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Murray, PAC Say Carney Sent “Cease-And-Desist” Letter To Stop “Embarrassing Commercial”

Citizens for Transparency and Inclusion (CTI), a political action committee that has been targeting the Delaware courts and Governor John Carney, today announced that the governor sent “cease-and-desist” letters to local television stations.  The group often criticizes the governor and the “Delaware Way” for what they say is a lack of inclusion in state govenrment.  CTI claims in a statement released on Tuesday that the governor sent the letters to the tv stations after CTI began airing an embarrassing commercial.

Citizens for Transparency and Inclusion’s Statement

Today, after several local TV stations received a “cease-and-desist” letter from Governor Carney’s Counsel, Neil Reiff, claiming that Citizens for Transparency and Inclusion’s (CTI) most recent ad was “riddled with falsehoods and inaccuracies,” CTI Spokesman Chris Coffey released the following statement:

“Governor Carney’s Counsel falsely claims that our ad ‘has only one purpose: It is intended solely to embarrass the Governor only days before the 2020 general election and not create a public dialogue about the incarceration of African American prisoners.’”

“Once again, Governor Carney has refused to engage with the substance of our criticisms, opting to smear our Committee with inaccurate claims rather than explain why he cleared the record of a white supremacist like Barry Gordon Croft Jr. while refusing to pardon or commute the sentences of other incarcerated Delawareans, over 60% of whom are people of color, who have been left exposed to massive COVID-19 outbreaks in Delaware’s prisons.”

“It’s no secret that from the beginning of the pandemic, Governor Carney has failed to adequately protect the vulnerable inmate population from COVID-19. That’s why 67 inmates under his care have filed a $400 million lawsuit against Carney and the Delaware Department of Correction for their mishandling of the pandemic.”

“But that failure is compounded by the fact that in 2019, Carney approved the recommendation of his all-white Board of Pardons to forgive a white supremacist like Barry Croft, who has now been charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. His pardon is a slap in the face to the families and friends of the dozen Delaware inmates who have died of COVID-19 and the hundreds of others who have been sickened.”

“Governor Carney’s Counsel falsely claims that our ad ‘has only one purpose: It is intended solely to embarrass the Governor only days before the 2020 general election and not create a public dialogue about the incarceration of African American prisoners.’”

“While we agree it is embarrassing that Governor Carney cleared the record of a white supremacist like Croft while refusing to shorten the sentences of Black inmates in the middle of a pandemic, it’s also clear that our ad is producing exactly the kind of dialogue around the incarceration of Black Delawareans that he is terrified to engage in.”

“We refuse to be intimidated. In fact, this latest episode just reinforces our belief that now is the time to reject John Carney and the ‘Delaware Way’ that has failed to deliver for everyday Delawareans. We will continue to air this advertisement until Governor Carney addresses the substance of our concerns, rather than just attacking our Committee.”

Carney’s opponent in the Delaware gubernatorial race, Julianne Murray, also weighed in on the”cease-and-desist” letters

In a statement also released on Tuesday, Murray condemned the governor for what she claimed was his attempt to suppress freedom of speech by Citizens for Transparency.

“Carney’s Administration sent out a cease and desist letter to television stations that were running advertisements by Citizens for Transparency that highlighted Carney’s failed criminal justice record. Just as he attempted to deny freedom of information requests regarding his COVID – 19 lockdown, Carney again tries to trample basic freedom of speech rights. It raises the question what is John Carney hiding? “

“This is becoming a running theme of John Carney’s – denying freedom of speech,” said Julianne Murray. “He would only be doing this if he had something to hide. Delaware deserves a governor who will defend their constitutional rights, not one who will take them away.”

We could not find any mention of the commercial or the “cease-and-desist” letters on the governor’s campaign social media platforms.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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