BATON ROUGE, La., March 17 (UPI) -- The state of Louisiana is suing MoveOn.org, accusing the policy group of a trademark violation for using the state's tourism logo and motto.
Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said the lawsuit against the left-leaning group came after MoveOn.org refused to stop using the tourism logo and the slogan, "Pick Your Passion," on billboards and TV ads critical of Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Monday.
"We have invested millions of dollars in identifying the Louisiana: Pick Your Passion brand with all that is good about Louisiana. No group should be allowed to use the brand for its own purposes, especially if it is for partisan political posturing," Dardenne said in a statement announcing the suit.
"MoveOn.org has every right to attack Gov. Jindal, the state's refusal to accept Medicaid or, for that matter, me personally. But they do not have the right to use our protected service mark, which is used solely for the purpose of promoting and marketing Louisiana. We own the mark and its use is under the direction of my office, not the Office of the Governor."
Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, said the organization has not yet received notice of the complaint.
However, she said if press reports are accurate, "it is very sad to see the state spend taxpayer money on a frivolous lawsuit instead of providing healthcare to the people of Louisiana."
"Once our lawyers receive and have a chance to fully review the complaint we will have more to say. In the meantime, we strongly urge Governor Jindal to do the right thing and allow 242,000 Louisianans to access Medicaid," she said.