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Moore campaign threatens to sue anti-Moore super PAC Highway 31

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Roy Moore Senate campaign blasted an ad paid for by the Highway 31 super PAC as “patently false.”

The campaign announced in a statement that they have issued cease and desist letters demanding that television stations remove the ad from the air immediately.

The letter specifically calls out the ad for what the Moore campaign says are its “quoting third-hand gossip and repeating outright falsehoods.”

“1. Specifically, the ad entitled ‘Shopping Mall,’ which began airing on or around November 28, 2017, begins with the misleading question, ‘What do people who know Roy Moore say?’ Although the ad shows five quotations, only one of the people quoted — Teresa Jones, a coworker from 40 years ago — stated that they knew Roy Moore. And even what Jones claimed was nothing but a figment of the rumor mill. The truth is that the people quoted in the ad were alleging hearsay and third-hand gossip and do not ‘know Roy Moore’ at all.”

“2. Next, the ad states a novel accusation that ‘Moore was actually banned from the Gadsden Mall . . . for soliciting sex from young girls.’ This is doubly false. The truth is that Judge Moore was never banned from any mall for any reason, as confirmed by the then-manager of the Gadsden Mall. Furthermore the truth is that Moore never solicited sex from young girls at the Gadsden Mall and no such false accusation has been alleged by anyone.”

“3. Continuing the falsity, the very next statement is that ‘One he [Moore] approached ‘was 14 and working as Santa’s helper,” citing to an article of November 13, 2017. This statement implies Moore ‘approached’ a girl of 14 for sex. The truth is that Wendy Miller, the woman cited in the article, never alleged that Moore solicited her for sex at the mall or anywhere else.”

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Moore’s team claims, “The facts make clear that the allegations in these attack ads are patently false and known by Highway 31 political action committee to be false.”

The Moore campaign cites a case before the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, Faye Gary v. Richard Crouch in which the court issued an affirming summary judgment against a Gadsden police chief (Crouch) who was sued for defamation by former Gadsden police officer Faye Gary.

In that decision the court ruled that, defamation is shown when “a false statement was made ‘”with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.””  Moore cited other examples.

The Moore campaign is telling TV stations, “We are hereby making demand that your television station cease airing these false attack ads immediately and refrain from airing them on any future date. Under Alabama law, you can be held liable for the substantial damages caused by these false and defamatory ads. Failure to comply with this request may result in immediate legal action.”

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is working with Google to remove other ads by Highway 31 that Merrill feel falsely tells voters that whether or not they vote will become common knowledge.

The assault on Moore’s character is based on claims that Moore acted inappropriately with some teenage women in Gadsden, Alabama, in the 1970s when Moore was a young Etowah Country deputy district attorney.

Moore is a former U.S. Army Captain who served in the Vietnam War.  He is an alumnus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was the valedictorian of his graduating class at Attalla High School.  Moore is a former prosecutor.  He was appointed a Judge by then Alabama Gov. Guy Hunt.  Moore won re-election twice and then ran for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2000.

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Moore was removed from the Court by the appointed Court of the Judiciary for refusing a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument.  Moore ran for governor unsuccessfully twice in 2006 and 2010.  In 2012 he won another term on the Alabama Supreme Court as chief justice.  In 2015, Moore was suspended for the remainder of his term, because he failed to sign an order to Alabama’s Probate Judges ordering them to disregard the Alabama Constitution and issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Moore believes the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court was wrong, illegal, and unconstitutional and that he did not have the power to give that order to the Probate judges without the whole Alabama Supreme Court ruling on the matter.  Moore’s active and vociferous denunciations of same-sex marriage and sodomy have earned Moore many, many enemies in the LBGTQ community across this nation.

Shortly after assuming office, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey ordered that a special election be held on Dec. 12 to fill the Senate vacancy created when Jeff Sessions was elevated to be U.S. Attorney General.  Moore retired from the court system to run for the Senate, defeating nine other candidates in the Republican Primary including U.S. Sen. Luther Strange in the GOP Primary runoff.

Over $50 million has been spent by the Republican and Democratic Party and their allies (the vast majority of it from out of state) to defeat Moore.

The election is Tuesday. Former Clinton-era U.S. Attorney Jones is Moore’s Democratic opponent.

The polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.  Remember to bring a valid photo ID with you to the polls or your vote will not count.  You must vote only at your assigned polling place.  Today is the last day to get an absentee ballot.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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