Congressman seeks prosecution of online critic (at http://mycongressmanisnuts.com)
VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Fri Dec 18 16:34:10 PST 2009
http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2009/12/grayson-wants-to-send-critic-to-jail-for-five-years.html reports; the Congressman's letter to the AG is http://www.politico.com/static/PPM130_grayson-holder-complaint-121609-0013.html. Any thoughts on whether the site operator's speech should indeed be viewed as criminal? Here is an excerpt from the letter detailing the allegations:
By choosing the name "My Congressman is Nuts' for her committee, Ms. Langley is indicating that I am her Congressman. I am not her Congressman, and I have never been her Congressman. Ms. Langley resides ... many miles outside my district... Ms. Langley has deliberately masqueraded as a constituent of mine, in order to try to create the false appearance that she speaks for constituents who don't support me. This is fundamentally deceptive and fraudulent....
In the Committee's Statement of Organization, Ms. Langley falsely claimed that the Committee supports or opposes more than one candidate, and that it is not connected with any other organization (see Ex. 5). The website, however, clearly shows that the Committee opposes only me. This also was true in the Committee's news release, and Langley's statements in media coverage regarding the website. Moreover, in the Fox 35 interview, when the interviewer said "so your goal is to unseat him [meaning me]/' Ms. Langley's response was "absolutely, that is our entire goal." Furthermore, since Ms. Langley is a former Republican Party official, it strains credulity for her to assert that her committee is not connected with any other organization. Indeed, the avowed purpose of the Committee is to raise money for the Republican nominee in next year's FL-8 election. Thus the Committee is simply a device to skirt around contribution limits. In short, the activities of Ms. Langley and the committee are awash with fraud....
For the reasons stated above, I respectfully request that Ms. Langiey and the Committee be prosecuted under 18 USC 1001, and any other applicable provision....
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