Jindal group sent cease and desist letter over ‘American Future’

By:   MJ Lee

 

 

New York (CNN)Imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery — but maybe not so much in politics.

One heavy-spending nonprofit group is anything but flattered that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, has launched a political group with a nearly identical name.

The American Future Fund, an Iowa-based nonprofit with an electioneering arm, American Future Fund Political Action, has sent a cease and desist letter to Jindal’s newly launched political committee, the American Future Project.

CNN obtained a copy of the letter on Monday.

In the letter, attorney Jason Torchinsky, who is representing the American Future Fund, demanded that Jindal’s group immediately stop using the name “American Future Project.” Torchinsky said the similarities in the two names would result in people being “confused or misled.”

“Your use of the name ‘American Future Project’ conflicts directly with my clients’ trademark and other legal rights in the name,” Torchinsky wrote. “As a result of your use of the name ‘American Future Project,’ viewers of your communications could reasonably believe that you are speaking for the well established American Future Fund or American Future Fund Political Action.”

Torchinsky is asking the American Future Project to respond within ten days of receiving the letter.

Gail Gitcho, adviser to the American Future Project, said Wednesday morning that the group will not alter its name.

“We aren’t making any changes to the American Future Project,” Gitcho said in an email to CNN. “Nobody has a monopoly on the ‘American Future,’ but we are pleased that their letter has helped raise awareness to the American Future Project.”

The American Future Fund’s stated purpose is to advocate for “conservative, free market ideals.” The group spent millions to benefit Republican candidates in 2012 cycle, including Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The group’s cease and desist letter highlights how it has become increasingly difficult for candidates and elected officials to come up with distinct and creative names for their various committees and groups.

In fact, many of the PACs associated with potential 2016 GOP candidates sound fairly similar to one another.

There’s “Reclaim America,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s leadership PAC, which shouldn’t be confused with other patriotic-sounding PACs, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s “Our American Revival” or New York Rep. Peter King’s “American Leadership Now.”

A few potential candidates are going with upward mobility-themed names — there’s “The Right to Rise” PAC, founded by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and “Unlocking Potential,” formed by former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Meanwhile, some politicians are simply using their first names. There’s “Huck PAC” (former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee); “Rand PAC” (Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul); and “Rick PAC” (former Texas Gov. Rick Perry).

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