Posted: November 3, 2012 at 7:30 am

ATP Sends Mailers Impersonating Unions to Attack Union-Endorsed Candidates

The American Traditions Partnership has run afoul of the law again.  They’ve sent mailers impersonating unions– using the unions’ logos–to attack local candidates that the unions have actually endorsed.

Yesterday, the Teamsters Local 190 sent a cease and desist letter to ATP saying the must immediately stop using the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen logo, among others.

As KBZK Bozeman reports, one of the races these mailers have appeared in is Livingston’s House District 62, where TEA Party Rep. Dan Skattum is running against democratic challenger Reilly Neill. AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Al Ekblad said of the ATP mailers, which can be seen on the KBZK website:

“Most of what of what they have done has been vile, malicious, but in this case, it’s illegal, it infringes on federal copyright laws, it is challenged under the trademark laws.”

You can read the Teamsters cease and desist letter [PDF] here.  Other unions have also sent cease and desist letters.

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that ATP bank records showed anti-union groups were among ATP’s largest funders.

40 comments

  1. Madeliana

    Wait, wait, wait. I don’t like ATP doing out of state shadowy things, right? & they definitely should NOT have used the legally copyrighted material w/o authorization.

    However, look at those flyers. There is no way they’re purporting to be the unions, they’re just trying to come from the angle of “hey, if you’re a member of these unions you shouldn’t like x candidate b/c they aren’t good for MT Jobs”. Now THAT is what we can debate, not whether they’re purporting to be the unions themselves.

    But hey, looks like they got their hands more than full w/ irking the teamsters alone on this one! Had family in IBT 50 years ago- the stories….

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      “However, look at those flyers. There is no way they’re purporting to be the unions,”

      Bullshit. These flyers are EXACTLY what they appear to be, an attempt to imply that they are union sent!

        • Madeliana

          I mean seriously, using half a dozen different union logos smacked on there and the argument is that they were trying to come off as half a dozen unions writing together?

          Copyright infringement, totes. Otherwise, it’s stretching a bit far at best.

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

            Um, Ms. I-had-union-family-members-for-fifty-years, you are simply full of shit! And a phony. And it shows. Ya don’t get to use union logos unLESS your union! Next, you’ll be puttin’ on a green beret and tellin’ us you got bin Laden!

            bwahahahahaahahahahahahahaa!

            What a dumbazz. But HEY, I think it’s great that these dumb bastards got the union boys riled! BTW, I’m a member of Local 2. Have been a Teamster since about ’82. Great granddad, granddad, and dad all fought and FORMED UMWA 6417. Check it out, dipshit, before you spout horseshit! NO union man or woman would approve of this tactic!

          • Hi-Liner

            I respectfully suggest that you put down the crack pipe. Using a group’s logo implies they endorse the message.

            • Madeliana

              Larry, you know that nagging feeling when someone is wrong on the internet? I’m sure you get it a lot, you’re on here enough to have likely done a portion of your posts on the toilet. But I don’t mind, I value your banter. I hate to say it but I agree, no one in the union would approve of this! I’m sure Hoffa Jr. will, how do you say, take care of business?

              http://xkcd.com/386/

              “High”-Liner, while I appreciate your concern, this latest stash you sold me is top-grade and I will not.

              I am of the firm belief that the Montanans who have endured 10s of 1000s of ads and mail this cycle and are members of their unions won’t be dumb enough to be mislead by this mail. I am further certain that the majority will know who their union-endorsed candidate is.

              See, we’re not so different you and I. The only thing is, I come from the perspective that ATP did something wrong and that union members aren’t stupid. You, however, have a slight difference of opinion than me.

              :)

  2. Jan Thomas

    Wrong- when u see a flyer that says if u believe in x cause don’t vote for this person, it’s always from a group supporting that cause.

  3. Jan Thomas

    People would have also thought the mailers came from these unions because it isn’t legal to use another organizations logo, –of course, when your dealing with ATP breaking the law is nothing to them

  4. Havre Voter

    Go to KBZK and look at the mailer yourself, its a banner of union logos above people in hard hats warning those in support of labor movement to beware of the democratic candidate in the race–the candidate that these unions endorsed.

  5. Grandma Jeanie

    This is why we need to elect candidates like Steve Bullock, Jon Tester, and Pam Bucy to put an end to this kind of deception at once. I’m using this as motivation to get out the vote.

  6. Ingemar Johansson

    Public Service Announcement

    Don’t forget to change your clocks Sat night.

    And change your President Tuesday.

  7. Publius II

    Romney, Rehberg and Ryan would have us believe the Earth is still flat I suppose and we can go back to sun-dials, but that would’nt work, as R x 3 probably believe the Earth is the center of the universe to fit in with
    their supporters who believe the Earth only 4,000 years old while the ‘Big Oil’ friends they worship KNOW the truth
    about fossil ages, etc.

  8. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    HOLY CRAP! IRS tell’s Holy Roman Kiddy Diddlers to fork it over or STFU!

    Wow! Guess that the Kiddy Diddlers should stick to what they do best, stickin’ it to ALTAR boys!….and girls!

    Can imprecatory prayers be far behind?

    All I can say is it’s about time! Now go after the Family Values crowd too! Let’s get America BACK on track, and put the christofascists BACK in their place! Do it for the Founding Fathers!

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/11/04/u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-faces-irs-complaint-over-partisan-advocacy/

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/11/04/u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-faces-irs-complaint-over-partisan-advocacy/

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  11. Reilly Neill

    Well folks, I won this election by over 300 votes and ATP (who put out these flyers) is now disbanded. I’m sure another group will be born to live another day and do the same dirty work here in Montana. The baseline is: if you know your constituency and you’re a good candidate there’s no guarantee you’ll get to serve your district. It’s even less likely if some group spends thousands of dollars to spread lies about you and undermines your character. I know I had to win back dozens of votes with my word and my integrity alone in the last days of the election. I never stooped to ugly tactics once in my campaign. Now I sit in the State House and I’m appalled at how many legislators create and vote on legislation that’s simply terrible. I honestly don’t think these bills came from constituents and if these constituents had any idea what goes on up here they’d on a whole be appalled. We are working together on good bills. But the bad bills would make some pretty convincing negative ads in two years. And these ads would only have to speak the truth.