Nebraska GOP Slapped With Defamation Suit

     OMAHA, Neb. (CN) - A former nonpartisan candidate for the Nebraska Legislature claims the state Republican Party defamed him in publications by accusing him of shady dealings and saying he was sponsored by the "Democrat Party."
     Although plaintiff Rex Moats has been a registered Democrat, he says he ran for office as a nonpartisan candidate.
     After winning the primary in 2008, Moats advanced to the general election as one of two candidates vying to represent District 39 in the Nebraska State Legislature.
     He claims the state Republican Party circulated publications that contained numerous inaccuracies and lies, including the following statements:
         - "Trial attorney Rex Moats is a registered Democratic and the Democrat Party is supporting him!"
         - "Moats received a $50,000 trust fund from the director of National Warranty."
         - "Would you put a shady insurance company based in the Cayman Islands ahead of Nebraska's consumers? You wouldn't. But trial attorney Rex Moats would ..."
         - "How did Rex Moats mislead creditors and the public? Rex Moats claimed in an affidavit that National Warranty was doing financially well."
     Moats, an insurance lawyer, maintains that he has never been a trial attorney, never received a trust fund and never filed a false or misleading affidavit. He says the Nebraska Republican Party published the lies "to foment distrust and hatred against Mr. Moats."
     He claims the party owes him $50,400 for the money he could have made as a legislator, plus $5,000 for the costs of making and distributing his own campaign literature.
     He also seeks damages for emotional distress, sleeplessness, depression, irritability and other mental and physical harm he allegedly suffered.
     His attorney is David Domina of DominaLaw Group.