heck Was She?’
» State Week: Gun Bills And The Death Penalty, GOP Leadership Fight
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Biss Endorses Pritzker
» The Week in Review: Obama Presidential Center Gets City’s Approval
» Should The Voting Age Be Lowered?; ‘Hamilton: The Exhibition’; Food As Medicine; Rescuing Tortoises
» Voices Of Chicagoland's Opioid Crisis: Nick Kanehl And Marty Cook
» How To Stop Gun Violence? Just Ask
» #651 John Prine, Opinions on Courtney Barnett & Scott Hutchison
» May 17, 2018 - Full Show
» Obama Presidential Center Clears First Hurdle


* Our View: Another disappointing lack of transparency in Illinois government
* Ralph Martire: Illinois can't afford Rauner's budget 'savings' rhetoric
* BGA: Redistricting reform can't be blocked forever
* Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln: Forging ahead to serve those who came before us
* Statehouse Insider: Is the happy talk for real?
* Illinois GOP chairman re-elected; Republicans display unity
* GoFundMe makes saving Lincoln artifacts modern, accessible
* Our View: Support legislation that would halt newsprint tariffs
* Guest View: National infrastructure initiative must meet the needs of rural America
* Lisa Madigan: Illinois must continue to invest in vital legal aid organizations


* St. Thomas More Graduation 2018
* Here are the winners for 2018's Art on the Square
* Augustana students graduate
* Fisher Graduation 2018
* Honoring fallen heroes
* Card skimmers found at credit unions in Waterloo and Millstadt
* Razor blade discovered on slide in Silvis
* Chance of thunderstorms Monday
* Decatur-area girls invited to be inspired at Girls World Expo
* Should Illinois townships go away? Legislation would make it easier to do exactly that


* Images: Harvest Christian Academy graduation
* Images: St. Francis High School graduation
* Chicago Dogs manager Butch Hobson embracing another season of independent baseball
* Lopez delivers electric outing for White Sox in 3-0 win over Rangers
* Images: Warren Township High School graduation

* Letter: Let's fix the Trump issue - Northw...
* Blockchain Is 'World-Changing', Says U.S. ...
* Congressional Hearing on UFOs Suggested by...
* How the Public Finance Network will push C...
* Congressional town halls: Old-fashioned an...
* Paulsen initiates bipartisan request on pr...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* Hultgren talks gun control after St. Charl...
* Lobbying intensifies for advance refunding...
* Letter: Hultgren isn't good for the enviro...

* Our View: Support legislation that would h......
* Be Transparent When Advertising Drugs, Sen......
* Dems, Trump Admin Find Common Ground: Help......
* Sunday Extra | War with Iran is a bad idea...
* Halpin named to passenger rail commission...

* Our View: Support legislation that would h......
* Donald Trump nominees delayed by more than......
* Trump claims Democrats 'obstruct' his nomi......
* Halpin named to passenger rail commission...
* Senators urge Trump to combat anti-Semitism...

* Mad's Clout May Have Faded, But Its Ethos Matters More Than Ever
* Chicago Zine Fest 2018 Is In The Books
* What’s THIS? Illinois hasn’t paid its health care bill for retired teachers in 17 months. Rauner wants the payments to stop entirely.
* Sunday, bloody Sunday.
* Free Digital Badge Toolkit Helps Students Show Off Their 21st Century Skills
* Why One Professor Prefers Electronic Ink Over Fancy Tablets
* 7 Roles for Artificial Intelligence in Education
* 2018’s Cities with the Most & Least Student Debt
* It’s time to break silos, look at education as a continuum, leaders say
* Connecticut calls its new Cybersecurity Action Plan a ‘call to arms’


* Rend Lake Water Conservancy District Water Main Break
* Statement from Gov. Rauner
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May
* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield

  
* Dissecting ZTE: What it is and what it wants to be
* Top 10 trending phones of week 20
* Australian ​Department of Health using blockchain for medical research records
* Go from amateur Instagrammer to paid photo snapper
* Orbital ATK will launch an Antares rocket to the International Space Station tomorrow morning 
* TeenSafe, a texting monitor app for parents, has leaky servers
* Apple UK site brings back Barclays and PayPal Credit options

* Yaz surprised Hawk during White Sox broadcast
* Abreu's routine leads to consistent results
* Lopez dominates Rangers for 1st win of 2018
* Santiago returns to rotation in opener vs. O's
* Lopez dominates Rangers for 1st win of 2018
* Lopez’s gem ices White Sox series win
* Lopez dominates Rangers for 1st win of 2018


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller