COLUMBUS, Ohio– An attorney says candidates for public office in Ohio can lie and get away with it under a recently upheld 2014 federal court ruling that struck down state law banning false statements in campaigns.
Attorney Donald Brey has represented Republicans in cases before the Ohio Elections Commission. He tells The Columbus Dispatch his clients can legally lie as long as they don’t defame anyone.
In past elections, the elections commission would rule on false-advertising complaints. But a federal appeals court a few weeks ago upheld a ruling that found Ohio’s law violated the First Amendment.
The commission says it has had to turn away calls from local and state candidates alleging false-advertising claims.
Those candidates must now file a defamation lawsuit, which could be more difficult to prove