Blogger Hornback Responds to Libel Suit

Local blogger Brian Hornback has submitted depositions from his sources for items he ran about Knox County Republican Party Chair Ruthie Kuhlman and has asked that her libel suit against him be dismissed.

On Monday, Hornback submitted depositions from Bo Bennett, Jacob Swisher, and John Whitehead in which the three swear Kuhlman told them that for Knox County to get an elected school superintendent it would be necessary to vote out state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey and state Rep. Harry Brooks, two prominent Republican officeholders.

He also submitted an affidavit from Ray Meade who says Kuhlman advised him to resign his offices in the Young Republicans and the West Knox Republican Club and told him he wouldn't be getting any party funds, another item that Hornback reported in his blog.

In a motion to dismiss, Hornback also says Kuhlman offers no evidence that she has been harmed by his reports and is thus not eligible to receive compensatory or punitive damages.

Hornback, himself a former county party chair, has run a series of items in his "Shock and Awe" blog about Kuhlman. She sued him for defamation, claiming he falsely reported her comments on the issues in question. She has asked for his sources and $100,000 in damages.