Moore Campaign Will File Suit to Stop False Highway 31 Campaign Ad

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – On Wednesday morning, the Moore campaign blasted the "Shopping Mall" ad paid for by the Highway 31 political action committee as "patently false." The campaign issued cease and desist letters demanding that television stations remove the ad from the air immediately.

The letter called out the ad for quoting third-hand gossip and repeating outright falsehoods.

"1. Specifically, the ad entitled "Shopping Mall," which began airing on or around November 28, 2017, begins with the misleading question, "What do people who know Roy Moore say?" Although the ad shows five quotations, only one of the people quoted — Teresa Jones, a coworker from 40 years ago — stated that they knew Roy Moore. And even what Jones claimed was nothing but a figment of the rumor mill. The truth is that the people quoted in the ad were alleging hearsay and third-hand gossip and do not "know Roy Moore" at all.

"2. Next, the ad states a novel accusation that "Moore was actually banned from the Gadsden Mall . . . for soliciting sex from young girls." This is doubly false. The truth is that Judge Moore was never banned from any mall for any reason, as confirmed by the then-manager of the Gadsden Mall. Furthermore the truth is that Moore never solicited sex from young girls at the Gadsden Mall and no such false accusation has been alleged by anyone.

"3. Continuing the falsity, the very next statement is that "One he [Moore] approached 'was 14 and working as Santa's helper,"' citing to an AL.com article of November 13, 2017. This statement implies Moore "approached" a girl of 14 for sex. The truth is that Wendy Miller, the woman cited in the AL.com article, never alleged that Moore solicited her for sex at the mall or anywhere else.

"The facts make clear that the allegations in these attack ads are patently false and known by Highway 31 political action committee to be false. As the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals held in Faye Gary v. Richard Crouch, 923 So. 2d 1130 (Ala. Civ. App. 2005)(affirming summary judgment for Gadsden police chief sued for defamation by former Gadsden police officer Faye Gary for poor performance), defamation is shown when "a false statement was made '"with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." '" (Quoting Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton, 491 U.S. 657, 659 (1989) (quoting in turn New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 279-80 (1964)). Not only does the Highway 31 ad rehash gossip and rumor that has been entirely debunked, but it maliciously floats new, outrageous, and patently unsubstantiated allegations against Judge Moore.

"We are hereby making demand that your television station cease airing these false attack ads immediately and refrain from airing them on any future date. Under Alabama law, you can be held liable for the substantial damages caused by these false and defamatory ads. Failure to comply with this request may result in immediate legal action."

###