Friday, June 13, 2008



Rep. John Hall with 3 bloggers

If my memory serves me well, the first time I spoke with John Hall was when I found out Joe Lieberman was using his classic smash, "Still The One," as a campaign song in his fruitless primary campaign against Ned Lamont. Knowing John is a committed progressive, I called to warn him that the reactionary, warmongering Lieberman had misappropriated his much-loved song. Since Lieberman was still claiming-- albeit falsely-- to be a "Democrat" in 2006, even if he wasn't voting like one, Hall let it slide. Blue America endorsed him anyway, he won and has served with great distinction, one of the best of 2006's freshman class.

MSNBC is reporting that Hall just found out that one of Lieberman's closest conspirator's, John McCain, is also using his song without permission. Although Hall still isn't calling out Holy Joe, he has pointed out that song theft is just another in a long list of ways John McCain is just like George Bush (another crooked pol claiming to worship at the alter of property rights who stole "Still the One" without paying any royalties).
"This is yet another example of John McCain not learning anything from George Bush's mistakes,” Hall wrote First Read in an interview over e-mail. “First, McCain adopted Bush's failed policy of an open-ended war in Iraq, then he wrapped his arms around the failed Bush economic policies that have put the squeeze on middle class families. Now, he's making the same mistake George Bush made illegally using a copyrighted song without asking either the writers or the performers for permission."

...Hall, in fact, who was elected to Congress in 2006, demanded Bush to stop using his song in 2004, issuing cease-and-desist letters to the sitting president’s presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee.

"What is at issue here is Senator McCain's use of the song to try and advance an agenda that I do not support without respecting copyright law and intellectual property," Hall continued.

This isn’t McCain’s first run-in this cycle with a liberal rocker. An irked John Mellencamp asked the Arizona senator to delete his music from the campaign event shuffle.

In the waning days of the 2004 presidential campaign, Hall was watching television when he heard his song used at a Bush-Cheney rally.

"George Bush was busy campaigning on an 'ownership society,' yet never asked me, the band, or the publishers for permission," Hall said. "The next day attorneys for the band, the writers and the publishers all sent cease-and-desist letters to the Republican National Committee and the Bush-Cheney ’04 Campaign. By 2 p.m. that day the campaign sent out a spokesperson who said, 'In deference to Mr. Hall, we will stop using his song.'

"I hope we don't have to resort to the same actions to get Sen. McCain to stop using the song."

Not long ago I went to see Hall play some songs with his old pal, Jackson Brown but for recreation in DC, he jams in a band with Paul Hodes (D-NH) and Dave Obey (D-WI).

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At 10:55 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Republicans love the idea of "property" rights when it comes to their property. If it involves your property, they will do with it what they want.

At 2:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of Republicans as well but don't you think this is a bit disingenuous? I doubt most artists would say yes if the Repubs asked anyway since most are liberal. This, in turn, seems hypocritical since if you went into a resturant and they said they wouldn't serve you because they didn't agree with your beliefs it would be a violation of your civil rights. Any comment?


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