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Ives TV ad may violate West Point’s rules

Thursday, Mar 8, 2018

* Rep. Jeanne Ives’ recent TV ad (click here) includes a quote from West Point’s cadet code: “I will not lie, cheat or steal.” The West Point name is carefully avoided by the narrator, but

* Let’s zoom in

* The West Point logo

* From West Point’s website

The United States Military Academy logo, other licensed logos, the academy colors and typefaces make up the foundation of our visual identity. The academy’s name, wordmark and logo are trademarks and property of the Department of Army, for exclusive use and licensing rights of the United States Military Academy at West Point. These elements may only be used by authorized units of West Point or through the CLC.

Even if the black and white version of the logo is OK, the academy’s name is clearly visible in the Ives ad.

Ives’ campaign did not respond despite repeated requests. West Point’s PR folks haven’t called back despite four calls since yesterday (I couldn’t even get to a live human voice on the other end). I’ll let you know if anyone ever responds.

* Related…

* Win or Lose in GOP Primary for Governor, Jeanne Ives Helps Push Illinois to the Right - Top donors, operatives abandon Rauner and put their money with conservative crusader

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Who - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    A black and white image in a matter that has shades of grey!
    Typical for Illinois!! /s

  2. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 11:59 am:

    Who knew that she could smile.

  3. - Anon324 - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    It looks from this sheet that the black and white version is also a licensed trademark of the USMA.

    The licensing information for external users (which Ives is at this point) states in relevant part “5. The following use of USMA Indicia is strictly prohibited: … use promotes, supports, or endorses political activity, ideological movements, religious beliefs, or specific interpretations of morality; or use that is contrary to community relations objectives.”

    Unless she got permission to use it, which seems unlikely given the exclusion above and the lack of disclaimer, the “will not steal” part doesn’t seem to extend to intellectual property.

  4. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:04 pm:

    The black and white version is included on the indicia sheet.

    In addition, the rules for external use are very clear: “The following use of USMA Indicia is strictly prohibited: use that…promotes, supports, or endorses political activity…)”

    So much for following the code of the Academy.

  5. - JS Mill - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    So much for honor and integrity.

  6. - Nick Name - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    What is it with Republicans and misappropriation of government logos/symbols? Just this week, it broke that coffee mugs for sale in the Trump Tower gift shop bear the Presidential Seal, and that a company down south is manufacturing tee markers bearing the Presidential Seal for use at Trump resort golf courses.

    Imagine the outrage from the Right Wing noise machine if Democrats were doing this.

  7. - Shake-n-Hammer - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    She served her country. I respect her for that. I have zero respect for Rauner. As a lifelong republican I will vote for J.B. Pritzker if Ives does not make it past the primary.

  8. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:14 pm:

    AA’s many military relatives would also frown on the uniform in a campaign ad, though I’m not sure if there is a blanket prohibition for those no longer serving.

  9. - njt - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:14 pm:

    Check out the bottom of the ProPublica piece, JB already at $34.3m spent and that doesn’t even include 2018. Interesting to see Rauner at $46.4m as well. Just thought they were interesting data points.

  10. - Nick Name - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    Also, the ad’s picture of Ives wearing her West Point uniform: the DOD definitely has rules prohibiting the use of U.S. military uniforms for political purposes. Utterly despicable. Disgraceful.

  11. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    Not voting for Ives but I hope Rauner doesn’t succeed in making a big deal on this. It’s not like it’s a stolen valor situation.

    Surprised West Point isn’t coming down harder on this though given how hard they have come against the Vegas hockey team over trademarks.

  12. - Iggy - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    I am surprised that her yard signs didn’t incorporate her military service in some way shape or form.

    Side note, her yard sign game is on point in Dupage County. But I still haven’t gotten a call or door knock. Come on Jeanne I’m a reliable Republican voter, let’s see some grass roots.

  13. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    She knows better. Points lost.

  14. - don the legend - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    Didn’t Sam McCann’s Rauner backed opponent get in trouble for wearing his (State Police?) uniform in campaign ads?

  15. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    –West Point’s PR folks haven’t called back despite four calls since yesterday (I couldn’t even get to a live human voice on the other end).–

    What the heck? It’s their job to respond — the duty part.

  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:20 pm:

    Possible I might lie and cheat, and documented that I steal.

  17. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    I got curious so I did a USPTO search.

    While it is definitely a copy of the logo, and while the Army clearly have prior use, the Army only applied for Registered Trademark status in 2016. As of January 2018 the applications are most of the way through the process; conditionally approved and published for the objection period.

    So while Ives is using a West Point trademark and probably violating school / Army policy, she can argue she is in a bit of gray area as the use.

    I’m not a patent or trademark lawyer, and I’m not saying it is ethical, just that there may be a bit of legal wiggle room at the moment.

  18. - A Jack - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    AA, you are correct that the uniform is also prohibited from political advertising. The uniform can only be used for parades and veteran ceremonies.

