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Lying about election violates law -- Thomas E. Lister

Lying about election violates law -- Thomas E. Lister

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The First Amendment is not a license to lie.

Recently, Facebook reiterated its deplorable policy of not removing misleading or bogus political ads.

Corporations, ever since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizen’s United, are considered “persons.” Given that status, perhaps corporate leaders, legislators and prosecutors should be reminded of Wisconsin statute section 12.05, entitled: “False representations affecting elections.” Our law reads:

"No person may knowingly make or publish, or cause to be made or published, a false representation pertaining to a candidate or referendum which is intended or tends to affect voting at an election."

People who violate this law "may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 6 months or both.”

Our legal enforcement system has no more important nor immediate duty, than protecting the integrity of our elections.

Thomas E. Lister, Middleton, former district attorney, trial lawyer and circuit court judge


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