Last week, The Washington Post began grumbling about an Americans for Prosperity (AFP) ad featuring Julie Boonstra, a woman with leukemia who was thrown into expensive uncertainty by Obamacare, with Greg Sargent lamenting the tragedy of its effectiveness and Glenn Kessler asking for more proof. (BEDFORD: The Post is pretty worried about the people Obamacare hurts)
Then Rep. Gary Peters, who is the running for the U.S. Senate in Michigan, went all-in Friday, having his lawyers send a letter to a Michigan television station citing the Post in demanding that AFP provide more evidence that Obamacare is as terrible as it really is. Mr. Peters’ lawyers wrote that “Unlike federal candidates, independent political organizations” — and by extension, Ms. Boonstra — don’t have a “right to command use of broadcast facilities.” They clinched with a threat that airing the ad could “be cause for the loss of a station’s license.”
Big guns, Mr. Peters. Big guns.
Gary Peters showed he was a bully and wants to silence the ad with threats to the FCC license of the stations that air it. (Another reason to reduce the FCC's power to prevent signal interference only). The letter is on the Americans for Prosperity website here.
Peters didn't give his counsel Marc Elias at Perkins Cole much to work with. This is a bluff letter for PR purposes. No attorney worth his salt should rely on newspaper "journalists" and editorialists when it comes to a legal cease and desist letter. They aren't expert witnesses. They do not have direct testimony that they can give. The Washington Post column was a political opinion. That's it.
The response to Peters and his attorneys should start with the word "Go", end in the word "yourself", and I'll let you fill in the rest.