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JAMES BOPP, JR.

jboppjr@aol.com
__________________
ANITA Y. MILANOVICH
aymilanovich@bopplaw.com

THE BOPP LAW FIRM, PC


ATTORNEYS AT LAW
THE NATIONAL BUILDING
1 South Sixth Street
TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA 47807-3510
Telephone 812/232-2434 Facsimile 812/235-3685
www.bopplaw.com
____________

Bozeman Office:
1627 W Main Street, Suite 294
Bozeman, MT 59718
Telephone/Facsimile
(406) 589-6856

July 8, 2016
By Email
All Montana Broadcast Station Managers

Re:

Cease and Desist Letter, Good Jobs


Montana PACs Gubernatorial Ad

Dear Station Manager,


As counsel to the Gianforte for Montana campaign, I write regarding a television advertisement
sponsored by Good Jobs Montana PAC that may be airing on your station (available at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfsmr2pyRKY). The advertisement is false and misleading, and
your station should refuse to air it or immediately refuse to continue airing it.
I. Legal Standard
Those that publish false statements made knowingly or with reckless disregard for truth or falsity
that cause injury are liable for defamation. Letter Carriers v. Austin, 418 U.S. 264, 268 (1974);
Gallagher v. Johnson, 188 Mont. 117, 125 (1980) (adopting federal standards for defamation);
Madison v. Yunker, 180 Mont. 54, 64 (1978).
Unlike candidates, independent political organizations do not have a right to command the use of
broadcast facilities. See CBS v. DNC, 412 U.S. 94, 113 (1973). So broadcast stations need not air
advertisement such as Good Jobs Montana PACs and bear responsibility for content when they do
grant access. Broadcast stations have a duty to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive
advertising. License Responsibility With Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or
Deceptive Advertising, 74 F.C.C.2d 623 (1961). Failure to prevent the airing of false and misleading
advertising may be probative of an underlying abdication of licensee responsibility. Cosmopolitan
Broad. Corp. v. FCC, 581 F.2d 917, 927 (D.C. Cir. 1978).
II. False Claim #1: Mr. Gianfortes New Jersey Background
The ad begins with the false phrase, a millionaire from New Jersey and ends with Jersey
Gianforte. In fact, Mr. Gianforte was born in San Diego, California, moved as an infant to Florida,
and at the age of 3, moved to Wayne, Pennsylvania, where he was raised and graduated high school.
Mr. Gianforte then spent 4 years of undergraduate school as a student at the Stevens Institute of
Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, from August, 1979 to May, 1983. He then spent 12 years
working in Holmdel, New Jersey, at Bell Laboratories, then later joined McAfee and Associates, and
founded several other businesses. On June 7, 1995, Mr. Gianforte and his wife moved their young

MT Broadcast Managers
July 8, 2016
Page 2
family to Bozeman, Montana. He has resided in Bozeman, Montana for over 21 years, a length of
time greater than his childhood in Pennsylvania (15 years), and his schooling and early career spent
in New Jersey (16 years).
Mr. Gianforte started and grew a business, RightNow Technologies from his Bozeman, Montana
home to employ over 1,100 employees from 1997 until 2011, or 13 years. The business was sold
to Oracle in 2012, which continues to headquarter part of their operations in Bozeman, Montana.
Two Montana-based reporters have already publicly observed that the New Jersey label as applied
to Mr. Gianforte is false and misleading. MTN News reporter Mike Dennison publicly stated to
Governor Bullock on Face the State over two months ago that, Your campaign has insisted on
always calling Mr. Gianforte a New Jersey millionaire . . . Hes not from New Jersey. Hes
from Pennsylvania. And, hes lived here for 20 plus years. Hes raised his family here. He
started a business that employed hundreds of people here in Bozeman. (Face The State;
[16:25], 05/08/2016).
Similarly, Rob Saldin, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Montana stated
on Montana Public Radio that Its simply inaccurate to say hes from New Jersey . . . I think
by any reasonable standard, Gianforte has a perfectly good claim to be a Montanan. Hes lived
here since 1995. Hes been a prominent and engaged citizen during those 20 plus years. He
raised all his kids here. And the successful company that he founded was entirely born and
bred right here in Montana. (MTPR, 04/29/2016).
Mr. Gianforte has been falsely labeled by the location of his chosen college and early career.
Notably, this tactic could just as readily apply also to his opponent, Mr. Steve Bullock. Upon further
examination of Mr. Bullocks education and career path, it is obvious Mr. Bullock spent a near
proportional amount of his own career outside of Montana.
Mr. Bullock attended college for his undergraduate degree at Claremont McKenna College in
Claremont, California from the summer of 1984 to 1988 (4 years). From 1988 to 1990, Mr. Bullock
worked as a marketing and business analyst for United Pacific Life/United Pacific Financial in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (3 years). From 1991 to 1994, Mr. Bullock attended Columbia University
in New York, NY for law school (3 years). He proceeded to work as an attorney for two New York
City law firms: from 1994-1995 in Washington, D.C. at Shaw Pittman, and in New York City, New
York for Dewey Ballantine from 1995-1997 (2 years). After a short return back in Montana
beginning in 1997, Mr. Bullock spent another 4 years litigating for Steptoe and Johnson in
Washington, D.C, from 2001-2004.
Combined, it appears that Mr. Bullock spent between 15 and 16 years of his 32-year adult
careernearly 50% of his adult education and career---outside the state of Montana. While
Mr. Gianforte similarly spent roughly 16 yearsor 43%of his 37-year career outside of Montana,
he spent the bulk of his career starting business in Montana, not litigating in Washington, D.C. or
New York City. Details of both mens careers can be found attached to this letter.

MT Broadcast Managers
July 8, 2016
Page 3
The false labeling of Mr. Gianforte as a millionaire from New Jersey or Jersey Gianforte, means
that a label like D.C. Steve or New York Attorney could be applied to Mr. Bullock. But more
importantly, it means your station can be legally liable for disseminating such false information.
II. False Claim #2: Fishing Access
The ad states Gianforte sued to eliminate a popular access spot. In fact, Fish, Wildlife and Parks
(FWP) had asserted a right existed where one did not, due to inaccuracies in a survey of the
property. No one had actually accessed the river from the true legal location of the easement. After
15 months of unsuccessful discussions with FWP to clear up the issue, Mr. Gianforte filed a
complaint of quiet title to legally clarify and expedite resolution of the issue. Within 2 months, FWP
agreed to visit the site and determined their survey was incorrect, with access to the river taking
place outside the proper easement location and across Mr. Gianfortes property. To call this a
popular access spot blocked by intimidating signs and a gate is deceitful as the lawful location
of the easement was not even being used by the public. The suit was never served on FWP, simply
filed in state court as a placeholder:

The lawsuit against FWP was not pursued as FWP determined that a survey of the site
was incorrect and updated its records. (Great Falls Tribune, 06/03/2016)

However, upon further review FWP realized that the user-created trail leading to the
river did cross the Gianfortes land outside of the easement, and agreed to reroute the
path to the west. (Last Best News, 5/10/16)

State fish-and-game officials also told MTN News the dispute eventually got worked out,
with the state improving and marking a nearby alternative trail that provided access
to the river from a fishing access site. (MTN News, 5/12/16)

Gianforte said the claim was never served. We couldnt get their attention, Gianforte
said. We had to fire a shot across the bow to get their attention. .(Great Falls Tribune,
6/27/16)

The Gianfortes never pursued the lawsuit after filing it and it was dismissed in 2013.
(MTN News, 5/12/16)