It's Christmas in July for Diane Black.
Nashville Post's Ken Whitehouse reports that Lou Ann Zelenik, Black's Tea Party challenger in the 6th District GOP congressional primary, finds herself in a bit of legal trouble just two weeks before the August 2 election. Apparently, Zelenik failed to appear for a deposition in the lawsuit between state Sen. Mae Beavers and Macon County Chronicle publisher Kathryn Belle. Now she must appear at a hearing in September to address the criminal contempt charge against her and convince a judge not to send her to jail for 10 days.
And did we mention there's an election in two weeks?
From the Post, after the jump:
Zelenik was subpoenaed for deposition to appear on July 12 with documents relevant to the case, but on July 11 had her attorney call to say that the meeting had "slipped her mind" and that she was to busy campaigning to appear. She asked to reschedule the deposition for August, when her schedule freed up.
The attorney for Zelenik is Robert E. Lee Davies, former Circuit Judge for the 21st Judicial District of Tennessee.
When attorneys for Belle declined to reschedule, Davies on July 11 submitted a motion before Wilson County Chancery Court to quash the subponea. That motion was denied by the court. Zelenik nevertheless failed to appear the next day.
Head to the Post to view the documents related to the case.
UPDATE: This from the Zelenik campaign, this morning:
The campaign of Sixth District Congressional Candidate Lou Ann Zelenik issued the following statement in response to distorted media reports involving Zelenik’s participation in a pending Wilson County lawsuit in which Zelenik is merely a witness.
Attorney R. Lee Davies addressed the sensationalized reports in the media on behalf of Lou Ann Zelenik. “Upon receipt of the petition for contempt filed by Kathryne Belle, I immediately sent a motion for sanctions to her attorney in which I requested the court to impose sanctions against Ms. Belle and her attorney for filing an improper pleading whose only purpose was to harass and intimidate Ms. Zelenik. This is especially egregious after all parties agreed to move the deposition to August the 8th and after the judge indicated that he would not sanction Ms. Zelenik for not appearing on July 12th.”
“Here she goes again,” said Zelenik Campaign Manager Jay Heine. “Two years ago, Diane Black found herself behind in the election against Lou Ann Zelenik and she ran to the courthouse in an effort to mislead the voters and confuse the issues of the campaign. Earlier this year, Circuit Court Judge Joe P. Binkley threw out the lawsuit filed by Diane Blacks husband’s company as having no merit whatsoever. Judge Binkley stated that Zelenik’s ads were true”.
Now Black is seeing her treasured congressional seat slip away. In desperation, she’s running back to the same playbook and deploying her friends in the liberal media to do her dirty work. It is ironic that the Diane Black’s campaign spokesman Jennifer Coxe-Baker is the very person circulating this information.
“It is regrettable that Congresswoman Black has no record of success to stand on or that the ruling earlier this year didn’t teach her to wage her campaigns at the ballot box instead of the courtroom. Tennesseans now have a full understanding of the game she’s playing and she won’t deter us from electing a responsible true conservative in the Sixth District,” Heine concluded.