Gerald McKinstry, Journal News (White Plains, New York), October 6, 2010
A congressional candidate whose writings on race and religion gained national attention is suing nine people, claiming they smeared his name and undermined his candidacy in the press and on television.
Republican Jim Russell, 56, is seeking $9 million in damages, or $1 million from each person named in the lawsuit.
He claimed various members of The Journal News, News 12, Regional News Network and the state and local GOP defamed his character, ruined his reputation and caused him emotional distress.
Russell, who has run for Congress five times, including his latest candidacy, last month lost the GOP’s backing in his race against Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey.
The Republican Party dropped its support of Russell after it was reported that some of his past works included racist and anti-Semitic themes.
“We will not tolerate this,” Russell said Tuesday, standing outside Westchester County Court in White Plains. “We will not tolerate political correctness being imposed upon us.”
Despite the party’s withdrawal of support, Russell still will appear on the Republican line on the Nov. 2 ballot in his bid to win the 18th Congressional District, which covers most of Westchester and part of Rockland counties. Russell also still has the Conservative line.
According to the lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court, Russell challenged a variety of news accounts that called his views and writings racist. He accused the media, which he labeled the “liberal media,” of attacking and undermining the campaigns of “patriotic candidates.”
The lawsuit stems from reports and articles on Russell’s 16-page essay, “The Western Contribution to World History.”
In addition to quoting authors critical of racial and religious integration, it warned against racial mixing.
Russell has repeatedly denied that he is racist and said that he does not subscribe to hatred or animosity.
“Intimidated individuals do not express themselves freely out of fear of being labeled by the media,” according to a release issued Tuesday by Russell. “This unhealthy and un-American situation can and will be corrected only when enough of us decide that we will fight back against the enforcers of political correctness.”