    The rationale is that the US Army doesn’t want to be seen endorsing anyone or anything. But like the State Police uniform ordeal of two years ago, I doubt anything will come of it.

  19. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:26 pm:

    I don’t care what she does with the logo, I just hope she doesn’t use private email for public matters. That would be a big bright red shining blinking boundary she shouldn’t cross.

  20. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    == Surprised West Point isn’t coming down harder on this though given how hard they have come against the Vegas hockey team over trademarks. ==


    Wonder if that action prompted the Army to start the registered trademark process in 2016?

  21. - redleg - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:10 pm:

    IF I am reading it correctly, it’s probably a violation of the Lanham Act and if so she is a member of a large club of violators, millions of veterans, myself included, who have put/used their military unit or emblem on/for public display without DoD permission.

  22. - d.p.gumby - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:16 pm:

    W/ t-45 selling stuff w/ the presidential seal against the law, but hard to go after Ives…

  23. - Stand Tall - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:16 pm:


  24. - Practical Politics - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    @Nick Name:

    Are you going to call out Tammy Duckworth too? Many candidates have violated the law against using uniform photos in campaign advertising and publicity materials.

  25. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:24 pm:

    Oh the humanity.
    Next we’ll discover that she has once had impure thoughts and has enjoyed marital relations with her husband.

  26. - BigDoggie - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:27 pm:

    Well, it doesn’t quite rise to the level of hiding tens of millions in offshore accounts…

    She served, and should be respected for doing so.

  27. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    I wouldn’t vote for her, but I am impressed with the school and her service. As far as violation of the rules - her political marketing has been clumsy so far.

  28. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:39 pm:

    There are very sound reasons in the American democracy why you do not want politicians campaigning in uniform.

    The example of taking off the uniform before entering politics originated with Washington. See “Cincinnatus: George Washington and the Enlightenment” by Garry Wills.

  29. - old time golfer - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:39 pm:

    So much for that honor and integrity thing. In other words Dan Proft has converted her to his world

  30. - Al - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:45 pm:

    I am going to give Ives a pass on this. She served and is running against a guy who refused to engage in passing a budget and uses sealed FBI wiretap tapes in TV advertisements in the other parties primary. Go team Ives.

  31. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    Don’t stop there-ZOOM even closer and you can almost see a shape resembling the outline of Stonehedge, which definately exposes Ives of being an “ancient astronaut”.

  32. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:50 pm:

    I’ve ran Ives TV ad backwards.
    If you do, you can clearly hear Michael Madigan’s voice saying, “Paul is dead”.

  33. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    Another odd thing…
    If you run Ives ad without the sound and play “Dark Side of the Moon”, it synchs perfectly.

  34. - VerySmallRocks - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:07 pm:

    If Colonel Nathan Jessup, the Jack Nicholson character in “A Few Good Men” ever ran for office, the Ives campaign mode is something I would envision him doing.

  35. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Nick Name and Practical Politics, one CAN wear uniforms in campaigns, with a disclosure.

  36. - Pieroge tirebiter - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    It’s not like these were sealed in a federal case like the tapes Brucie is using.
    I give her a pass.

  37. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    I have not heard anything about what she actually did on active duty. Curious.

  38. - Practical Politics - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    @The Big Bad Wolf:
    Thanks for the clarification, but my point still is that this has to be one of the most frequently violated laws or regulations on the use of military symbols that I am aware of. Duckworth, Kirk, Dudcyz, and so many others have violated or attempted to skirt this rule or that of the American Legion which (unsuccessfully) tries to enforce the rule that candidates do not use its symbols or uniform caps in campaigns. The Legion is a nonpartisan organization and does not wish to imply that that it endorses candidates.

  39. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    ==Oh the humanity. Next we’ll discover that she has once had impure thoughts and has enjoyed marital relations with her husband.==

    ==Are you going to call out Tammy Duckworth too? ==

    It’s the juxtaposition of the military uniform and West Point logo with the honor code quote that trips people off. She could use the imagery or quote the code, but when she uses both next to each other, it crosses the blatant line on the hypocrisy spectrum.

  40. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:42 pm:

    It baffles me why so many put so much blind faith in the those that serve in the military

  41. - Demoralized - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    ==Are you going to call out Tammy Duckworth too?==

    No matter the topic there’s always a victim.

  42. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 4:45 pm:

    ==Who knew that she could smile.==

    Happy International Women’s Day.

    Run a google image search. Pretty standard facial expressions for a politician.

  43. - Winnin’ - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 4:48 pm:

    The ad works for Ives in many ways.
    She’s not lying when she says she doesn’t care about West Point’s rules.
    Kinda Trump-like.

  44. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 7:34 pm:

    Ives would probably get a “conduct unbecoming” from The Point if they knew, not just for abusing the logo, but for many of the things she’s said on the floor of the House.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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