Much political hay is being made of the lawsuit against US Senate candidate Greg Brannon. The Republican doctor was found liable for misleading two investors in a tech company that went bust a couple years ago.
Democrats and the left say it proves Tea Partiers, conservatives, and Republicans are corrupt liars.
Republicans who support other candidates in the GOP primary see it as the death knell of Brannon's campaign.
I liked Brannon's candidacy and have been impressed with his knowledge of the US Constitution and its limiting principles. Even one of Brannon's opponents - Thom Tillis - acknowledged Brannon's superior understanding of our founding document.
There are some candidates in the Primary who are far more studied than I am on the Constitution.
And, again, most won't care to know the details.
For those who DO care, take a listen to this interview I did with Robert Rice.
Rice was Brannon's co-defendant in the civil trial. Rice was found NOT liable by the same jury that found Brannon liable... despite the same evidence against both men.
Two investors allege Brannon, Rice and David Kirkbride said the smartphone app the company was making would be used in a Verizon marketing campaign. The potential was there to add the app onto all Verizon smartphones.
This information came from a meeting that the company COO John Cummings had with Verizon. Oddly, the investors didn't sue Cummings, when it was his report from the Verizon meeting that prompted this e-mail from Brannon to the investors:
Brannon was not an officer of the company. The information was coming from Cummings. The jury in this case somehow decided that this e-mail was proof that Brannon misled the two investors (one of whom didn't invest until almost a year later, says Rice).
The absurdity of this ruling is clear when you consider that
- Cummings wasn't sued
- a judge dismissed the case against Kirkbride earlier
- Rice was found not liable
- all the parties (including the plaintiffs) agreed that Brannon, Cummings, Rice, and Kirkbride all said the same thing
How can only one person have misled the investors when they all said the same thing?
It's for these (among other) reasons that Rice said the jury ruling defies logic.
The jury also seemed to be confused during deliberations about whether they should view Brannon's refusal to testify as admission of guilt.
Rice testified. He was found not liable. Had Brannon done the same he may very well have gotten the same ruling.
Instead, Brannon was ordered to pay the investors $250,000 plus interest.
Rice says one of the investors promised to ruin Brannon and his campaign for US Senate - that this was a vindictive lawsuit because the investor tried to take over the company but failed.
Even so, the political damage might be too great to overcome.
But who knows, maybe I am wrong.
Maybe there are enough people interested in learning the details of the case and making up their own minds.