Republican Jim Russell, a New York congressional candidate, is suing Pulitzer Prize-winning Journal News cartoonist Matt Davies and eight other journalists for $1 million each, claiming they “smeared his name” and undermined his candidacy in the press and on television:
The lawsuit names Journal News columnist Phil Reisman, reporter Leah Rae and political cartoonist Matt Davies. It also named John Goff of News 12, Richard French of RNN, Justin Elliott of Salon.com, Douglas Colety of the Westchester Republican Party, Alexander Carey of the state Republican Party and Mark Weitzman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The Republican Party dropped its support of Russell after it was reported that some of his past works highlighted racist and anti-Semitic themes, including an article he wrote about the evils of interracial mixing and movies like Save the Last Dance.
Davies doesn’t plan to let this lawsuit stop him from drawing cartoons about a public figure who is running for office.
“A candidate for office should not be able to chill discussion about his background and views merely by filing a lawsuit,” Davies said on his Facebook page.
“Fortunately, my editorial page editor is also a lawyer… and he won’t let me cross legal lines on this particular sticky issue.”