The Jaffe Defamation Lawsuit

Press Release

Contact: 410-602-1811

August 29, 2018

Ralph Jaffe, teacher who is leading the movement to get rid of corruption in Maryland politics and bring about true, ethical reform, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Baltimore Sun, WJZ, and the Maryland Democratic Party.

The case number is 0101-0018769 – 2018 in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City.

The Baltimore Sun and WJZ, have filed Notices of Intention to Defend.

The Court has scheduled a proceeding in the case.
Type of Proceeding: MERIT TRIAL
Date: November 14, 2018
Session Time: 8:30 AM
Court Location: 501 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-4092

The summons to the Maryland Democratic Party was returned unserved. A summons renewal will be going out.

When it is all said and done concerning the Jaffe Defamation Lawsuit, I believe the real winners will be the citizens of the state of Maryland.

Below is a copy of the original lawsuit and documentation – namely, the date, writer(s), and title of articles – which support the lawsuit. Not included in this article but included in the lawsuit is the sampling of complete versions of some articles.

In developing this defamation lawsuit Ralph Jaffe had the help of 4 lawyers, one of whom I believe is the most ethical lawyer in the state of Maryland.


Copy of the lawsuit
I am filing a defamation lawsuit against the Baltimore Sun; WJZ Channel 13 TV station; and the Maryland Democratic Party for libeling my reputation as a teacher and as the leader of the movement which started in 2002 with the objective of beginning the process of getting rid of the blatant corruption in the Maryland political system and replacing it with real, true, ethical, political reform.

Detrimental actions committed by the Baltimore Sun – reporters such as Erin Cox, Michael Dresser; the editorial department such as Andrew Green who is the editorial page editor; the publisher, Triffon G. Alatzas – include the printing of misinformation about the Jaffe Movement and refusal to correct the error; deliberate omission of information about my campaign; repudiation of the legitimacy and real intent of the movement; and/or use of belittlement in any coverage it did provide. Any comments made were peppered with negative overtones. All such measures served to defame and discredit my reputation and hurt the movement’s objective. Moreover, these acts deprived Baltimore Sun readers the opportunity to become informed about the movement.

Please note the enclosure, Baltimore Sun Documentation to Support Lawsuit, which documents my claim against the Baltimore Sun writers and the editorial department. For example , the article “Jealous picks former Democratic Party chair Susan Turnbull as running mate” states that “Ben Jealous is the first of the eight Democrats seeking the nomination to announce a running mate.” However, that statement is not correct. In May 2017, I officially filed and named my lieutenant governor. Such being the case, how could Ben Jealous be the first one to announce his lieutenant governor?

Two articles make the point that “neither Jaffe or Jones have raised enough money or built a campaign infrastructure capable of a statewide campaign.” (Enclosures, “Democrats to share stage Monday in first debate of Maryland governor’s race,” May 21,2018 and “Democratic candidates for Maryland governor to debate today as campaign enters final stretch,“ June 5, 2018. However, my budget, by design, was not to exceed $495. This was the purpose of the movement – refuse to accept campaign contributions or raise millions of dollars for campaign expenditures.

With regard to WJZ the TV station’s staff such as Audra Swain, the general manager and Gail Bending, the news director continued their practice of omission of information to its viewers about the Jaffe Movement. What is more, they denied me the opportunity to participate in the TV Democratic gubernatorial debate which aired on June 5, 2018 in conjunction with the Baltimore Sun. Please see the enclosure, “Dem. Gov. Primary Debates Update: Baltimore Sun. Their decision to exclude my involvement had a ripple effect. Please note the enclosure, NEED RESPONSE: Update on NBC-4 Debate,” which conveys the fact that station NBC-4, after watching the Baltimore Sun debate, wanted to limit debate participants from all 9 campaigns to 7.

The Maryland Democratic Party, via staff such as Stephanie Potter, the executive director and Kathleen Matthews, chairman reached an agreement with the 9 Democratic candidates for governor whereby it was concluded that in any of the TV or radio debates, it would be all 9 Democratic candidates running for governor or none. If all 9 were not invited to participate, none of them would participate in the debate. Please note the enclosure, “Democratic Gubernatorial Campaigns Agree on Inclusive approach for Televised Debates.”

