“substantially accurate, if not literally true.”
It seems Administrative Law Judge Barbara L. Neilson has tossed into the trashcan the second part of Team Smokescreen's
smokescreen "administrative complaint" about Team Franken's campaign advertisements.
The first part of the two-part complaint got tossed right away; that was the ad that claimed ol' Smokescreen was "living almost rent-free." Anyone following Coleman's RentGate and UtilityGate (let alone SuitCase) scandals remembers Norm's pal Jeff "Landlord" Larson taking used furniture one month, not cashing checks, never charging late fees, and not even charging rent for two months, until Edward Pound, in The National Journal, broke the story. The Good Judge found Team Franken's ads to be "an opinion and is not a statement capable of being proven factually true or false." So, she tossed part one of two, of Team Smokescreen's
smokescreen administrative complaint.
Now, she's tossed the second part. And, let's look at The Good Judge's exact wording, in her order dismissing Team Smokescreen's
smokescreen "administrative complaint":
After reviewing the Complaint, its attachments, and the additional evidence and argument offered by the parties at the probable cause hearing, the
Administrative Law Judge concludes that the Complainant has not established probable cause to believe that Respondent violated Minn. Stat. § 211B.06 with respect to the advertisements at issue. The CREW report and website did not
rank the members of Congress identified in each category or explicitly rank or name Senator Coleman the fourth most corrupt Senator. However, CREW’s listing of the twenty “most corrupt” and the “four to watch” did identify, in total, just
four senators, with Senator Coleman being one of CREW’s “four to watch.”
Now, for the good stuff:
Moreover, based on the reference in CREW’s Executive Summary to the “list of
24,” there is an objective basis for the inference drawn in the Franken advertisements that Senator Coleman was the fourth Senator on the overall list of 24. As noted above, the statute does not prohibit the making of unfavorable deductions or inferences based on fact. Because the statement made in the Franken advertisements accurately captures the “gist” or “sting” of Senator Coleman’s placement in the CREW listing of the 20 “most corrupt” members of Congress and “four to watch,” there is not probable cause to believe that a violation of the statute has occurred. The statement is substantially accurate, if not literally true in every detail. (emphasis added)
I'm thinking it's time to start a pool on when Norm "Smokescreen" Coleman, R=Corrupt, checks into ClubFed.