For Immediate Release
Contact: Chairman Tom Donelson
Lawyers from Dick Durbin’s campaign have sent letters to radio stations across Illinois demanding that they stop running an ad by Americas PAC or face losing their FCC broadcasting licenses.
“Obviously Americas PAC has hit on an issue that works,” said Americas PAC Chairman Tom Donelson. “And just like he has in the past, Dick Durbin is trying to use every tool at his disposal to stifle free speech.”
Tom Donelson predicted in April that Durbin would use threats and intimidation against Americas PAC’s efforts.
Last week Americas PAC began airing a radio ad in Illinois highlighting the wage gap in Durbin’s senate office. You can hear the ad by using the audio player below.
An analysis by the Washington Free Beacon and reports in the Washington Times show that on average, Dick Durbin pays his female staffers less than men.
In speeches on the Senate Floor in support of the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act, Senator Durbin frequently states that “women earn seventy-seven cents for every dollar earned by men.” The “seventy-seven cents” figure used by Durbin is calculated by comparing the total earnings of all men and all women with no regard to hours worked, types of work performed and the many of other legal and legitimate factors which can affect pay.
“Why would Democrat US Senator Dick Durbin use a grossly inaccurate statistic to mislead women and push his legislative agenda, then cry foul when the same math is used against him in a political ad?” asked Donelson. “Others just used the same math as Durbin, but applied it to his Senate Staff. If it weren’t for the double standards, Democrats like Dick Durbin would have no standards at all.”
Analysis of Senate Staff payroll by the Washington Free Beacon found that in 2012 Durbin “paid men $13,063 more, a difference of 23 percent.”
“So, when Durbin says ‘women earn seventy-seven cents for every dollar earned by men’ it could also be an accurate description of the pay of his US Senate Staff in 2012,” Donelson said. “I eagerly await the news media asking Senator Durbin directly about his staff’s pay.”
A letter from the Washington D.C. law firm Perkins Coie LLP on behalf of Durbin’s campaign does not refute the findings of the Washington Free Beacon that, overall, men are paid more than women on Durbin’s staff. It merely provides examples that for various positions on Durbin’s staff, men and women are paid equally or in some cases women are paid more.
“It is curious how Durbin attempts—but fails—to use a proper analysis of wages to defend himself, but a misleading analysis when pushing legislation that is little more than a payoff to trial lawyers,” Donelson said. “A week ago in a press release I stated, ‘I am eager to hear Durbin’s explanation of why his female staffers are paid less than male staffers.’ The answer, though not given directly, is close to what I expected. I was hoping for something more like the one given by the White House when they were caught with their own wage gap problem. I just wish Durbin would apply the same standard he uses defending himself to private businesses.”
Since 1963 the Equal Pay Act has made it illegal to pay men and women with the same experience differently for equal work. The new legislation pushed by Democrats, known as the Paycheck Fairness Act, does not change the premise of that long-standing law, but just makes it easier for trial lawyers earn money from class action lawsuits.
“Dick Durbin’s crony capitalism and hypocrisy are on full display,” Donelson said.
Key provisions of the proposed act would not apply to the Federal Government.
“This isn’t about equal pay. This is about paying off trial lawyers,” Donelson said. “Simply put, Dick Durbin and the Democrats are hypocritically pretending to be champions of equal pay so they can line the pockets of trial lawyers who donate to their campaigns.”
Americas PAC has no intent of voluntarily pulling the ad.
FCC licensed stations are regulated by the Federal Government. Senator Durbin has shown a willingness to target political groups that disagree with the Obama agenda. In 2012 Durbin requested the IRS review groups engaged in issue advocacy.
“If anything, we’ll increase the buy,” Donelson said. “And even if the stations knuckle under to the threats of Senator Durbin and his lawyers, Americas PAC will continue to run ads highlighting Senator Durbin’s and the President’s wage gap problems and hypocrisy. We’re scripting an even harder hitting ad already.”
“It is not surprising that an entity licensed by the federal government would be unlikely to want to risk censure by Durbin, the President and their allies,” Donelson said.
A full copy of the letter sent by Durbin’s lawyers to radio stations threatening their FCC broadcasting licenses is here.
“Democrats threatening broadcasters or a political group’s right to free speech should not be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention,” Donelson said. “Senator Harry Reid has called for a Constitutional Amendment to ban political free speech, but really only the speech of their opponents, groups like Americas PAC. I’m sure they will carve out an exemption for the $100 million dollars Tom Steyer plans on spending.”