"There's nothing greater than your reputation," he tells WND regarding his decision to sue the two candidates, Rebecca Bell-Metereau and Judy Jennings. He quotes Proverbs 22:1, that a good name is better than riches, as his reason behind suing.
Bell-Metereau and Jennings said in a 2010 campaign video that the conservative Barton had ties to the white-supremacist organizations in 1991, according to the New York Times.
Those rallies were sponsored by the Christian Identity movement, which has been associated with anti-semitic theology, the Times reports. In the lawsuit, Barton does not deny speaking to the groups, but he was unaware of their theology and has not spoken to them since.
Bell-Metereau and Jennings have since apologized and paid the $1 million, according to WND reports. The lawsuit hurt both Barton's image and his book sales, as critics brought out claims of false truths and the anti-Semitic connections.
"There were concerted efforts on Amazon book reviews and elsewhere to repeat those types of things, and that hurt sales," Barton tells WND. "This is something that does have economic consequences, not to mention character, reputation. And so that's where we decided to make the move and go after the lawsuit."
While being able to show economic harm made it possible to go to court with a defamation claim, Barton said his real motive for bringing suit was to clear his name.
"We realize that this statement recommended that David Barton is a white supremacist, and that the two organizations he is affiliated with, WallBuilder Presentations Inc. and WallBuilders L.L.C., have been linked with or supportive of white supremacists," Bell-Metereau and Jennings tell WND. "After understanding more about Mr. Barton, we recognize this statement was false. We separately and jointly apologize to Mr. Barton for harm to him individually and to his two organizations as a outcome of that statement."
This is not Barton's first run-in with controversy. In 2012, his book The Jefferson Lies was pulled by publisher Thomas Nelson, though Barton continued to sell it through WallBuilders.
Barton is a strong conservative in Texas, and even supporters asked him to consider a Senate bid earlier last year.
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