[Press Release: Marlboro/Miller Beer Boycott] Page: 1 of 2
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9 March 1991 Contact: Robert Lowe (415) 861-7131
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Bill Haskell (415) 626-3333
Fax: Robert Lowe (415) 431-1456
Controversial, Politically-Charged FEC Investigation
of ACT UP and The Marlboro/Miller Beer Boycott
In response to a complaint brought by the Committee to Re-Elect Jesse Helms, a political action committee of
the Conservative Campaign Fund (CCF), the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is investigating four organizations
in relation to the boycott of Marlboro cigarettes and Miller Beer.
The groups being investigated are ACT UP/San Francisco, ACT UP/Washington, D.C., the Dallas Gay Alliance
and the Tarrant County (Texas) Gay Alliance. The CCF complaint says these groups promoted the boycott as part
of a "conspiracy" to defeat Jesse Helms' re-election as U.S. Senator from North Carolina.
Consunwr avcotisere a forof protectedspeechkWe believe the FEC investigation serves no purpose other
than to harass lesbian, gay and AIDS activists. The FEC has sent each group a list of interrogatories in a discovery
request for information and documents. While some of the FEC's questions deal with the boycott, others are intrusive
demands for information that reveal the political nature of the investigation and suggest its actual motive: disruption
of an activist, grassroots political organization at the behest of Jesse Helms, a man who promoted the most
disgusting and obvious racism and homphobia in his last campaign ads in order to preserve a desperately slim
margin of victory.
DON'T LET HELMS GET AWAY WITH MURDER
URGENT, ON-GOING LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGN
Write to the Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, John Warren McGarry, 999 E Street, N.W. Wash-
ington, D.C. 20463. The message you send should emphasize:
" YOUR INVESTIGATION OF ACT UP CONSTITUTES HARASSMENT OF A GRASSROOTS
POLITICAL ORGANIZATION FIGHTING THE AIDS PANDEMIC.
" I FURTHER BEUEVE THIS INVESTIGATION SUPPORTS THE ATTACK BY JESSE HELMS AND
THE ULTRA RIGHT WING ON GAY AND AIDS ORGANZATIONS.
" YOUR INVESTIGATION INFRINGES UPON THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO ORGANIZE
CONSUMER BOYCOTTS OR VOICE POUTICAL OPPOSITION.
" STOP THE HARRASSMENT.
" CALL OFF THE INVESTIGATION.
To have the FEC used by Helms and his supporters as an instrument to harass lesbian, gay and AIDS activists
is an affront to freedom of expression, an abuse of due process, and a dangerous escalation in the politics of
repression on the part of the Executive Branch. We urge you not to allow this attack on political freedom to go
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ACT UP. [Press Release: Marlboro/Miller Beer Boycott], text, March 9, 1991; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc851794/m1/1/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.