Oh, Good! Let’s Wrestle With Chumley Again!


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Chumley the Destroyer
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This appeared yesterday (2/24) in Chumleyville.  I’m reposting the entire thing for purposes of criticism, as — just like the good old days there — it’s “all about me.”  My comments are in bold italics after each sentence or clause where they are appropriate.

If you believe the Orange Juice’s Greg Diamond — someone removed by the local and state party from positions of leadership on three occasions —

Removed each time due to trying to hold corrupt party leadership accountable — and each time without due process and in violation of relevant party rules.

candidates for DPOC Central Committee are freaking out because two candidates used the DPOC logo in social media pitches for their candidacy for re-election.

I never said that candidates were freaking out.  (The only person he mentions is Jeff Letourneau, who as one of eight candidates running as an incumbent is pretty much sure to win.)  I’m angry at what is apparently granting of selective permission (see below) for only some candidates — those close to the leadership — to use the party’s logo.  This is corruption  on behalf of insider candidates.  Anita Narayana also implied that this was being used in physical material, I presume flyers or mailers, not just social media.

A third one — his brother-in-law Jeff LeTourneau, who is North County Vice Chair — also included a social media photo with the DPOC logo in the background after he told two members to pull their photos “because people were having melt-downs.”

I think that having the logo in a background of a photo is not a use of the trademark except in limited circumstances.  In any event, I didn’t mention it because Chumley’s post is the first I’ve heard of it.  I ranked Jeff as #6 for 6 seats in my district.  I may or may not vote for him, but I certainly wouldn’t do so if AD-55 had as many candidates as other ADs. 

Take a breath.

“Nothing to see here, move along!”

There is nothing in the DPOC bylaws that governs the use of the local party’s logo.

The reason that non-insiders would not use the logo is that they would presume that the party intends to reserve it for its own use.  Only insiders apparently have learned that (for some, at least) it’s available. And now I know it as well — sweet!

You could make one argument for it, but its filed under “non-partisan party campaigns” whereas Central Committee is certainly partisan.

I’m not talking about FPPC law — I’m talking about the provisions of federal trademark law known as the Lanham Act!  If you don’t defend a trademark when you know that it has been infringed, you lose the right to its exclusive use.

Diamond goes after Central Committee member Anita Narayana and Regional Director Deborah Skurnik, suggesting their use of the party logos implies an endorsement.

I think that it clearly does imply endorsement, though I also think that they might lie about why they used it.  But my interest in it is whether it was selectively authorized and in whether this waived the right to exclusive use.

From the guy who gave bloggy virtual footrubs to conservative Republican mayor Tom Tait, it’s a stretch too far.

???

Both Narayana and Skurnik were endorsed by DPOC Chair Ada Briceno, or so I’m told.

The idea that one would be “authorized” to use the logo by the party chair alone is pretty much Trump’s theory of why he gets to decide anything the government does on his own because he’s the Chief Executive.  She does not, by herself, make rules for the organization about abandoning its property (here, intellectual property).  But the argument that she can do so is basically a statement that political favoritism of internal vs. insurgent candidates is ok. 

Both are current members of the DPOC.

More evidence that Chumley thinks that unfair favoritism of certain candidates is ok.

Use of the logo shouldn’t be an issue per the endorsement of the party chair.

And, even more evidence!  Maybe he should ask Ada if she’s cool with this sort of corruption.

And there’s not a single rule about the use of the Party’s logo by candidates in the current bylaws.

Again, it’s not “in the bylaws”; it just is abandonment of the right to exclusive use of a trademark.  And if this is really the truth, every other candidate could have used it to imply a (non-existent) DPOC endorsement — but of course they didn’t.

What’s interesting is Diamond would not publicly identify his brother-in-law as the third offender here — family forgiveness?

Again, I didn’t know about it.  What a weird inference!  And I’ve criticized Jeff publicly lots of times!

He went after Narayana– who voted against his removal from the Central Committee in 2018.

More insight into the mind of Chumley: if someone voted to support you once (presuming for the moment that she did so), you owe them and should not take them to task.  Great journalistic principle there!

And he went after Skurnik who lent her name to remove Diamond from the CDP successfully last November.  It’s about revenge more than logic.

I mentioned Skurnik because she was one of two people whom I knew did this.  I’m not surprised that she did something shifty because she is unscrupulous and entitled, but that wasn’t my motivation.  If I want justice (which Chumley calls “revenge”) for her taking part, along with him, in defaming me, my recourse would be in court, not here.

Use of a logo can imply membership to an organization.  Not necessarily an endorsement.

This would be true only if there are rules saying that any member can use the logo in a campaign, even a campaign for membership in the body itself.  As Chumley admits, there aren’t.  (And I’d add again: if there were it would be an example of corruption.)  It would also mean that a candidate who was passed over for the DPOC endorsement in favor of someone else could use the DPOC logo despite this.  I’ll look forward to advising people to do so this fall.

The party has not endorsed any candidate for Central Committee while our party chair has.

Which would be important if Ada owned the logo.

Diamond’s post is more about settling scores than actual policy

Look — I’m going to start to use the logo now  — because of this policy.  You have to be pretty dim not to get that, but Chumley sure fits that bill.

And for LeTourneau [sic] to call both women to yank their posts while using a photo of himself in front of the party logo, well that’s another example of leadership people who don’t apply rules equally especially to themselves.

That last line is a truly breathtaking piece of hypocrisy, as THAT’S EXACTLY WHY THIS IS UNETHICAL!  My guess is Jeff understands the principles that I’ve mentioned above, both because he’s led a non-profit and has actually had to think about issues like trademarks and because he’s about 700 times as smart as Chumley.  I don’t know whether I’m right, because we don’t talk about politics anymore on the rare (family) occasions that we see each other.

Except in this case, there is no rule to follow.

Nope — just ethics (about which neither Narayana nor Skurnick seem to care), and the party’s abandonment of its intellectual property. Trivialities like that.

I’m using the DPOC logo here under permission granted to this blog by the party years ago.

I’d like to see the minutes reflecting that, and whether it was single time use or perpetual!  Anyway, it would be fair use there.  I’ll be using it without permission — because getting permission is no longer necessary.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)