GOP LAWYERS FIGHT TO KEEP ANGLE’S PUBLIC VIEWS SECRET…. Within a few days of Sharron Angle’s Republican primary victory in Nevada’s Senate’s race, her campaign website had been yanked offline. As of mid-June, visitors to Angle’s official site could donate money to the extremist candidate, but that was literally the only link on the page. Voters wanting to know more about the candidate had to go elsewhere.
There was no real mystery here — in the wake of Angle winning the nomination, it was time to scrub the site, removing content that made the GOP Senate hopeful look nutty. The campaign team did exactly that, taking three weeks to meticulously remove all references to Angle’s stated plans to scrap Social Security, abolish the Department of Education, crack down on immigration, expand offshore oil drilling, etc. Sam Stein and Elyse Siegel noted that a review of the old and new Angle campaign sites shows “dramatic, fundamental shifts in her policy platform.”
Not surprisingly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) campaign believes the public might find Angle’s stated, published agenda educational, so it re-published the Republican candidate’s original issue positions online for voters to see.
In response, Angle’s lawyers threatened a lawsuit, demanding that Reid’s campaign not show voters what Angle has said she believes.
Sharron Angle has resorted to an unusual maneuver to counter Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s attacks on her past quotes and positions, the Reid campaign has announced: A cease-and-desist letter, demanding that Reid no longer republish Angle’s previous campaign website.
As Angle’s lawyers argued in their cease-and-desist letter, Reid’s campaign team was misusing copyrighted materials by re-publishing Angle’s own website.
Regrettably, Reid’s lawyers apparently concluded the argument had merit, and took down the site, directing visitors to a different site mocking Angle’s extremism.
I can’t speak to the copyright issues, but I would have liked to see litigation proceed in a case like this. Have we ever had a case in which a U.S. Senate candidate went to court to keep her own published platform hidden from public view?