As you may remember, Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz had mentioned that fans wearing WWE merchandise to Connecticut polls might be turned away on a case by case basis. First Vince McMahon threw a fit. Today, he filed a lawsuit.
"On behalf of myself, my company, WWE® fans and any Connecticut citizen who wants to exercise their constitutional right to vote, I have filed a lawsuit today asserting that Susan Bysiewicz's directive that allows poll workers to refuse registered voters wearing WWE merchandise the right to vote is a flagrant act of censorship and discrimination," said Vince McMahon, Chairman and CEO, World Wrestling Entertainment.
"The moment Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz issued an un-American, unconstitutional and discriminatory directive prohibiting voters from wearing WWE® merchandise at the polls, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal should have immediately stepped in to enforce the law. As a result of the Attorney General's inaction, I brought suit to enforce these basic, fundamental constitutional rights. Within hours of filing the lawsuit, Blumenthal recused himself, and Bysiewicz reversed her position and immediately notified all Local Registrar of Voters and Town Clerks via email. I am pleased that Connecticut voters have had their freedom of expression and their right to vote restored," said Vince McMahon, Chairman and CEO, World Wrestling Entertainment®.
As you might expect, that's not the whole story. Cue the Hartford Courant:
The office of attorney general Richard Blumenthal is responsble for defending the secretary of the state's office in the case. But Blumenthal, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate and Linda McMahon's opponent, has recused himself, his office said.
"Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has recused himself from this case," Deputy Attorney General Carolyn K. Querijero said. Querijero added, "We will review the lawsuit and consult with the Secretary of the State's Office."
Bysiewicz's office last week said poll workers will have the discretion of asking voters wearing WWE paraphernalia to cover it up or go home and change before entering the voting area.
A spokesman for the office, Av Harris, stressed that no one will be prevented from casting their ballot. However state law stipulates that political signs and messages be kept at least 75 feet away from the polls and some WWE merchandise could potentially be deemed "political" because Linda McMahon, the company's former CEO, is on the ballot.
The discussion about election day attire came up because the WWE brand "is so ubiquitously associated with the McMahons,'' Av Harris, spokesman for Bysiewicz, said last week.
Harris said each instance will be examined on a case by case basis, and will be left to the discretion of local poll workers.
Jerry McDevitt has to know this is ridiculous...right? RIGHT?