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Warned by Justice Department, WWE Cancels Voter Giveaways

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fan appreciation mcmahon ap photo jessica hill1 Warned by Justice Department, WWE Cancels Voter Giveaways

AP Photo Jessica Hill

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ World Wrestling Entertainment says it has reluctantly agreed to stop plans to give away merchandise to Connecticut voters after receiving a warning from the U.S. Justice Department.

In a letter dated Monday, Richard C. Pilger, director of the agency’s election crimes branch, warned WWE officials that the wrestling company might be operating in ignorance of federal criminal law that prevents offering an individual a thing of value in return for voting.

Vince McMahon, husband of Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon, called the warning “heavy handed bullying” by the government.

He had announced plans to give away WWE merchandise at selected polling places after a federal judge informed the secretary of the state that WWE fans could wear their gear to the polls.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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