Update: The Brown campaign responds to the malicious rape mailer:
Republican Scott Brown charged Saturday that a Democratic mailing against his U.S. Senate campaign violates a Massachusetts law prohibiting false statements against a political candidate.
The cover of a four-page mailer sent by the Massachusetts Democratic Party says, “1,736 women were raped in Massachusetts in 2008. Scott Brown wants hospitals to turn them all away.”
Brown is a state senator, and in 2005 he filed an amendment that would have allowed workers at religious hospitals or with firmly held religious beliefs to avoid giving emergency contraception to rape victims. The amendment failed, and Brown voted in favor of a bill allowing the contraception. He also voted to override a veto issued by his fellow Republican, then-Gov. Mitt Romney.
A section of the Massachusetts General Laws prohibits false statements against political candidates that are designed or tend “to aid or to injure or defeat such candidate,” with a penalty of to $1,000 fine and up to six months in prison.
This article doesn’t even tell the entire story, which is par for the course in the mainstream media. The amendment that Brown submitted said that if a doctor or nurse had a sincerely held religious belief against administering contraception, then he or she could get another practitioner to administer it or the hospital could transfer the patient to another facility at no cost. This is not even close to that accusation that “Scott Brown wants hospitals to turn them all away,” which is why the Brown camp has to respond aggressively to it.
The Coakley camp is also treading tough legal waters with its UPS ad as well.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party sent out this flier that smeared Scott Brown. Even the Ben Smith at the Politico thinks it’s over the top.
The Democrats say this ad is appropriate because of Scott Brown’s support for a provision in a law that would exempt religious employees of religious hospitals from giving out the morning after pill. This somehow can morph into Scott Brown wanting to turn “all” rape victims away? As you can tell by just reading the ad, it is completely divorced from the truth and devoid of any standard of decency. Scott Brown’s camp thinks so as well and is filing a criminal complaint:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Felix Browne
January 16, 2010 617-335-8333
MEDIA ADVISORY FOR TODAY
Dan Winslow, counsel for the Scott Brown for U.S. Senate campaign, will hold a media availability to announce the filing of a criminal complaint against the Massachusetts Democratic Party regarding a recent mailing paid for and sent by the Massachusetts Democratic Party. Winslow will make a statement and take reporters’ questions at MassGOP Headquarters in Boston TODAY at 4:00 PM.
Massachusetts GOP Headquarters
85 Merrimac Street, 4th Floor
Kathryn Lopez thinks the criminal complaint is fully justified and I agree with her:
Not only is it absolutely false — again, he sponsored an amendment that would exempt religious hospitals and religious medical personnel from a law mandating the distribution of emergency contraception in all hospital emergency rooms –it’s dumb. Why would you include the word “all”? Just because you can’t keep from going absolutely over the top while in the gutter? (Or because you are happy to win at any cost?)