by Kevin Osborne
Congresswoman sought $6.8M from opponent
Nearly two years after she filed the lawsuit, a congresswoman who lost in the March primary election has dropped her legal action against a political opponent.A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) told The Enquirer today that she decided to drop her defamation lawsuit against Madeira businessman David Krikorian. Schmidt filed the suit in June 2010, and had sought $6.8 million in damages.Krikorian is claiming victory in the dispute, and told CityBeat the lawsuit was an intimidation tactic by well-funded special interests.“Her lawsuit was entirely without merit,” Krikorian said. “It was meant to silence and intimidate me and cost me money. It did not work.”Krikorian ran as an independent against Schmidt in 2008; he unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for the same seat in 2010 and again this year.During the ‘08 campaign, Krikorian distributed a pamphlet alleging Schmidt had received “blood money” from the Turkish government in return for her opposition to a congressional resolution that declared Turkey had committed genocide against Armenia during a 1915 conflict.But the lawsuit proved to be Schmidt’s undoing. She received more than $400,000 in free legal assistance from the Turkish Coalition of America to support her suit. In August 2011 the House Ethics Committee ruled that Schmidt received an “impermissible gift” but didn’t “knowingly” violate the law. She was ordered to repay the coalition, which she has yet to do.Shortly thereafter, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonpartisan watchdog group, dubbed Schmidt as one of the most corrupt members of Congress.All of the drama took its toll: Schmidt lost the GOP primary earlier this month to challenger Brad Wenstrup. He defeated her 49-43 percent.“It’s time to move on,” Barrett Brunsman, Schmidt’s spokesman, told The Enquirer today about dropping the lawsuit.The Turkish Coalition of America was among Schmidt’s top contributors, donating $7,500 to her 2010 reelection campaign through its political action committee, and donating $7,600 to her in 2008.Schmidt also traveled to Turkey at least twice while in office. The coalition picked up the tab for one of the trips.Politico reported March 12 that Schmidt was in Washington, D.C., on Election Day, March 6, at a private luncheon with Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan.“At times, Rep. Jean Schmidt has been closer to Turkish interests than those of her Cincinnati-area constituents,” Politico’s Jonathan Allen wrote. “Never was that proximity problem more telling than on Tuesday, when Republicans denied Schmidt renomination to run for another term.”When Allen sought comment for the article, Brunsman refused to confirm if the meeting occurred and sent an email that stated, “I think you have lost your way.”For his part, Krikorian said the experience has taught him that Ohio needs to pass legislation that penalizes lawsuits filed solely to silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their opposition. Such a tactic is known as a “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” or SLAPP.“I think the Ohio Legislature should consider passing an anti-SLAPP statue to prevent these kinds of abuses of the legal process,” he said. “This lawsuit was an attempt to intimidate and silence me by Rep. Schmidt and the Turkish lobby.”Krikorian apparently lost in the March 6 Democratic primary by just 59 votes to William R. Smith, a virtual unknown from Pike County who didn’t campaign, answer questionnaires or grant interviews. A recount is under way and Krikorian has asked for a federal investigation of Victory Ohio Super PAC, which made robo-calls on Smith’s behalf but isn’t registered with the Federal Election Commission.Krikorian picked up 14 more votes in Hamilton County on provisional ballots once the results were certified. Meanwhile, Clermont County certifies its results on Tuesday.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 14, 2012
A Democratic candidate in the March 6
primary election has sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office asking
for an investigation into help that his opponent received from a super
PAC with mysterious origins.
1 Comment · Wednesday, March 7, 2012
In all likelihood, Congresswoman Jean Schmidt will be safely on her way to running in the November general election by the time this column is published. Although I’m writing this on March 6, the
day of Ohio’s primary elections, and Schmidt is facing three opponents
for the Republican nomination.
Ex-politico says a public bank would help Ohio’s economy
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 16, 2011
candidate for Ohio’s 2nd Congressional district David Krikorian has proposed that the state adopt a public banking system
in the form of the Public Bank of Ohio (PBO), which would “alleviate the squeeze on credit, greasing the gears of
capitalism for small business, the engine of economic growth.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 28, 2011
It’s been a
rocky couple of weeks for U.S.
Rep. Jean Schmidt
(R-Miami Township), whose ethics are once again being questioned. First, Schmidt was
selected by a
nonpartisan ethics watchdog group as one of the most corrupt members of
for Responsibility and Ethics
in Washington (CREW) bestowed the dubious honor
on Schmidt for improperly accepting free legal services.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 13, 2011
A visiting judge in the Clermont County Common Pleas Court ruled that an attorney who works for the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund cannot represent U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) in a lawsuit there. The ruling is a victory for Krikorian, who ran as an independent against Schmidt in 2008 for her congressional seat.
2 Comments · Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Nearly 1,000 Hamilton County residents have stepped up to tell officials what they think about hot-button topics facing the county. They participated in the county’s citizen survey that examines attitudes on various issues including the stadium fund deficit, the criminal justice system, mass transit and streamlining county government.
Lies, 'blood money' and history all part of lawsuit
1 Comment · Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The congresswoman for Ohio's 2nd District last week filed a defamation lawsuit against one of her opponents from the 2008 election. The suit by Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) alleges that David Krikorian of Madeira and his campaign made a number of knowingly false and derogatory statements about Schmidt during and after the election. And from there, things get a little weird.
0 Comments · Tuesday, May 11, 2010
In the Good Old Days, journalists generally held a story if authorities said it could compromise the stakeout, chase or anticipated capture of a suspect. Even if we knew where agents were headed or or stood with them outside a motel where a kidnapper and victim were hidden, we responded with silence. These issues arose again when the 24/7-obsessed news media unthinkingly helped the Times Square bombing suspect almost escape.
Driehaus unseats Chabot, Schmidt hangs on
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Ohio might have turned Democratic blue Tuesday night, but Hamilton County and the southwestern part of the state sent mixed signals about whether it embraced the tides of change. State Rep. Steve Driehaus unseated seven-term U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot in the 1st District, while U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) claimed victory in the 2nd Congressional District.