Jackson Browne Sues John McCain

It often seems that musicians and politicians have a love/hate relationship. I already blogged about campaign songs certain politicians have chosen which might have not been the best choices had they thought the song all the way through.

John McCain seems to be making bad campaign song choices left and right this year. Not just in lyrics, but just in general. He used John Melloncamp’s song “Pink Houses” earlier this year. On the surface, the song sounds okay, but if you dig deeper, it talks about dreams that are never fulfilled. In addition, Melloncamp himself contacted the McCain camp and asked that he stop using the song. Melloncamp is, after all, a democrat.

Another rocker is not asking so nicely. Jackson Browne is suing John McCain as well as the Ohio and National Republican Committee for using his song “Running on Empty.” The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles last Thursday.

The lawsuit contains what you might expect – infringement of copyright, but Browne also thinks that by McCain using the song, people will be led to believe that Browne supports McCain. Um, that never entered MY mind, but okay. After all, if you know anything about Jackson Browne, you probably know he is a lifelong liberal.

Why would McCain use a song like “Running on Empty” anyhow? It is used as the background music of an ad to make fun of the Democratic candidate Barack Obama for his comments on U.S. drivers and gas consumption. McCain wants to drill offshore, but Obama has said if Americans simply got regular tune-ups and inflated their tires, they would save the same amount the offshore drilling would produce.

The chairman of the Ohio party, Robert Bennett says is it all a “big to-do about nothing” and that the ad was pulled when Browne objected. McCain’s camp said the ad wasn’t even a product of his campaign. The lawsuit claims that the Ohio Republican Party released the ad on McCain and the Republican National Committee’s behalf.

Browne feels he has been damaged to the tune of more than $75,000.