Montgomery County Education Association Fails to Get Injunction Against Gansler
UPDATE: The Montgomery County Education Association was unsuccessful Tuesday in getting the courts to issue an injunction to prevent gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler from using a red apple campaign literature piece that is similar to the Association’s traditional Apple Ballot endorsement.
According to MCEA officials, the request for a temporary injunction was rejected by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Robert A. Greenberg at about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.
“This is just a shameful attempt to confuse voters,” Doug Prouty, president of the association, said of the Gansler campaign’s apple-shaped literature.
The MCEA has traditionally used a red apple-shaped handout to print its endorsement list for voters. The MCEA endorsed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown for governor, not Gansler. Prouty said a poll worker spotted a similar red apple-shaped campaign flyer from Gansler on Tuesday morning.
Prouty said the MCEA will file a complaint with the courts for a trademark violation.
“We absolutely will file a complaint. This is significant because it’s an Apple Ballot and without trademark protection anyone could go forward and use it,” Prouty said.
MCEA Executive Director Tom Israel said the association has had the Apple Ballot shape and design trademarked for about 12 years.
“No reasonable person can say they weren’t attempting to use our credibility. If they weren’t they could have put their information on a banana,” Israel said.
MCEA sent a letter to Gansler’s campaign officials Monday warning them not to use the apple-shaped literature, Israel said.
Katie Hill, a representative from the Gansler campaign, wrote in an email to Montgomery Community Media Tuesday, “This is just proof that the whole thing was a manufactured Election Day stunt from the same teachers union bosses who have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Anthony Brown’s campaign.”