I Have Earned the Right to Display My Elephant


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GOP Elephant Logo (Politico)

Screenshot from Politico.com: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/11834.html

My name is Katherine Daigle.  I am a Moderate Conservative Republican.  I have been a Republican for many many years.  My party’s symbol is the elephant.  The elephant is a quick way to tell the Voters that I am a Republican. This is especially important when I am running for political office.

I am running for Mayor of Irvine and  I want people to know that I am a moderate Republican.  To me, that stands for my being a fiscal conservative, running a responsible government with a balanced budget, the economy, and jobs.  The best way to promote family principles is to manage the economy, so more jobs are created, so people have enough money to raise their families the best way possible.

I am running against a Democrat, Mary Ann Gaido, and another Republican, Steven Choi.  To me, Choi does not represent the principles of the Republican Party that I value.  He is the endorsed candidate of the Republican Party.  Unfortunately, “money talks.”  But that doesn’t make him a good Republican, it makes him a “paid for” Republican.

Lots of Republicans would prefer someone like me, who is a responsible business person, who understands the relationship between family, strong leadership and our Irvine quality of life.  I will continue to steward Irvine’s standing as a world-class city in education and public safety. I am here as the voice of change.

I want to let voters know who and what I am.  So I created my signs with my name and a drawing of a little white elephant.The signs also include a slogan:  ”I am asking you to recognize my commitment to you and meet the challenge for change with me.” I was surprised when I received a nasty letter from my party objecting to my use of the elephant on my signs. They claimed that it was their logo.  It isn’t.  Their logo is what you see on those plush toys in the photo at the top right.

In the story containing that screenshot, their lawyer, RNC chief counsel Sean Cairncross,  described it this way:

“Our elephant is specific. It’s stylized, it’s blue and red, it has three stars across its back that are tilted.”

He also said:

“If you want to say ‘GOP’ and design an elephant that’s similar, want to design an elephant that’s not precisely the same as ours, that’s fine.”

That’s exactly what I did.  And it’s fine.

The story with that photo above is one where they’re making a trademark claim against someone selling products with the GOP logo online.  As it was described, the difference between what they did and what I’m doing is this:

“They’re using that precise elephant.”

And I’m not.

Some people have said that my using an elephant on my signs at all is wrong and unethical.  I don’t see it that way.

I have earned the right to display my elephant on my signs.  It tells voters and everyone else that I am a Republican. They don’t have to endorse me.  They can endorse the man who is such good friends with the great big developer who wanted to keep the Veterans Cemetery that I supported out of the Great Park.  They can endorse that man who I don’t think conducts himself like a Republican as Mayor. But they can’t take away from me that I am a Republican.  They can’t take away from me that I will govern like a moderate Republican.

What they are trying to do is unethical and wrong. If they want to sue me for my using my freedom of speech, they absolutely can.  I can sue them  for trying to suppress my freedom of speech.

This is not about trademark infringement.  This is about their trying to say that nobody who isn’t like Steven Choi gets to tell people that they are a Republican.

That is bad for our party.  It may be good for Steven Choi, but it is bad for us good Republicans — people who I want to represent as Mayor!

I do want to be cooperative, though.  So I have started going around with my daughter and we are painting out the stars on my sweet lovable little elephant.  When you see a white little elephant on an orange sign, remember that the painted out stars means that our county Republican Party doesn’t want you to confuse me with Steven Choi.

I don’t want you to confuse us either.  I’m a good traditional Republican, and the right choice for Irvine.


About Irvine Valkyrie

Irvine Valkyrie is Katherine Daigle, the once and future Irvine mayoral candidate, an independent-minded Republican who is aligned with neither of the two dominant Irvine political cliques.