In the debates conducted by the Baltimore Sun and WJZ only 7 candidates were invited. The Democratic Party refused to uphold the agreement.

Numerous citizens, including my students and other interested parties, approached me with the question as to why the Baltimore Sun does not include me in their coverage of the campaign for governor. I was also asked why I did not take part in the WJZ debate.

I make reference to the enclosure of two letters to the editor printed in the Baltimore Sun. (“The press doesn’t do its job,” 10-18-17 and “Sun lacks serious coverage of candidates,” 4-17-18) These substantiate my claim that the Baltimore Sun committed a huge disservice to its readers by denying them accurate and complete information about the Jaffe Movement.

These deliberate behavior patterns by the Baltimore Sun, WJZ, and the Maryland Democratic Party discredited and caused major damage to my reputation as a teacher. Therefore, I am requesting I be paid the amount of $1 (one dollar) in monetary compensation. Of more importance to me, I am requesting an apology from these organizations for their arrogant and irresponsible actions directed toward me and the movement.

I am pleased to inform the Court that in developing this lawsuit which is now before you, I have had the assistance of four attorneys, one of whom I consider to be the most ethical attorney in the state of Maryland.

Baltimore Sun Documentation to Support Lawsuit

Information provided includes the date, writer(s), and title of articles.

May 23, 2014 Michael Dresser
Baltimore County up for grabs in governor’s race with no hometown favorite

May 28, 2014 Michael Dresser
Brown raises more than $1 million in 6 weeks

May 28, 2014 Michael Dresser
With money to spend, candidates for governor likely to launch ad blitz

June 21, 2017 Erin Cox
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker says he’s running for Maryland governor

September 19, 2017 Erin Cox
Krishanti Vignarajah, the only woman running for Maryland governor, launches campaign

September 26, 2017 Erin Cox
Maryland Democrat with most name recognition isn’t among 7 running for governor, poll says

October 21, 2017 Erin Cox
Democrats running for governor court teachers’ endorsement with big promises

November 29, 2017 *** Erin Cox
Jealous picks former Democratic Party chair Susan Turnbull as running mate

December 8, 2017 Michael Dresser
Madaleno to accept public financing in governor’s race

February 23, 2018 Erin Cox
Candidates for Maryland governor are picking running mates. Should voters care?

April 3, 2018 Erin Cox
Democratic candidate for Maryland governor vows to avoid advertising on Sinclair stations

April 15, 2018 Erin Cox
Packed field alters tactics

April 18, 2018 Editorial
Paths to Victory

April 21, 2018 Erin Cox
Democratic candidates back legislation legalizing marijuana

April 22, 2018 Luke Broadwater
Most Democrats seeking governor’s seat will release taxes

April 24,, 2018 Michael Dresser and Pamela Wood
Hogan far ahead of all Democrats in poll

April 25, 2018 Editorial
Winning Issues

April 29, 2018 Michael Dresser
Campaign Ad Watch

May 5, 2018 Luke Broadwater
Jim Shea releases tax returns, showing he paid $4.7 M in taxes

May 11, 2018 Erin Cox
Death stuns county, upsets state politics

May 21, 2018 ***** Erin Cox
Democrats to share stage today in first debate of Md. governor’s race

May 27, 2018 Liz Bowie
Democrats for governor make pitch for education

May 27, 2018 Editorial
Red line reality

June 3, 2018 Editorial
How to help Baltimore

June 5, 2018 ***** Erin Cox
Democratic candidates for Maryland governor to debate today as campaign enters final stretch

June 5, 2018 Editorial
On the issues: education

June 6, 2018 Editorial
The Issues: Health care

June 6, 2018 Erin Cox
Democrats emphasize their differences more

June 7, 2018 Editorial
The issues: Environment

June 24, 2018 Erin Cox
Fall’s race will differ

June 25, 2018 Erin Cox
Late choices could be key

June 30, 2018 Michael Dresser
Joe Biden to lead Maryland Democrats in unity event

July 1, 2018 Erin Cox and Luke Broadwater
Jealous faces crucial task of trying to unite Democrats

July 1, 2018 Doug Donovan
Biden talks of Democratic unity

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