Just when you thought it was safe to stick your head up in Southwestern Ohio, a couple of Cincinnati right wing groups find a way to still amaze me. Cynic that I am, I am surprised.
In 2010 Steve Driehaus, a Democrat, was running for reelection in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District against Steve Chabot. The Ohio 1st District is parts of Cincinnati, then runs along the Ohio River and up the border with Indiana. The district touches Speaker Boehner’s OH-08. This is a bright red, conservative Tea Party haven part of Ohio.
2010 was the year of the Tea Party wave. During the campaign, groups sprung up like foul, odious toadstools. One of these groups was the Susan B. Anthony list. This is a non-profit that is very anti-abortion. Their PAC, the SBA List, funds “pro life” candidates, primarily women.
The PAC decided to weigh in against the incumbent, Driehaus, by putting up billboards that claimed he had voted for tax payer funded abortion by voting for the ACA. Since tax payer money is forbidden to fund abortions, this was an outright lie.
Funny thing is Ohio has a law making it illegal for candidates and issue groups to lie in political ads.
The Driehaus campaign told the billboard company they would sue to stop those ads from staying up. He had the Ohio Elections Commission block the ads since they were completely false. The ads on the billboards came down.
Being the 2010 election, Driehaus lost to Chabot, the Republican, as did enough Dems to flip control of the House.
For the Susan B. Anthony List however, putting a Republican in that house seat wasn’t enough. They sued in federal court. They argue Ohio’s law violates their First Amendment free speech right to lie. The right to lie is so important that the Tea Party group the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) joined the suit. It was dismissed since neither had been prosecuted and had no standing to sue. That dismissal was upheld on appeal. The 6th Circuit rejected their argument that the law infringes free speech and is prior restraint.
SCOTUS has decided to hear the case to rule whether these groups have standing to sue. It will be heard in April.
So, these groups are suing and taking it to the Supreme Court to protect their RIGHT TO LIE.
Well, if the truth doesn’t fit your agenda, get creative. Normally, I wouldn’t worry, but this SCOTUS gave us Citizens United.
At least they’re honest about needing to lie to win.