Moore campaign will file suit to stop Democrat Highway 31 Ad
December 6, 2017 Share

Moore campaign will file suit to stop Democrat Highway 31 Ad

PHOTO: On Wednesday, the Roy Moore campaign filed a, “cease and desist” letter regarding ads being ran by Highway 31 PAC; a liberal group that utilizes a federal loophole to avoid disclosing donors. (Tyler Pruett, Southern Torch | Highway 31 PAC, Facebook)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

tyler@southerntorch.com

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Roy Moore campaign announced today they intend to file suit against the Highway 31 PAC, which has been running pro-Doug Jones ads on television and social media platforms. 

According to a report by the Washington Post, the group has reported spending $2 million during the race on, “on television, digital and direct mail ads, including attacks on Republican Roy Moore for allegedly dating teenage girls and praise for Jones as a Christian believer who will uphold Second Amendment rights.”

While the group has a local feel and is named “Highway 31” for the highway that connects Alabama’s major cities, donors to the organization are hidden by a loophole in the Federal Election laws. The law requires independent Political Action Committees (PACs) to disclosure donations accepted by November 22nd, but Highway 31 did not accept any until after this date.

More than likely, the Highway 31 PAC used this loophole to hide donations from liberal organizations and individuals outside of the state.

The PAC did however begin spending on November 8th, and is going to recoup the expenses from donations received after the Federal deadline.

Earlier this week, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill issued a statement regarding an ad by Highway 31, calling it, “a targeted effort to misinform and confuse voters regarding whether an individuals’ voting record would be available to the public.”

The ad in question states that, “Your vote is public record, and your community will know whether or not you helped stop Roy Moore. On Tuesday, December 12th, Vote Doug Jones for Senate;” indicating that it may be public record if people choose to vote for Roy Moore.

(Click here to watch video of the Ad: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zyv8suabbox6bfa/Video%20Dec%2004%2C%2011%2025%2017.mov?dl=0)

In the statement, Merrill said, “in the Alabama Primary and Primary Run-off Elections a record is made which would indicate whether a voter had voted in either the Democrat or Republican party race but the name of the candidate for whom the voter cast their ballot is never recorded.”

“Additionally, in Alabama, voters do not provide political party affiliation when they register to vote because the state does not track that information,” said Merrill.

After the Secretary of State’s Office contacted the video’s creator, to express, “to them the misinterpretations presented in this political commercial.”

According to Merrill’s office, on, “Monday, the PAC responded to the Office and indicated they would not amend nor take out any of the information in the ad.”

The ad the Moore campaign is seeking to have pulled, is in regards to the accusation made by media sources that Roy Moore was banned from the Gadsden Mall, and approached a 14 year old girl for sex in the mall. The Moore campaign has repeatedly repudiated this claim, and the letter issued today points out that the “14 year old” in question, Wendy Miller, never alleged Moore solicited her for sex at the mall or anywhere else.

The campaign has issued a, “cease and desist letters demanding that television stations remove the ad from the air immediately.”

Read the statement from the Moore campaign regarding the Highway 31 Ad: “On Wednesday morning, the Moore campaign blasted the “Shopping Mall” ad paid for by the Highway 31 political action committee as “patently false.” The campaign issued cease and desist letters demanding that television stations remove the ad from the air immediately. 

The letter called out the ad for 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 AL.com 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 AL.com article, never alleged that Moore solicited her for sex at the mall or anywhere else.

“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. As the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals held in Faye Gary v. Richard Crouch, 923 So. 2d 1130 (Ala. Civ. App. 2005)(affirming summary judgment for Gadsden police chief sued for defamation by former Gadsden police officer Faye Gary for poor performance), 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.” ‘” (Quoting Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton, 491 U.S. 657, 659 (1989) (quoting in turn New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 279-80 (1964)). Not only does the Highway 31 ad rehash gossip and rumor that has been entirely debunked, but it maliciously floats new, outrageous, and patently unsubstantiated allegations against Judge Moore.

“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.”

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