Failed GOP candidate and real estate agent appeals defamation case – The Real Deal

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A photo illustration of J.J. Palmtag’s Janet Palmtag (Getty, J.J. Palmtag, Inc.)
A real estate agent in the Midwest is not ready to give up her battle against her own political party following an alleged instance of defamation while she was running for the state legislature.
Janet Palmtag, a real estate agent, is appealing the dismissal of her defamation lawsuit she filed against the Nebraska Republican Party, News Channel Nebraska reported. A judge ruled in favor of the political party last month.
The issue dates back to 2020, when Palmtag ran for the state legislature in Nebraska. The state’s GOP threw its support behind another candidate, publishing mailers that claimed she “broke the law” and “lost” her real estate license.
A judge supported Palmtag’s assertion that the claims were technically false. But the judge also ruled the case shouldn’t proceed because no “actual malice” was shown, a high bar to achieve.
According to the judge, the word “canceled” in regards to Palmtag’s license on the Iowa Real Estate Commission’s website could be interpreted as “lost,” which is what the mailers said.
Additionally, the party’s executive director in the state claimed Palmtag received an action from the commission, but it actually came against someone under her supervision.
Palmtag did give up her real estate license in Iowa, but claimed it was due to doing less business in the state, rather than any sort of disciplinary action as implied by the mailers, according to the Nebraska Examiner.
Palmtag said her real estate business suffered as a result of the false statements, claiming her real estate listings dropped afterward. In 2019, she averaged 20 listings per year, Palmtag claimed, as opposed to seven in 2020 and 12 in 2021.
Her website shows only four listings in Nebraska at the moment. Palmtag, a former president of the Nebraska Realtors Association and 2016’s Nebraska Realtor of the Year, also maintains her license in Missouri.
As for Palmtag’s political future, voting records show she has switched her party affiliation to Democrat, according to the Examiner.
— Holden Walter-Warner

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