Mellencamp’s Publicist Sends Message to Gov. Scott Walker

Friday, 13 Apr 2012 01:26 PM

By James Hirsen

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been playing a John Mellencamp tune while at campaign stops, and the music’s use has created a stir among the rocker’s ranks.

Mellencamp publicist Bob Merlis told The Associated Press that he had sent an email to the Walker campaign, which had been prompted by a news story mentioning that the governor had played the song “Small Town” while at a stop in Milwaukee.

However, unlike other musicians who have objected when certain Republicans have utilized their music in campaign related ways, Merlis’s email did not make the request that Walker cease using the song altogether. Instead the message was seemingly intended to inform the governor that Mellencamp is a longtime liberal.

“He's a very liberal person,” Merlis clarified about the singer. “He appeared at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. His wife at the time was a delegate at large. He's very pro-collective bargaining and the fight for a living wage.”

Walker is back on the campaign trail because of an upcoming June 5 recall election, which has resulted from union activism over legislation that currently limits collective bargaining for most public workers in the Badger State.

Back in 2008, Mellencamp reps contacted the John McCain camp when the then-GOP presidential candidate was employing “Our Country” in his campaign efforts. At the time Mellencamp was a supporter of then-Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards.

“More often than not it’s right wing candidates who use his [Mellencamp’s] songs, which is somewhat paradoxical,” Merlis said.

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