1st Amendment award Winner Colonel Sam Poulten (Ret.)
The Valley Patriot newspaper honored Ret. Army Colonel, Sam Poulten, owner of 980WCAP radio in Lowell with the 1st Amendment Award lat Friday for his courage to defend free speech and a free press during a 1st Amendment lawsuit filed against the station.
“It really is my honor to tell you about and then help present the 2015 Valley Patriot 1st Amendment Award,” said Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump. Bump was one of the two recipients of this award in 2014.
Bump called up Lowell Mayor Rodney Elliott and Valley Patriot columnist John MacDonald (who also hosts The Pulse on 980WCAP) to present the award saying the award was too big to do it herself.
“Each year The Valley Patriot’s 1st Amendment award is given to 2 individuals who show with their actions that they value the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.”
“Winner of this award have made a significant difference in transparency in government, acted in a bipartisan way to protect the taxpayers, and gone above and beyond the call of duty to defend and protect our right of free speech, a free PRESS, freedom of religion, and/or taking great risks to be a whistle-blower. Nominees of this award have made personal sacrifices to protect the 1st Amendment. Each nominee tonight should be very proud of their Valley Patriot nomination whether they win or not.”
John MacDonald then took the microphone and announced the 1st winner as 980WCAP Colonel Sam Poulten.
During the free speech lawsuit against 980WCAP and The Valley Patriot, which lasted 6 years, the plaintiffs offered to drop the multi-million court action against the radio station if owner Colonel Sam Poulten agreed to take Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan off the radio for good.
Poulten, despite the untold thousands of dollars it was costing him to fight the suit, told the plaintiffs that it didn’t matter how much it cost him, he was not going to take Duggan off the air for ANY reason and would defend Duggan’s right of free speech.
The lawsuit was finally settled out of court in June of 2014 without Duggan or The Valley Patriot having to pay the plaintiffs any money. Duggan remains on 980WCAP and can be heard on Saturdays from 10-noon and co-hosts The Pulse on Thursdays from 6-7pm with John MacDonald.
Colonel Sam Poulten said he was honored to receive the award, though, as a Democrat does not agree with anything Tom Duggan says on his radio show.