New Case to Watch: Wentworth v. Jones
There is a new Anti-SLAPP case to watch, this one wrapped up in a bitter Texas Senate primary battle for which early voting has already begun.
Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) who is running for re-election, is being challenged in the Republican primary by Elizabeth Ames Jones. Sen. Wentworth sued Jones on Thursday, alleging libel and slander for media advertisements that claim Wentworth engaged in “double-dipping” for certain reimbursements. See Pl. Original Petition, Wentworth v. Jones, No. 2012-CI-08201 (73rd Dist. Ct., Bexar County, Tex. , filed May 17, 2012).
On Friday, Jones filed an answer, asserting the defense of truth and noting that she will be filing an Anti-SLAPP motion in the coming days.
It will be interesting to see if this lawsuit survives the end of the election, but if it does, this is definitely one that is being followed in the media. There are a couple of interesting political twists to this story. As Jones notes in her Answer, Sen. Wentworth voted in favor of the Anti-SLAPP law that Jones is planning on making use of (the bill was passed unanimously in both chambers). Further, Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) is one of Jones’ largest donors, according to the San Antonio Express-News. TLR was a member of the coalition that supported the passage of the bill. So both are politically connected to the law. Pass the popcorn!