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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Make it stop!

Bill Hudak may be on to something. Where can I sign up to sue to stop outrageous campaign ads?

Interestingly, the 6th District Republican congressional candidate doesn't have a problem with John Tierney calling him a "kook." No, he's upset about Tierney charging Hudak would shift the tax burden onto the middle class.

The suit seems the perfect coda to a campaign season where allegedly "fair and balanced" media moguls like Rupert Murdoch spent a $1 million to arm the Republican Governors Association with the cash they need to attack Tim Cahill and Deval Patrick. And where anonymous donors buttressed by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, have launched wall-to-wall blitzes against Democrats with ads far more poorly sourced than Tierney's.

As an attorney, you would think Hudak had at least passing familiarity with the 1st Amendment, the Supreme Court's extension of those speech rights to corporations and the rules that make political spots virtually immune from editing by outsiders.

Read those tiny, tiny credits to newspaper headlines -- some from more than a decade ago -- that are used to justify attacks. As long as one newspaper writes one thing about you, it's fair game for an ad.

Certainly Hudak saw nothing wrong with creating his own ads trying to tie Tierney's recently indicted wife firmly around the congressman's neck. And Tierney has the defense of truth when it comes to Hudak.

More than likely, Hudak is looking for the free publicity that comes with a lawsuit, no matter how shaky the legal foundation.

As for me, I'm dreading the next week when the flood of ads we've already been subjected to opens into a full torrent, washing reason and sanity down the drain.

What a way to pick our leaders.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming from the far right I agree it is a sad commentary on the way we pick our leaders. Both parties should be ashamed of themselves. But with a populace that has ADHD should we begin to have some sort of test to be able to vote? It might make the ads start to target problems not people.

October 26, 2010 6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that Hudak caved as soon as the judge told him that no testimony would be taken until after Election Day tells you everything you need to know about his good faith in bringing the action. There is no way this suit would have ever gone to trial, and he knew it. The only remaining question is whether he'll have to pay sanction for a frivolous case.

October 27, 2010 8:38 PM  

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