by Andy Sher, Times Free Press, Oct. 25, 2015, NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Court of Appeals last week upheld the
dismissal of a nearly 5-year-old defamation lawsuit filed by former
state GOP Executive Director Mark Winslow against U.S. Rep. Chuck
Fleischmann, R-Tenn., and his 2010 campaign manager, John "Chip"
The suit grew out of the 3rd Congressional District's bitter 2010 GOP primary, a multicandidate slugfest in which Winslow managed the campaign of former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Robin Smith.
Fleischmann eked out a victory over Smith. In January 2011, Winslow filed suit against Saltsman and the state Republican Party. He charged he had been defamed in Fleischmann campaign ads and by Saltsman's public comments.
Winslow also charged the state Republican Party violated confidential agreements on a buyout. Fleischmann was added later to the lawsuit. The state GOP settled out of court in 2013.
In dismissing the case, Appellate Judge David Dinkins wrote that "because Mr. Fleischman and Mr. Saltsman demonstrated that the undisputed facts negate the element of actual malice which is essential to the defamation and false light claims, we affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment."
....The judges also noted a July 19, 2010, radio interview on Chattanooga station WGOW when Saltsman stated Winslow "was paid out of the Republican Party funds for three months while he was working for Robin Smith"s campaign. So, in fact, he was getting party funds to work on her congressional campaign.". (link)