Democrats file suit against McCrory

May 25, 2012 3:28:57 PM PDT
An attorney representing two Democrat groups responsible for a political advertisement critical of Pat McCrory filed suit against the Republican's campaign Friday.

Click here to read the lawsuit (.pdf)

In a news release, Michael Weisel said the move is intended to call the gubernatorial candidate's legal bluff.

The McCrory campaign announced Thursday that it had filed suit against North Carolina Citizens for Progress and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) over the television ad that claims McCrory lobbied to get tax breaks for tree.com while serving as mayor of Charlotte. It says he was later paid over $140,000 to sit on the company's board, also while still mayor.

Records at Wake County Superior Court show the campaign has filed notice of intent to sue, but no actual lawsuit had been filed as of Friday afternoon. The campaign has also threatened to sue ABC11 for running the commercial.

The ad is airing on television stations across North Carolina - with the exception of the Charlotte area. The only television station that had agreed to stop running it as of Friday was WXII-TV in Winston-Salem.

McCrory has said the ad is a "false and illegal commercial."

"I will speak out against any ads that are inaccurate and any ads that are nasty," he told reporters at a news conference Thursday.

Weisel said Friday his lawsuit seeks to have a judge look at the ad, look at the evidence, and decide if the ad is factually correct.

"We have raised some factual issues we believe are accurate. And through intimidation tactics and bullying, they're attempting to stop that debate, and this will cease that because we have asked for a ruling on this," Weisel told ABC11.

Weisel said he planned to depose McCrory to ask him about his business relationships and his contact with public officials under oath.

Also Friday, North Carolina Citizens for Progress started running a new ad with similar claims. It said the old one would no longer air. A spokesperson for the McCrory campaign called that an "admission of guilt." Weisel said he looks forward to the court sorting it out.

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