Russian oligarchs have used them to muzzle journalists.
Amnesty International raised alarms when an energy company used this form of “lawfare” to silence environmental activists in Kosovo.
The agricultural industry has also used this attack on free speech to go after undercover journalists and activists “investigating animal cruelty and other illegal or unsafe activities.”
Now, a Bucks Country Trump supporter who told Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper that all Democrats “hate” America is suing PA01 Democratic Congressional Candidate Ashley Ehasz for detailing already known and previously published information about his involvement with activities related to organized buses advertised to travel to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, to purportedly rally with the president and then march to the Capitol where the electoral votes were being counted – an event that later morphed into an insurrection.
Jim Worthington, the founder of the now shuttered “People 4 Trump” group who is also known for owning a gym in Newtown, is using this SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Political Participation) suit to be compensated “for the injury to his reputation as well as the embarrassment, humiliation, and emotional distress” he claims Ehasz’s alleged commentary has caused. SLAPP suits have been weaponized globally to go after activists, journalists, and political opponents. And this isn’t the first time Worthington has used this legal weapon locally against his critics.
“This is a frivolous lawsuit by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s friend and donor to intimidate Ashley. She has been standing up to bullies like Mr. Worthington her entire life and remains focused on her campaign to defeat Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and fight for the priorities of families in Bucks and Montgomery counties he continues to ignore,” campaign manager Hannah Jeffrey said.
She is running against Worthington’s friend, Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, who as LevittownNow.com pointed out, voted for Trump in 2020 and “received a robocall phone endorsement from Trump” just in time for the general election.
The lawsuit describes Worthington as a “highly regarded entrepreneur who enjoys a tremendous reputation locally, nationally and globally.”
This statement actually suggests the court should recognize him as a “limited public figure” rather than a just a “private citizen.”
I think what’s embarrassing is what he told the Globe and Mail for its October 30, 2020, article “Same street, different worlds: In Pennsylvania, Trump and Biden voters live in separate realities”:
“‘The only thing they hate more than America is themselves,’ he continued. ‘They have a chip on their shoulder. They feel they’ve been ostracized. They’re self-loathing, violent, mean, aggressive. Who has time for that kind of hate?’ That’s Mr. Worthington, talking about Democrats. …”
How could any self-respecting Democrat go to this man’s gym?
Never mind the fact that Worthington also suggested in the article that Democrats in Philadelphia were rigging the election. The lie that Donald Trump didn’t really lose was what motivated the “Stop the Steal” rally and the planned attack on the Capitol building. Here’s what the Globe and Mail reported about its conversation with Worthington:
If anything, Worthington should be embarrassed by his own statements and the company he keeps.
One way Bucks County can send a clear message to MAGA bullies is to unite and rally behind their target: Democratic candidate Ehasz.
First, donate to her campaign.
Finally, and most importantly, vote Trump-backed Congressman Fitzpatrick out of office.