JHR Volume 18 number 1 Cover Letter
Throughout the costly and time-consuming legal battle with Willis Carto over his diversion of millions of dollars from the IHR, we've tried hard to reach a peaceful, out-of-court settlement. Even after a California Superior Court ordered Carto and Liberty Lobby to pay back the diverted money, we continued to work for a peaceful settlement. Carto's response: defiant rejection. A front-page, banner-headline article in The Spotlight (Feb. 16, 1998), for example, announced that there would be "no compromise" with the IHR, and that Liberty Lobby had "vetoed any out-of-court settlement."
Still we persisted. In April 1999 Carto's California attorney verbally accepted a settlement proposal that both parties had laboriously worked out. On May 21 Carto's attorney told us that he and his client had accepted our terms, and that Carto and the others involved would be signing soon. That's the last we heard about that. For whatever reason, Carto did not sign. So we're back to slugging it out in the courts, where we continue to win.
For example, on April 13 the US District Court in Washington, DC, dismissed "with prejudice" one of the most costly and potentially devastating lawsuits against us. In a 148-page "RICO" complaint, filed in January 1988 against the parent corporation of the IHR (LSF), and its officers and directors, Carto and Liberty Lobby asked for more than $160 million in damages.
In his ruling, Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., found that this lawsuit "is outrageously long-winded and redundant, and hides the substance of the claims within its prolixity ... the complaint was designed, with no expectation of prevailing on the merits, to burden the defendants by forcing them to spend time and energy in attempting to decipher an utterly confusing and lengthy pleading."
Judge Kennedy also rejected the suit's arguments. "The complaint is suffused with factually allegations that have previously been litigated and adjudged in California state courts," he wrote.
This groundless lawsuit squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars of Liberty Lobby funds -- a gross waste of money that has been typical of Carto's management style throughout this ordeal.
Over the last several years, more and more people -- including many Liberty Lobby supporters -- have become disgusted with Carto's "Big Lie" smears in The Spotlight against many decent and honorable Americans, and by his increasingly irresponsible running of Liberty Lobby. Due entirely to his inept management, Liberty Lobby is now in bankruptcy.
Reflecting the growing conviction of many others across the country, Kirk Lyons -- a well-known patriotic and civil liberties attorney -- has issued an open letter "to save Liberty Lobby from ruin." In this June 7 letter, issued by the "Committee of Concerned Americans," he asks for support to save Liberty Lobby and The Spotlight by backing the imposition of a neutral, court-appointed trustee who will root out incompetence and illegal diversions of funds.
We believe that Kirk Lyons' urgent appeal deserves thoughtful consideration and generous support.
Mark Weber and Greg Raven