Boswell dropping defamation case against Fallon

Representative Leonard Boswell is dropping his defamation lawsuit against his 2008 Democratic primary challenger Ed Fallon, both sides confirmed today.  

Boswell filed the lawsuit after Fallon claimed last September that people close to Boswell had informally offered him a job on the Congressman’s staff in early 2008, hoping to dissuade him from running for Congress himself. Fallon commented that he was surprised Boswell didn’t drop the lawsuit immediately after the November election. So was I. It’s hard for public figures to win a defamation lawsuit, and Boswell would have had trouble proving Fallon spoke falsely and with “actual malice.” Fallon could have reasonably believed a job offer was on the table, even if Boswell did not authorize any conversation between his associates and Fallon.

In a statement provided to the Des Moines Register, Boswell said, “While I maintain Fallon’s allegations are not true, there is little point in continuing with the litigation and having a spectacle occur to clear my name as I will not be seeking elected office in the future. I know the truth and that is good enough for me at this point. I look forward to continuing my life after politics.”

  • the part I like

    “I will not be seeking elected office in the future.” Let the primary begin…

    • I don't imagine a lot of Democrats

      will be eager to take on Tom Latham in a midterm election year. I would be surprised if there’s a competitive IA-03 primary.

  • Too bad

    • Boswell

      Unfortunately this makes Leonard look like a liar.  I would have liked to have seen a ruling on this case.  Fallon now gets to gloat if he wants.  I suppose we”ll never know whether Fallon could have defeated Latham and now Fallon gets to keep up his “of Democrats would just be Democrats routine”

      It’s nice to not live in the same reality that the voters of your entire district do.  

      • he'd never have been able to prove his case

        The best he could do is cast doubt on whether he instructed any of his associates to have conversations with Ed Fallon (in the presence of Lynn Heuss) which could be interpreted as a job offer.

        When you’re a public figure it’s almost impossible to win a defamation lawsuit.  

  • Boswell

    I know what you mean.  The problem is that there’s always been this implication by people in our party that Leonard’s always been cutting deals to do this and that to cater to special interests.   I never got the impression that Leonard Boswell was dirty or lacked integrity.  I get worked up about Fallon because he always plays the “I’m a better progressive than you card”  

    No doubt he is, but that does mean that other people who may be much more conservative lack integrity.  Fallon spends his whole life saying people who control the Democratic Party don’t really care about poor people.  The truth is that we still believe in self determination, rugged individualism and personal choice IMO.  Fallon effectively insults people who disagree with him on a whole host of issues.

    The Boswell people turn around and do some digging on him and the end result is that Leonard looks like a liar, truly sad.  I think we have a fundamental disagreement within the party about whether government is meant to shape the direction of policy or government is meant to represent the will of the people.  


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