'This is illegal': Tom Petty’s estate slams Kari Lake for using his music to 'promote her failed campaign'

'This is illegal': Tom Petty’s estate slams Kari Lake for using his music to 'promote her failed campaign'
Tom Petty in 2010 (Wikimedia COmmons)

More than a few times, rock musicians who are known for their liberal or progressive politics have objected to their songs being used by Republican politicians without their permission. Bruce Springsteen has made it abundantly clear that his 1985 hit “Born in the USA” has a liberal message; it’s about a Vietnam veteran’s financial struggles when he comes home, not an ode to right-wing jingoism. And The Boss hates it when Republicans take his song out of context.

The late Tom Petty, who died in 2017, was known for his liberal politics and objected to his 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down” being used by George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign. And now, Petty’s estate is, according to HuffPost, objecting to far-right MAGA Republican Kari Lake using that song in a video after losing to Democrat Katie Hobbs in Arizona’s 2022 gubernatorial race.

Lake made the Big Lie and election denialism the centerpiece of her campaign, repeatedly promoting the false and debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. Lake’s critics feared that she would do the same thing if Hobbs won that race, and sure enough, she is vowing to fight the election results in court. Lake, so far, has refused to concede to Hobbs.

READ MORE: Kari Lake claims supporters were 'disenfranchised'

In a post-election video, Lake sounds very Trumpian when she tells her supporters, “I’m busy collecting evidence and data. Rest assured, I have assembled the best and brightest legal team. And we are exploring every avenue to correct the many wrongs that have been done this past week.”

Lake used “I Won’t Back Down” to express her determination to fight the election results. And in a scathing tweet posted on Thursday, November 17, Petty’s estate wrote, “The Tom Petty estate and our partners were shocked to find out that Tom’s song ‘I Won’t Back Down’ was stolen and used without permission or a license to promote Kari Lake’s failed campaign. This is illegal. We are exploring all of our legal options to stop this unauthorized use and to prohibit future misappropriations of Tom’s beloved anthem. Thank you to all of the fans who brought this to our attention and who help us protect his legacy every day.”

Reporting in HuffPost, journalist Lee Moran explains, “Former TV news anchor Lake lost the race for Arizona governor to Democratic rival Katie Hobbs. She has refused to concede. Instead, Lake has taken pages from Donald Trump’s playbook of lies by questioning the result and baselessly claiming voter fraud. Trump endorsed Lake, and she has been one of the most high-profile promoters of his 2020 election conspiracy theories.”

Petty, who was 66 when he died, became a major rock star in the late 1970s and is remembered for hits that include not only “I Won’t Back Down,” but also, “Don’t Do Me Like That” in 1979, “Refugee” in 1980, “The Waiting” in 1981 and “Free Fallin’” in 1989.

READ MORE: 'McCain Republicans vote too': Liz Cheney and Meghan McCain are savoring Kari Lake’s defeat

Lake has been a highly polarizing figure in Arizona politics. Her gubernatorial campaign made her a prominent figure in the MAGA movement, yet she has more than her share of critics on both the left and the right. After Lake lost to Hobbs, some well-known conservatives celebrated the outcome, including GOP activist Meghan McCain (the daughter of the late Republican Sen. John McCain) and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Cheney has been a scathing critic of Lake, emphasizing that her false claims about the 2020 election are toxic for democracy.

READ MORE: 'Selling the Big Lie': Reporter unloads on Kari Lake after her campaign ends in defeat

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