Incumbent threatens lawsuit over Pro-Life ad
Bob Deuell is attempting to silence the state's largest and oldest prolife organization because they are telling voters through a radio ad about Deuell's efforts to expand the power of hospital panels. Lawyers for the incumbent state senator, who is in the throes of a fiercely contested run-off election, sent a "Cease and Desist" letter to WBAP, KLIF, KWRD, and KSKY.
Texas Right to Life joined 17 other state and national organizations in opposing Deuell's SB 303 during the 83rd Legislative Session. The witnesses who opposed SB 303 outnumbered those in favor by 4 to 1. Despite this, Bob Deuell continued to push his bill through the legislature even though many disabled patients testified that the bill would further endanger them as victims of quality-of-life judgments. Texas Right to Life is alerting voters that Deuell's allegiance is to the medical lobby and not to families and their ailing loved ones. That's why he's trying to intimidate RTL with baseless legal threats.
The explosive radio ads began airing this week in Senate District 2 in northeast Texas which encompasses parts of Dallas, Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains, Rockwall, and Van Zandt Counties. Bob Deuell and his attorneys demanded that Cumulus Media, America's second largest operator of radio stations, cancel Texas Right to Life's radio buy in attempt to intimidate the stations and infringe on the First Amendment rights of Texas Right to Life. If these stations refuse to cancel the ad, the Deuell campaign promised to initiate litigation.
"Bob Deuell sided with hospitals that bully families whose loved ones are ailing, and now he's trying to bully and intimidate Texas Right to Life. He can send a slew of lawyers and inflammatory letters, but Texas Right to Life will never be bullied out of protecting those who cannot speak for themselves," said Dr. Joseph Graham, President of Texas Right to Life.
Texas Right to Life's attorneys, who are nationally recognized experts in defending First Amendment rights, have responded to the radio station, citing relevant laws and also instructing the stations to resume the ads.
A copy of the Deuell campaign's letter has can be found here.
The written script of the ad is here.
During the 83rd Legislative Session, the witnesses who opposed SB 303 outnumbered those in favor by 4 to 1. Despite this, Bob Deuell continued to push his bill at the behest of Big Medicine through the legislature even though many disabled patients testified that the bill would further endanger them as victims of quality-of-life judgments. (The bill stalled in the House.)
"If Deuell claims to be transparent, he should have to defend why his bill shielded hospital panels from transparency when these panels are secretly imposing death on patients," Dr. Graham continued. Deuell's sponsorship of this measure is the subject of the ad, which was paid for by Texas Right to Life Committee, verbalized in the ad's disclaimer in accordance with advocacy and transparency laws.
Contact Melissa Conway
Tags: bob deuell, elections, free speech