Tags: Gephardt | Sued | for | Assault | Opponent

Gephardt Sued for Assault on Opponent

Wednesday, 22 May 2002 12:00 AM

The story, as related in the suit, indicates how politics in this day and age are getting to be more personal and perhaps even violent.

Judicial Watch (JW), the nonpartisan public interest law firm that has challenged the Clinton and Bush administrations, filed the charge against Gephardt, D-Mo., on behalf of William Federer, his Republican opponent. Federer ran a hard-fought race against him and was credible enough to throw a scare into the congressman’s re-election campaign in Missouri’s Third Congressional District.

The suit alleges that Gephardt and key campaign aides set up an assault on Federer in the heat of the campaign, then manufactured a criminal charge against him.

Two Gephardt aides, Joyce A. Aboussie and James J. Larrew, also are named in the legal action.

According to the JW charge, filed in Missouri and announced Wednesday in Washington, Larrew stalked Federer during a parade one month before the 2000 election and assaulted him.

Moreover, says Judicial Watch, Aboussie then falsely accused Federer of wrongdoing, in concert with Larrew, the congressman himself and others.

In addition to assault, civil rights violations, abuse of process and other civil wrongs, the lawsuit alleges trespass, "on information and belief by Gephardt and his aides, as Federer’s home and offices were broken into several times during the campaign.”

Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman said Gephardt, of course, has every right to run for public office and advocate his positions.

"Yet Gephardt obviously believed those rights did not extend to his opponent Bill Federer. So rather than run a campaign based on law, Gephardt and his aides allegedly assaulted, conspired, and knowingly misused the judicial process to destroy his opponent. This cannot stand, and Dick Gephardt will be accountable to the law,” Klayman added.

Aboussie is identified in the suit as "Gephardt’s national political advisor, and a paid member of Defendant Gephardt’s congressional staff, currently earning approximately $130,000 per year in that capacity.”

The 2002 edition of the "Almanac of American Politics” reports that Gephardt’s district "has been trending Republican, and Gephardt, despite spending millions of dollars in every campaign year, has not topped 60% since 1992.”

It also notes that 2000 was not the first year that Federer challenged him. In 1998, says the Almanac, Federer, operating with only $196,000, "held him to a 56%-42% margin.” Truly an indication of a David vs. Goliath battle.

In 2000, Federer ran again, this time with a more level playing field. George W. Bush’s uncle William Bush chaired his campaign finance committee. He still lost to the powerful, nationally prominent incumbent, this time by 58 percent to 40 percent. For Gephardt, that was "an uptick from 1998, but not an overwhelming victory,” says the Almanac.

Attempts by NewsMax.com to elicit comment from Gephardt were not successful as of the filing of this report Wednesday evening.

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The story, as related in the suit, indicates how politics in this day and age are getting to be more personal and perhaps even violent. Judicial Watch (JW), the nonpartisan public interest law firm that has challenged the Clinton and Bush administrations, filed the charge...
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2002-00-22
Wednesday, 22 May 2002 12:00 AM
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