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Cease and Desist Letter.

Cease and Desist Letter.

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Published by Catherine Snow

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Published by: Catherine Snow on May 11, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Bill Cabaniss, Chairman May 10, 2010 Re: Defamatory Political Advertisement Dear Station Manager


3300 Cahaba Road Suite 105 Birmingham, AL 35223

luther@lutherstrange.com (205) 568-4127

Please be aware that slanderous and defamatory attacks are being made against Luther J. Strange by a Political Action Committee that calls itself Protecting Alabamians Against Washington Lobbyist PAC. The political advertisement has been aired and is scheduled to air on multiple television stations. The advertisement references Mr. Strange by name and states that Mr. Strange “lobbies for big oil.” This statement is demonstrably false. Mr. Strange is not registered as a lobbyist for any company or organization at the federal or the state level. The advertisement further claims that Mr. Strange “represents big oil today.” As noted above, Mr. Strange is NOT registered as a lobbyist for any company or organization at the federal or state level. Furthermore, I am enclosing a letter from the US Oil & Gas Association that affirms the fact that Luther Strange has never lobbied on their behalf, nor has he ever represented them as their attorney. Finally, the letter makes clear that due to an administrative error on their part, the registered agent declaration with the State of Alabama has not been updated since 1999 and Luther Strange has not been their registered agent since 1999. The simple fact is that Mr. Strange has never lobbied for this association nor represented them as an attorney and the allegations contained in the advertisement at issue herein are baseless, false, and misleading. Furthermore, the allegations that Mr. Strange continues to represent or has ever represented BP or the company (Transocean Ltd) that owns the oil rig involved with the current Gulf oil spill is false and misleading. Mr. Strange has never been retained, hired by either company. Mr. Strange has never lobbied or represented either company. The company that Mr. Strange was registered to lobby for in 1998 (see enclosed registration statement which is the same statement used in the advertisement) is no longer in existence and by virtue of that fact is NOT the same company that owns the oil rig (Transocean Ltd). See the following corporate history publicly available on the website of Transocean Ltd.: • • • • • In 1993 Sonat spun off its offshore division as Sonat Offshore Drilling, Inc. (“SODI”). In June 1995, Sonat sold its remaining stake in Sonat Offshore division to stockholders. In 1996 SODI acquired Transocean ASA of Norway for $1.5 billion in stock and cash, creating Transocean Offshore, Inc. An unrelated company, Schlumberger, spun off Sedco Forex, which merged with Transocean Offshore Inc. in 1999. The resulting company was named Transocean Sedco Forex, Inc. 2007 Transocean Sedco Forex, Inc. and GlobalSantaFe merged to become Transocean Ltd.

Your station has a legal responsibility, once the defamatory nature of an advertisement has been brought to your attention, to establish whether the accusations running on your station are true and correct. Now that we have brought to your attention the defamatory nature of the pending advertisement, Alabama law imposes upon your station a duty to determine the truth or falsity of the advertisement and, if the advertisement is false, you have a legal duty to pull the advertisement from your station or refuse to run it if you have not already done so. We trust that you will have no trouble confirming the falsity of the advertisement. It may be useful for you to know that Alabama stations regularly pull false and misleading political advertisements. More recently, several stations throughout Alabama pulled from the air a false and misleading advertisement claiming that Citizens for a Better Alabama had accepted financial donations from Native American tribes. Attorneys representing Citizens for a Better Alabama established that the advertisement at issue was false, and the stations therefore pulled that advertisement.

Additionally, the advertisement against Mr. Strange that is at issue in this letter was not paid for by a political candidate. Rather, the ad was paid for by a Political Action Committee that calls itself Protecting Alabamians Against Washington Lobbyist PAC. As of the date of this letter, this PAC is not registered with the Alabama Secretary of State as required by law. The PAC’s address is a post office box that has been used by Stan Pate in the past, according to public records. This letter serves as formal notice that you cease and desist immediately from airing this false advertisement. Thank you for your prompt attention to this very important matter. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions. Very truly yours, Jessica Medeiros Garrison Campaign Manager Alabamians for Luther Strange 205.568.4371 jessica@lutherstrange.com

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