Judge Orders Ads Off the Air Immediately for Spreading Lies About Dem Assembly Candidate

Oct 31, 2008

 Coalition for America’s Families Must Stop
Airing False Ads Immediately

MADISON – In an unprecedented legal decision, a judge has ordered that ads running by a third-party group against a Democratic Assembly candidate be removed from the air immediately, after finding that the ads are spreading false and misleading statements designed to affect the election.

Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee Director Jim Smith this morning asked all radio stations running ads paid for by the Coalition for America’s Families to cease running those ads immediately following the unprecedented ruling this morning by Jackson County Circuit Judge Thomas Lister. 

With only three days until Election Day, Judge Lister ruled that the Coalition for America’s Families has likely violated Section 12.05, Wis. Stats. by knowingly making false statements to affect an election, and has possibly done so with actual malice toward Mark Radcliffe.

“This is a historic day for clean elections in Wisconsin,” said Smith. “I am asking all media to immediately take heed of the temporary restraining order issued by Judge Lister this morning and stop playing these false ads.”

Attorney Mark Radcliffe, candidate in the 92nd Assembly Distinct, filed a request for a restraining order yesterday asking that the ads against him from the Coalition for America’s Families be stopped and asking for a prohibition against any more ads being purchased. 

Judge Lister listened to oral arguments yesterday from Mark Radcliffe and attorneys David Halbrooks and Mike Maistelman.  This morning he signed the order requiring the Coalition to stop running any ads against Radcliffe.

“This is a welcome relief from the lies that have been thrust on voters by the Coalition for America’s Families,” said Smith. “But there are still more stations across the state running these ads that have been found to be false and misleading, and I am asking that all stations that agreed to run these ads stop broadcasting them immediately.”