Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee Jr's attorney Mike Maistelman just sent the following letter to ViAnna Jordan's attorney Paul Bucher:
Re: ViAnna Jordan’s false, deceptive, and malicious statements about Alderman Michael McGee, Jr.
As you know, our offices represent Alderman Michael McGee, Jr. It has been brought to my attention that your client, ViAnna Jordan after her recent election night loss attempted to justify her loss by telling people; including the media that Alderman McGee paid people $10.00 to vote early1.
This letter serves as general notice that your client’s false, deceptive and malicious statements are without any merit and rise to the level of slander and libel2.
Unless you can provide me with documentation to the contrary, your client’s statements will be presumed to be knowingly false and/or made with reckless disregard for the truth.
These and other scandalous statements by your client are factually incorrect and an outrageous lie used for the sole purpose to justify her significant loss to Alderman McGee.
Discussing a candidate’s conduct is rightfully fair game. But maliciously and recklessly alleging criminal conduct3 is inflammatory, actionable and in the end is a disservice to the electorate.
Since Alderman McGee is up for reelection next year, any further false, misleading and deceptive statements by your client could also make her liable for damages including the penalties under Wis. Stats. Sec. 12.05.
Wis. Stats. Sec. 12.05 entitled “False representations affecting elections” provides:
1 Fox 6 – News 4/5/07 - ViAnna Jordan says, "it would be interesting to know how many people that voted were felons, it would be interesting to go back and talk to those people who did vote early, who were paid 10 dollars to go vote. "
2 See New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964),
3 See Wis. Stats. Sec. 12.11 et. seq. entitled “Election Bribery” the violation of which is a Class I Felony.
No person may knowingly make or publish, or cause to be made or published, a false representation pertaining to a candidate or referendum which is intended or tends to affect voting at an election. [Emphasis added]
The penalties for violating Wis. Stats. Sec. 12.05 are as follows:
Wis. Stats. Sec. 12.06(1)(b) entitled “Penalties” provides:
Whoever violates s. 12.03, 12.05, 12.07, 12.08 or 12.13 (2) (b) 8., (3) (b), (c),
(d), (g), (i), (n) to (x), (zm) or (zn) may be fined not more than $1,000, or
imprisoned not more than 6 months or both.” [Emphasis added]
My objective is not to threaten your client with penalties but to protect the public from false, misleading and deceptive statements.
Michael S. Maistelman
c: Alderman Michael McGee, Jr. (Via email)
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Update! 5:39pm I contacted Paul Bucher, ViAnna Jordan's attorney, who had this reply:
Thanks. There really is not much to say except that she never said she was accusing him of anything. She only said that people were coming to her and telling her various things. She was only relaying what others told her according to the FOX web site. That is about all I can tell you. I have not spoken with Vi Anna about this yet.