A Pattern of Republicans Stealing Music from Bands Who Don't Like Them

Two weeks ago we reported how dishonest Republican Senator John McCain was caught stealing 2 songs from John Mellencamp for use in his campaign to personify a third Bush term. It isn't uncommon for Republican political hacks to steal popular music from Democratic songwriters and singers. They never pay for the usage-- which is ironic since it is the Congress that sets the rates and conditions and McCain has voted on the legislation dozens of times and is certainly aware that it is a crime to just use people's music without paying royalties. Bush was caught over and over again using popular songs from Democrats in his campaigns and he was repeatedly asked to cease and desist. Even back in 1984 Reagan was caught using Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," an anti-Vietnam War anthem for his campaign, although he eventually stopped when Springsteen said he would sue him if he kept using it.

The latest GOP thief is Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee, who's been stealing music from the popular rock band Boston. Barry Goudreau, who was in the band early on, before being fired in 1980, is a Huckabee supporter; he didn't write "More Than A Feeling" or any other Boston songs. The songwriter is band leader Tom Scholz, and, like John Mellencamp, he isn't amused to find his music (the classic "More Than A Feeling") being used to push the Republicans' reactionary and bigoted agenda. He wrote to Huckabee and demanded he stop. Huckabee refuses.

"You have taken something of mine and used it to promote ideas to which I am opposed," Mr. Scholz wrote. "In other words, I think I've been ripped off, dude!" In response, Fred Bramante, who was chairman of Mr. Huckabee's New Hampshire primary campaign, said: "Governor Huckabee plays 'Sweet Home Alabama.' Does that mean Lynyrd Skynyrd is endorsing him?"
They probably do. But that's up to them. Scholz is insisting... and he wrote the campaign and explained that "Boston has never endorsed a political candidate, and with all due respect, would not start by endorsing a candidate who is the polar opposite of most everything Boston stands for." Scholz likes Obama's positions and hopes to vote for him to be president but doesn't plan to use Boston to push him.

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