Political notebook: Singer upset over McCain's use of song in TV ad - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Political notebook: Singer upset over McCain's use of song in TV ad

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Posted: Saturday, August 16, 2008 9:34 pm | Updated: 10:25 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The deep thinkers in presidential candidate John McCain's campaign and at the Republican Party apparently weren't running on enough coffee recently.

Read Paul Giblin's political blog

Singer Jackson Browne filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in a California court on Thursday for using his signature song "Running on Empty" in a TV commercial that mocks Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Cue the sound of a record scratching.

Here's the first paragraph of the 14-page complaint:

"Jackson Browne ... is a world-renowned singer and songwriter whose politically and socially charged songs have reached audiences since the 1960s. As influential and enduring as his music is Browne's legacy (is) as an advocate for social and environmental justice. Throughout Browne's career, he has closely associated himself with liberal causes and Democratic political candidates. Indeed, Browne has spent significant time throughout his career raising public awareness for such causes. Browne brings this action in order to vindicate an egregious, intentional false association created by agents of the presumptive Republican candidate for President of the United States, Senator John McCain ... suggesting that Browne sponsors and endorses McCain; a false association that directly conflicts with the political and social values that Browne has espoused and supported throughout his career."

No doubt that after the GOP attorneys read that they cried out, "Doctor, my eyes!"

There’s no better way bring home the issue of high gas prices than to campaign for the U.S. House in the geographically challenging 1st Congressional District. The district is larger than Illinois.

Democratic candidate Ann Kirkpatrick was certain to gain a new appreciation for gas prices during a 1,078-mile, 11-day road trip with stops in 37 towns.

The first phase from Aug. 6-11 swung through Eloy, Toltec, Casa Grande, Coolidge, Florence, Superior, Kearny, San Manuel, Mammoth, Oracle, Safford, Thatcher, Pima, Clifton, Morenci, San Carlos, Globe, Miami and Claypool in the southern portion of the district.

The second phase, which began Friday and is set to finish on Tuesday, goes through Prescott, Jerome, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Sedona, Payson, Pine, Strawberry, Camp Verde, Rim Rock, Winslow, Holbrook, St. Johns, Springerville, Eagar, McNary, Show Low, Lakeside and Snowflake in the northern reaches of the district.

“Arizona’s families need immediate relief from skyrocketing gas and grocery prices, rising health care costs and increasing unemployment,” said the former state representative.

On her Web site, she says this about energy policy:

“Not only do we pay a lot for oil, the fumes from burning it are bad for the environment. Our dependence on foreign oil is putting America in a precarious position both economically and in terns of national security. America uses 21 million barrels of oil every day.”

And this:

“Oil and energy companies have a self interest in keeping our energy policy, high fuel prices, and their huge profits. They have used their lobbyists and political money to fight fuel efficient cars and the development of renewable energy.”

Kirkpatrick’s mode of transportation for the 1,078-mile venture is a something-considerably-less-than-fuel efficient 2004 Ford Explorer. The gas hog SUV gets 10 to 14 miles per gallon in the city, and 14 to 20 miles per gallon on the highway depending on the specific model, according to U.S. Department of Energy.

Kirkpatrick is just one of several candidates from both parties criss-crossing the district trying to lock up the open 1st District seat. Republican incumbent Rick Renzi is focusing his attention on defending himself against federal public corruption charges rather than running for re-election.

The district takes in vast portions of northern, central and eastern portions of the state, including a chunk of booming Pinal County.

In another gas-price related political development, members of Arizona’s congressional delegation clumped up at both ends of the Americans for Prosperity association’s “Freedom from foreign oil” scorecard this week.

On the Republican side, Reps. Jeff Flake, Trent Franks and John Shadegg each scored 100 percent, and Rep. Rick Renzi got 94 percent.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Harry Mitchell scored 6 percent, and Reps. Gabrielle Giffords, Raul Grijalva and Ed Pastor each got zero percent.

The Washington policy association advocates limited taxes and government spending.

It gave positive scores on the scorecard for sponsorships and votes for bills that would allow drilling off-shore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The association also gave positive scores for votes against tax hikes on domestic oil and energy providers.

Expect greater discussion on those matters after the primary elections in September, when Democrats and Republicans share the same stages for debates before the general election in November.

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