WWE sent out the following press release:
ON EVE OF ELECTIONS, WWE THREATENED BY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
STAMFORD, Conn., November 1, 2010
STAMFORD, Conn., November 1, 2010– Not so coincidently after President Obama's visit to Connecticut this past weekend and on the eve of the midterm elections, WWE® is being threatened by the U.S. Department of Justice of the Obama Administration (see attached letter) with potential criminal activity for distributing WWE t-shirts near select polling stations tomorrow on Election Day.
"This is clearly heavy-handed bullying from big government and would appear to be desperate political activity in closely contested elections in Connecticut," said Vince McMahon, Chairman and CEO World Wrestling Entertainment. "This is consistent with some Attorney Generals' tactics that threaten litigation for political gain."
Under this ambiguous threat of legal action by the U.S. Department of Justice, WWE has reluctantly decided not to give away WWE merchandise near select polling stations tomorrow.
The controversy began with Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz's directive stating "if poll workers feel like the wearing of WWE paraphernalia is in any way interfering with the voting process, they can ask the individual to cover it up or come back with something else on." The directive was ultimately overturned by a Federal Judge last week. Subsequently, to celebrate the victory of restoring voters' rights, WWE had planned to give away WWE merchandise at select polls to anyone regardless of political affiliation or whether they intended to vote.
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