SACRAMENTO: Assembly District 64, November 2014 election -- libel suit vs. Assemblyman Mike Gipson: "Prophet Walker files libel suit against Assemblyman Mike Gipson for libel, violating Election Code" ....
* Daily Breeze: "Prophet Walker files libel suit against Assemblyman Mike Gipson for libel, violating Election Code" -- From the DB:
An ex-con turned engineer who ran for state office last year is suing Assemblyman Mike Gipson over a graphic, photo-shopped image distributed in the final week of the campaign last November. In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, Prophet Walker claims Gipson defamed his character and violated state Election Code when he created a false image of Walker wearing a black hoodie and pointing a gun at the camera. The image was distributed in mailers during the race for the 64th Assembly District seat.
The lawsuit alleges Gipson, a former Carson city councilman, along with a campaign consultant who had been previously convicted of violating campaign laws, showed no regard for the law or fair play and ignored statutory campaign practices by juxtaposing the photo-shopped image of Walker against a photo of Gipson in a lawman’s uniform. The ad played up Gipson’s time as a former police officer and contrasted that with Walker’s history as a convicted felon, using the line, “How can we trust someone who just recently started to behave?”
The image portrayed Walker “in the most heinous light possible,” the lawsuit read, and was clearly intended to appear as a real photo, persuading voters that Walker had been photographed brandishing a handgun. According to the Election Code, the lawsuit said, the false image should have included the statement, “This picture is not an accurate representation of fact,” and it did not.
Throughout the campaign, Walker, 27, was open about his troubled past. The product of a housing project in Watts, at 16, he got into a fight on the Metro Green Line and later was charged with robbery and great bodily injury. He served five years in a juvenile detention facility and state prisons. But behind bars, Walker turned his life around, getting his college degree and initiating a program for prison reform.
The construction consultant’s story of redemption attracted money and support from Hollywood heavyweights. A few of those same supporters later blasted Gipson for his “egregious” mailer. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons advised Gipson on Twitter to “take my advice + apologize for despicable ad. This is very offensive to our community.” Political analyst Scott Lay said the mailer was one of the most reprehensible things he had seen in 20 years of California politics.
Walker’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, said his client was spurred to take legal action after Gipson’s public apology about the mailer also was determined to be riddled with lies .....................