Missouri voter sues over McCain campaign “hate speech”
(UPDATED – adds McCain spokesman comment)
KANSAS CITY – Missouri voter Mary Kay Green has had enough.
The supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama filed a lawsuit this week over what she claims is dangerous “hate speech” coming from the rival campaign of Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
Green, a 66-year-old grandmother and “semi-retired” civil rights attorney, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Kansas City this week accusing McCain, his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and their campaign manager Rick Davis of “intentionally, recklessly and irresponsibly” portraying Obama “as un-American, a terrorist by association, and ‘not like us,’ a non-white individual.”
Palin, Green alleges in her lawsuit, has at her rallies used false statements to work supporters “into a frenzy causing them to make death threats” against Obama.
The lawsuit claims that Green “suffers terror of the heart, anxiety and grave fear for the life of Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Barack Obama” because of the McCain campaign’s efforts to invoke hatred against Obama.
A McCain spokesman said the charges were without merit.
“It’s a great country — anyone can file a lawsuit anytime on any matter, whether it has merit or not,” said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers. “As Sen. McCain explained in detail in last night’s debate, charges like this have no merit. He will compare his record of setting the record straight to any of his overzealous or inappropriate supporters against Sen. Obama’s any day.”
Green is seeking damages of $6 million, “and prays that they cease and desist their reprehensible campaigning.” She told Reuters that she will not drop the lawsuit unless McCain’s camp repudiates the death threats and tones down the rhetoric.
“It is a federal crime to threaten the life or a presidential candidate … they are participating in that crime,” Green said.
– Photo credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria (McCain at a rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday)