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Archive for Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sen. Thompson had role in suit against Stephan

Phelps represented client first in harassment case

June 23, 2007

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— Fred Thompson, the actor, lawyer and former U.S. senator who is creating a buzz in the Republican Party presidential race, has a link to a Kansas case involving well-recognized names.

Thompson represented Marcia Tomson Stingley, who in the 1980s sued then-Attorney General Bob Stephan for sexual harassment.

Stingley, however, was first represented by Margie Phelps, daughter of the Rev. Fred Phelps and a member of the family that has become known throughout the nation for picketing at soldiers' funerals.

The family, including Margie Phelps, carry signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers," claiming that soldiers' deaths are part of God's punishment for toleration of homosexuality in the United States.

In the first lawsuit, Stingley accused Stephan of making sexual advances. Stephan denied the allegations but agreed in March 1985 to settle the lawsuit for $24,000 and he would help her get another job in California.

But the settlement required that the terms be kept secret. However, later in 1985, while Stephan considered a run for governor, a friend of Stephan's divulged the settlement terms to the media.

Stingley sued for breach of contract and Margie Phelps became a witness in the case. She could not represent Stingley.

Phelps said that at that time she had just read the book "Marie," which was about a case Thompson handled in Tennessee about political corruption that received national attention and was later made into a movie, in which Thompson played himself.

"It had stuck with me, the way the lawyer handled the case," Phelps said.

She said she thought it would be difficult to find an attorney in Kansas willing to take a case against the state attorney general, so she contacted Thompson.

"He came to Kansas with a couple of other guys," she said.

Thompson's spokesman, Mark Corallo, said Thompson took the case simply to help Stingley.

"The woman was left without counsel," Corallo said.

He said Thompson had no knowledge of Phelps' beliefs.

Phelps said she spoke with Thompson several times, but not about religion matters.

"I'm quite confident he would've completely disagreed with everything about my faith," she said.

And she said that when Thompson took the case, that time period preceded the Phelps' "public ministry" of picketing, which started with anti-gay demonstrations, including those at funerals of victims of AIDS.

The second case went to trial, and a federal court awarded $200,000 to Stingley. But Stephan filed for bankruptcy.

"The firm didn't make a dime off the case," Corallo said.

Phelps said Thompson did a good job in the case. "He's an excellent trial lawyer in my opinion," she said.

But she said she won't vote for him if he becomes the Republican nominee.

"I don't see a single person on the landscape that I would remotely consider voting for," she said.

Comments

Wilbur_Nether 6 years, 6 months ago

Lynn731 wrote "Fred Thompson is the only person I would even consider voting for. He is very smart, and he has charisma. ...I enjoy his acting...."

I, on the other, hand, submit that there are more important qualification: understanding of major policy issues, consensus-building skills, and the ability to develop effective relations with international leaders among them.

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goodasyou 6 years, 6 months ago

It should be noted that in a new press release, Westboro DOES claim that they knew Thompson's stance on gays. They even call it "wonderful" and say they saw "eye to eye" with the candidate:

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2007/10/does-thompson-h.html

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Lynn731 6 years, 10 months ago

Fred Thompson is the only person I would even consider voting for. He is very smart, and he has charisma. Since I watch most cop shows, I enjoy his acting as a hard nosed DA on Law & Order. Thank you, Lynn

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Steve Jacob 6 years, 10 months ago

Have you seen McCain's poll numbers when Thompson is included in the poll? He will not get enogh votes to even warrent VP talk. And I like the article in Esquire that list Giuliani's assests now at $30M when his 2001 divorce papers listed his assests as 17K.

But, I do respect the fact he did not flip on abortion like Rommey. I do view him as the only republican that can win. And a Giuliani-Clinton election would be fun, I could see so many states chancing hands in both directions. I would love to see a Clinton-Richardson ticket myself. The guy has had about every goverment job possible, and could win some close southwest states.

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erod0723 6 years, 10 months ago

srj, ummm. Romney is probably the most conservative of the lot, save Brownback. Plus, there simply is no way that a mormon will win his part'ys nomination. This is the Grand Ol Jesus party, after all. Not to mention that Romney is a big flip flopper, in regards to social issues. Giuliani will probably win, because he will play off his "Uniter-of-the-Country" image he has from 9/11. I'd like to see a republican ticket consisting of Giuliani and McCain. It doesn't matter which is which. If that ticket came to fruition, I may consider voting for them, otherwise, I'm writing my own name in for President.

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Steve Jacob 6 years, 10 months ago

The republicans are dumb enough to give a concervative the nomination, i'm all for Thompson. I think he would almost have to be the top VP candidate for a moderate like Guliani or Rommey. In the end it will be Guliani or Rommey getting the nomination, and telling the right wing voters "Hey, you can vote for me or stay home and watch Clinton win"

But I do find it funny when Thomspon runs, they have to pull all of his movies and 4 years of Law and Order off cable.

