This is Not a Calm Man

The largest of recipient of corporate PAC money among the Democrats in Congress, Richard Neal has a primary in a few days, and it is pretty clear that he is crapping his pants over this, as shown by his campaign has sent a cease and desist letter threatening a libel suit to media outlets to suppress ads by his primary opponent.

This is not someone confident of the outcome of the primary:

Facing a spirited progressive primary challenge, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass. is pressuring a local television station to pull down an ad criticizing his reliance on corporate PAC money, according to a letter obtained by TMI from Neal’s attorney. Neal’s attempt to block Democratic primary voters from seeing the ads about his campaign financing comes at the very moment his reelection bid is being bankrolled by donors from industries with business before his congressional committee.

Justice Democrats’ super PAC, the group behind the ad, spent at least $150,000 to have the 30-second television spot run through the entire Democratic National Convention. The ad alleges that Neal “took more money from corporations than any other member of Congress” and says he “hasn’t held a town hall in years.” The group says the station has not pulled down the ad.


“You have full power to reject the ad for any reason,” wrote Neal’s attorney Brian Svoboda of the Democratic powerhouse law firm Perkins Coie to WWLP-22News, a local NBC affiliate. “To attack Representative Neal’s reputation in his community, the ad purposely confuses the illegal corporate contributions of which it falsely accuses him, with the entirely legal contributions he actually received from PACs — i.e., entities which receive voluntary, personal contributions from corporate and union employees, shareholders and their families, and make lawful contributions from those funds.”

Neal’s counsel called the commercial “defamatory” and implied that the station could face legal consequences: “Because you need not run this ad, you enjoy no immunity from liability for its false claims, and are fully responsible for the defamation and any other torts that might result from their dissemination.”


In February, Sludge reported that Neal had been the largest congressional recipient of money from corporate and business-affiliated political action committees (PACs) in 2019. Neal has received nearly $2 million from these PACs this cycle, and it accounts for more than 53 percent of his total fundraising, according to OpenSecrets. On Tuesday alone, Neal received donations from a slew of corporate PACs including $2000 from Allstate’s PAC, $2,500 from Microsoft’s PAC, and $2,500 from WalMart’s PAC, according to federal records reviewed by TMI. 

The most recent polls have Neal up by less than 10%, and undecideds tend to break for the challenger, so I do understand why his campaign is freaking out.

This has been an amazingly good year for primary challenges by progressives, and taking out Neal, who is the head of the Ways and Means Committee, would still be a big f%$#ind deal.

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