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Johnson: Wilson making false statements

September 26, 2012
By DEANNE JOHNSON - Special to the Herald-Star , The Herald-Star

LISBON - First, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson's campaign accused Charlie Wilson of making false statements against Johnson in Wilson's bid to potentially unseat the man who knocked him out of office two years ago.

Wilson's campaign this week made its own claims of false statements by the Johnson campaign.

The two are facing off in the 6th District race in the Nov. 6 election.

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In a press release issued Monday, Wilson campaign manager J.R. Starrett alleged the first press release last week from Johnson's campaign had two false statements.

"Congressman Johnson's campaign has made false statement in an effort to inflate the truth," said Starrett in Monday's release. "This is nothing but political theater, and the constituents of the 6th Congressional District deserve more."

The first claimed that if the full panel of the Ohio Elections Commission would find Wilson guilty of making false statements, "the violation is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail."

A campaign spokesman for Johnson, R-Marietta, stood behind the statement on Monday. Mark Weaver pointed out all violations in the section of the Ohio Revised Code that they are accusing Wilson of violating are first degree misdemeanors punishable up to six months in jail.

The second claim Wilson's campaign is calling foul is the claim by the Johnson campaign that Wilson was served with a subpoena. After checking with Starrett, it was reported as of Friday Starrett denied Wilson had yet to receive a subpoena.

Weaver said their press release actually said a deposition subpoena, which is issued by lawyers seeking statements in a case. He continues to contend Wilson has been issued a deposition subpoena.

The initial claim by Johnson's campaign of false statements by Wilson's campaign was based on an advertisement where Wilson, a St. Clairsville Democrat, claimed Johnson voted to kill Medicare. Starrett continues to claim Johnson voted to kill Medicare "as we know it." He claims the advertisement was actually a YouTube advertisement, which may not be held to the same standards as television advertisements.

However, a press release issued by Starrett on Sept. 10 called the advertisement a TV ad.

The campaigns now each claim the other has been called before the Ohio Elections Commission. Wilson reportedly went before a four-person panel, which last week unanimously found probable cause to send the matter to the full panel. Now, Wilson's staff is reporting Johnson will be called before a three-person panel this morning.

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