AUSTIN, Texas–After being turned out of office by primary voters in the May runoff, State Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) now finds himself facing a lawsuit from a conservative pro-life organization allegedly he illegally attempted the silence the group during the election.
Texas Right to Life, the oldest pro-life group in the state, filed their suit in Harris County. The lawsuit stems from radio ads the group ran during the election election critical of Deuell’s record as a member of the state senate.
The lawsuit contends that Deuell’s attorneys contacted “at least two” radio stations that contracted to run the ads and “demanded the immediate cessation of the broadcasting of Texas Right to Life’s radio ad.”
In a letter sent to Cumulus Media on May 14, Deuell’s lawyers threatened possible legal action if the ads were not taken down. According to the Texas Right to Life lawsuit against Deuell, radio stations owned by Cumulus and Salem Communications responded to Deuell’s threats by halting the ads.
The radio spot, which can be heard online, focused on Senate Bill 303 from the 2013 legislative session which was authored by Deuell and supported by the Texas Medical Association. The pro-life group argued the legislation would endanger patients rights. A large number of conservative organizations agreed with the Texas Right to Life position, and the legislation ultimately died.
The president of Texas Right to Life, Dr. Joseph Graham, said in May that his organization would not be bullied into silence.
“Bob Deuell sided with hospitals that bully families whose loved ones are ailing, and now he’s trying to bully and intimidate Texas Right to Life,” said Graham. “He can send a slew of lawyers and inflammatory letters, but Texas Right to Life will never be bullied out of protecting those who cannot speak for themselves.”
Within days of Deuell threatening the radio stations with legal action, Texas Right to Life had a new being run around the senatorial district decrying the senator’s attempts to “silence” the organization.
Deuell did not respond to a request for comment from Breitbart Texas.
First elected in 2002, Deuell was defeated in this year’s run-off by challenger Bob Hall, a businessman and retired military officer. His defeat was preceded by challenger Don Huffines of Dallas beating liberal-leaning incumbent Republican State Sen. John Carona in the March primary.
NOTE: Sullivan is the president of Empower Texans. Empower Texans also opposed SB 303, and endorsed Deuell’s opponent in the primary.