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erod0723 6 years, 10 months ago

"No, I don't mean for everyone except Hillary, erod, and my post didn't say or imply that." I wasn't talk to you specifically.. I was talking about the mainstream media who has canonized this repugnant woman. They have glossed over her senate voting records and her shading dealings with India, while at the same time demonized Obama for outting her as being a puppet of India.

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bennyoates 6 years, 10 months ago

Absolutely, Solomon, policy should be the focus. Unfortunately it's not, and we're being sold an image of Thompson that doesn't emphasize his entire resume. We are being told that he's Presidential and that he's a Washington outsider. The first is speculative and subjective; the second is a lie.

I also think that a candidate's choices of whom to work for and why is not irrelevant to the policy decisions he or she makes.

So, even though it's not policy focused, this story isn't worthless because it complicates the marketing of Fred Thompson--the guy we're supposed to want for President because he doesn't really want to be President.

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bennyoates 6 years, 10 months ago

No, I don't mean for everyone except Hillary, erod, and my post didn't say or imply that.

If you don't think that the media are critical of Bill and Hillary Clinton, or that they weren't critical of them during Clinton's two terms, you're delusional.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

I think the Phelps/Gore "connection" was more indicative of how unimportant Kansas was for Democrats in national political campaigns. I expect that this one just one of many fund-raising dinners that Gore and Tipper attended (as all candidates do) sponsored by people they'd never met before, and likely never even heard of.

I don't think that Thompson came because of any connection with the Phelps clan. But I would like to know whether he came for the money, or because it was a high-profile case against a sitting attorney general.

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erod0723 6 years, 10 months ago

"It's about time the media started doing its job-being skeptical." You mean for everybody except Hillary. She has shady ties to India, her whitewater past, and did you see her Sopranos style internet video? I have never seen any less chemistry between two people as I did between Hillary and Bill.

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oldgoof 6 years, 10 months ago

"And for another bizarre factoid: Dont forget that Al Gores first Kansas campaign manager was Fred Phelps Jr!"

Bozo.....you clarifications are helpful, except i do believe Fred Jrs name was publicly used as Âstate chair' or other such title. And although the Phelps had not become nationally notorious on the protests, I do believe the group was doing such protests at the local level.

not sure, but we should check out. I have seen photos of the two together too.

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Eybea Opiner 6 years, 10 months ago

"Even if the only purpose of the story is to connect Thompson to the Phelps clan, that's positive. So far the national coverage of Thompson has been mostly worshipful, sending the message that he's entitled to be the Republican nominee. It's about time the media started doing its job-being skeptical."

I agree the media should be skeptical of anyone who seeks to be an elected official, but that skepticism should be concentrated on policy issues, experience, voting record, etc., not some tenuous "connection" to a reviled bigot like Fred Phelps, et. al.

This was a worthless story.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 10 months ago

"And for another bizarre factoid: Dont forget that Al Gores first Kansas campaign manager was Fred Phelps Jr!"

Not exactly-- they hosted a fundraiser, which Al and Tipper attended, and supported him because of the anti-gay-rights stand Gore took in his 1984 senate campaign, although I suspect Gore knew nothing about why the Phelps were supporting him other than they were Democrats interested in supporting him. But none of the Phelps were his campaign manager. This was all well before they began their idiotic public protests, and they campaigned against Clinton/Gore in both 1992 and 1996.

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bennyoates 6 years, 10 months ago

"Excellent trial lawyer"--Phelps says this of Thompson. That's a good quote. I'd use it if I were one of Fred's rivals, if he ever decides to actually work for the nomination by debating, etc.

Is he afraid to mix it up with Sam Brownback, Duncan Hunter, and Jim Gilmore?

Of course, Republicans usually talk like they hate lawyers, especially successful ex-trial lawyers like John Edwards. But later, Fred became the good kind of lawyer, a corporate one. And the good kind of Washington insider lobbyist.

On the subject of Phelps refusing to endorse any Presidential candidate: somehow I think they can all overcome that setback.

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bennyoates 6 years, 10 months ago

Even if the only purpose of the story is to connect Thompson to the Phelps clan, that's positive. So far the national coverage of Thompson has been mostly worshipful, sending the message that he's entitled to be the Republican nominee. It's about time the media started doing its job--being skeptical.

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Eybea Opiner 6 years, 10 months ago

What, exactly, was the point of this story, other than to connect Fred Thompson to the Phelps clan?

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Crossfire 6 years, 10 months ago

Funny how the Freds insert themselves into peoples lives.

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oldgoof 6 years, 10 months ago

And for another bizarre factoid: Dont forget that Al Gores first Kansas campaign manager was Fred Phelps Jr!

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