CBS and “Undue Influence”

In my old days of running for office and being parliamentarian for the Libertarian Party of Oregon, I ran across an important statute, ORS 260.665 which defines “undue influence:”

(1) As used in this section, “undue influence” means force, violence, restraint or the threat of it, inflicting injury, damage, harm, loss of employment or other loss or the threat of it, or giving or promising to give money, employment or other thing of value.

It goes on to prohibit:

(2) No person, acting either alone or with or through any other person, shall directly or indirectly subject any person to undue influence with the intent to induce any person to:
(c) Register or vote in any particular manner;

The question that comes to mind for me is, does the apparent fraud inflicted on or by CBS News in form of forged documents consistute undue influence on the election? Does slander and libel imply harm?

I think it does.

ORS 260.993 goes on to set the criminal penalty for violation as a Class C felony. I'd love to see a felony conviction on cheeseballs that try to unduly influence elections. Someone made those bogus documents.

Others may see this have a chilling effect on the media. I don't know about that. If they actually verified the vercity of what they broadcast about political candidates would that be such a bad thing?

Josh Poulson

Posted Monday, Sep 13 2004 09:46 AM

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