SEIU's Chavista Legal Team Cribs from Obama, Threatens Broadcasters
According to this letter obtained by TPM, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is threatening television stations broadcasting this anti-card check advertisement produced by the Employee Freedom Action Committee. In the letter (viewable here), SEIU lawyer Dora V. Chen tells stations in Arkansas and Nebraska that they should "immediately cease airing this false and deceitful advertisement." Says Ms. Chen, "political organizations do not have a 'right to command the use of broadcast facilities'"—i.e., airing third party political advertisements television stations are not bound by the First Amendment—reminding station executives that they are under "no legal obligation to air the advertisement" but it they do the affiliate "bears responsibility for its content." If the Chavista implications of these threats are still unclear, the SEIU puts it in sharper relief, obliquely threatening the station's broadcast licenses:
As a broadcast licensee, you 'must assume responsibility for all material which is broadcast through [your] facilities' and therefore have a duty to 'protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising.' Failure to prevent the airing of 'false and misleading advertising' may be 'probative of an underlying abdication of licensee responsibility.'
Such threats are nothing new to SEIU lawyers. The union's legal team sent an almost identical letter to NBC in May after it ran a (paid) infomercial by a group advocating free markets solutions in health care. When Barack Obama's general councel during the 2008 campaign, Robert F. Bauer, sent a letter to a Pennsylvania television station running an NRA, it used identical language. ("Failure to prevent the airing of 'false and misleading advertising' may be 'probative of an underlying abdication of licensee responsibility")
The offending card check ad: