The campaign for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has effectively stolen branding from Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) to get out the vote during presidential primary season.
YAL President Cliff Maloney noted that Sanders’ campaign had borrowed from his “Operation Win at the Door,” which is been partly responsible for putting dozens of state lawmakers into office across the country to promote libertarian ideals.
“Bernie’s campaign is using YAL’s ‘Operation Win at the Door’ branding to solicit door-knockers via text message — branding that we’ve spent three years building,” Mr. Maloney told the Washington Times. “They must be realizing how much our strategy of engaging voters directly at the doorstep is impacting elections.”
A purported representative from the Sanders campaign had been seen sending text messages out to prospective supporters imploring them to join “the largest grassroots campaign in the country — Operation Win at the Door.”
Imitation can be seen as the sincerest form of flattery, but YAL is not happy about being copied. YAL’s attorney Dan Backer is angry at the tactics that he believes are making it seem like Sanders, who is a hardcore socialist, has the backing of prominent libertarian organizers.
“Your bastardization of our clients’ intellectual property and flagrant attempt to redistribute their hard-won goodwill — a product of tremendous labor on the part of our client — is unauthorized and un-American,” Backer wrote to the Sanders campaign.
“You neither asked for nor received authorization from my client to use the name Operation Win at the Door. Your use of the name Operation Win at the Door is inherently confusing for donors and the general public and you are clearly attempting to target the same audience as Young Americans for Liberty by deceptively soliciting and/or communicating with supporters using the name Operation Win at the Door,” he added.
Backer claims that the Sanders campaign has violated the intellectual property of YAL, and legal action may be forthcoming as a result. The Sanders campaign has yet to officially respond to the allegations.
YAL boasted that their activists knocked over 1 million doors and assisted 35 different lawmakers to victory at the state level in 2018 with their “Operation Win at the Door” initiative. They intend to expand their operations substantially during this year’s election.
“1 million doors knocked and 35 victories for YAL endorsed candidates shows that our new tactic of deploying students for state legislative races is working. Mark my words: YAL will elect 250 state house members by the end of 2022. This is how we mobilize YAL’s national college campus network to build the next generation of leaders and advance the libertarian philosophy,” Maloney said.