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ADAM C.

BONIN
Direct Phone 267.242.5014
Direct Fax 215.701.2321
adam@boninlaw.com

October 29, 2016

VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL


Susan Kailis
Political Sales Manager
Comcast
Four Tower Bridge
200 Barr Harbor Dr.
Conshohocken, PA 19428
re:

Cease and Desist Request (Martina White)

Dear Ms. Kailis:


I am responding on behalf of Friends of Matt Darragh and the Pennsylvania House
Democratic Campaign Committee in response to Martina Whites request that you stop airing
our commercial which features Whites well-publicized unhinged tirade against local
immigration activists. You are under no obligation to take down this newsworthy footage, which
is plainly relevant as voters assess whether White is in any way fit for office.
Obviously, the ad in question was placed by the Darragh campaign and he appears in the
ad. Consequently, the ad constitutes a use of the cable system by a political candidate. Such
ads are governed by specific federal statutes and regulations that prohibit Comcast from
modifying or rejecting a candidate ad based on its content. Comcast therefore cannot censor or
modify a candidate ad and should continue to distribute the ad in question as required by law.
That ends the legal question. But lets talk about the ad itself.
As a preliminary matter, Mr. Otter does not allege and it is not the case that we ourselves
filmed this footage. To the contrary, as has been widely reported for months, the respected
Philadelphia-based Al Da newspaper and media entity first brought these shocking images to the
public on April 11, 2016 see Max Marin, Rep. Martina White screams at immigration
activists, available online at http://aldianews.com/articles/politics/immigration/rep-martinawhite-screams-immigration-activists/42983. Other news sources picked up the story and
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30 South 15th Street, 15th Floor, Philadelphia PA, 19102

Comcast (Martina White)


Page 2
October 29, 2016
promoted Whites outburst as well, including Philadelphia Magazine, BillyPenn.com, and the
Philadelphia Voice. (All of these stories featuring this video have remained online for six-plus
months. To our knowledge, no one else is being asked to cease or desist.)
More fundamentally, this footage is not protected by Pennsylvanias wiretapping law. It
was recorded in Rep. Whites public office in Harrisburg during a meeting in which she invited
these members of the public to speak to her there. Surely, she is not contending that she has the
right to conduct secret meetings in her taxpayer-funded office and shield these public acts from
public scrutiny, and no person involved in that meeting had any expectation that its contents
would be private, let alone a justifiable one.
Furthermore, Mr. Otter, himself a former Senior Deputy Attorney General in this
Commonwealth, cites neither case law nor statute to suggest that there is any possible secondary
liability for those who retransmit allegedly wiretapped content. He knows there is none. To the
contrary, the media (and this campaign) are free to disseminate this newsworthy material for the
public to assess, just as in the case of the Pentagon Papers or Wikileaks.
The public has the right to know that Martina White is just as uncivil and unkind to
recent Americans in her personal conduct as she is in her legislative actions. They deserve to see
that she can be just as hateful as Donald Trump when meeting with people affected by the
policies she seeks to advance.
As a Pennsylvania lawmaker recently said, This is what the benefit of being in America
is. Its that you have the freedom of speech. That was Martina White. In this video. And we
plan to continue to exercise our freedom of speech.

Very truly yours,

ADAM C. BONIN
cc:

Kathryn Koles, Esq., Comcast SVP


Lawrence Otter, Esq., Counsel to Rep. White