The St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) is demanding advertisements featuring its disgraced former president stumping for the Prop A (“right-to-work”) ballot initiative be taken off the air.
The SLPOA put its former president Gary Wiegert on notice last week with a “cease and desist” letter calling his false representations and unauthorized use of the SLPOA logo “deceptive” and “misleading.”
The SLPOA and its parent organization, the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police both strongly oppose Proposition A (“right-to-work”).
“As you and the campaign are specifically aware, SLPOA vehemently opposes so-called ‘right-to-work (for less)’ legislation and is working diligently to defeat Proposition A,” the letter to Wiegert states. “It is patently obvious that you and the campaign are using our copyrighted logo without permission to intentionally mislead Missourians that the SLPOA or its members sanction your anti-worker rhetoric. You and the campaign you are associated with are engaging in copyright infringement and purposely damaging reputation of our organization.”
EXPELLED IN DISGRACE,
TO SPEAK FOR SLPOA
In the video and television ads, Wiegert is shown wearing a shirt prominently displaying the SLPOA logo and urges voters to support Prop A, the initiative that would make Missouri an anti-worker “right-to-work (for less)” (RTW) state.
The letter points out that Wiegert is not authorized to speak on behalf of the SLPOA and reminds him that he was expelled from the Association in 2012 for "unauthorized activities." SLPOA vice-president, Mike Kegel, said expelling a member is "extraordinary”, adding "to my knowledge, Mr. Wiegert is the only member to have been expelled in the 50-year history of the SLPOA."
ILLEGAL USE OF LOGO
The letter to Wiegert demands that he, the pro-RTW campaign and any agents, affiliates and funders of the campaign immediately cease and desist the illegal use of SLPOA’s copyrighted logo and good will.
“It is not enough that you are illegally trading on our copyright and the reputation of the SLPOA and our membership of hard working men and women in uniform, but you are doing so to systematically defraud the citizens of Missouri,” the letter to Wiegert states.
“You are not a member of the SLPOA,” the letter states. “You were expelled from the organization in 2012 because of unauthorized activities that violated our bylaws. To represent any affiliation with our organization without fully disclosing the fact that you were expelled from the order in disgrace is deceptive.”
POSSIBLE LEGAL ACTION
The letter concludes by informing Wiegert that the SLPOA will take legal action if he and the campaign continue to air and distribute the deceptive advertising.
Copies of the cease and desist letter were also sent to the National Right to Work Committee, the out-of-state Super PAC funding the TV spots and all the St. Louis area television stations carrying the commercial.
The SLPOA has also asked its parent organization, the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police, to disseminate the letter to other television stations around the state that are airing the misleading commercial.
VOTE ‘NO’ ON PROP A
Both the SLPOA and the FOP have officially opposed Proposition A and are urging voters to Vote No on Prop A on Aug. 7.
SLPOA President Ed Clark said, “Worker deaths are 41 percent higher in RTW states and wages are significantly lower. We've worked too hard to get raises for our police officers and reduce police officer deaths to stand idle on a harmful issue like RTW."
In a statement, the SLPOA and the FOP encouraged their members and police supporters to Vote No on Prop A and ignore the deceptive ads featuring their disgraced former member that attempts to mislead voters into believing that cops support RTW and Prop A.