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June 29, 2011  | by: Kerri O'Malley

Michele Bachmann

As Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann battles for the Republican nomination in the 2012 Presidential Race, she’s rubbed up against a higher power: Tom Petty.  And the man who helmed the Heartbreakers won’t back down.

The beef between Petty and Bachmann began on Monday after Michele used one of Petty’s hits, “American Girl,” at the close of her rally in Waterloo, Iowa without permission. Tom Petty must have a very vigilant copyright staff.  Not even a day later, Rolling Stone confirmed that the singer-songwriter had sent Bachmann a cease and desist letter.

Darn those conservatives and their blatant disregard for personal property (…what?).  It seems this isn’t the first time Petty had to ask a Republican to step off his catalog.  Our old buddy, George W, similarly tried to use Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” in 2000.  Seems like Petty did succeed in making our former President do just that.  His people told Bush, “Any use made by you or your campaign creates, either intentionally or unintentionally, the impression that you and your campaign have been endorsed by Tom Petty, which is not true.”  Ouch.

Perhaps even higher on the “ouch” factor is Heart’s anti-Palin stance, as cited by Rolling Stone.  When Sarah Palin used Heart’s “Barracuda” at the Republican National Convention in 2008, the sister duo responded:

“”Sarah Palin’s views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women…The song ‘Barracuda’ was written in the late Seventies as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women…While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there’s irony in Republican strategists’ choice to make use of it there.”

Really, there’s irony in the whole idea of a Republican using a piece of copyrighted property without permission.  Aren’t these the same big-business lovers that would argue against file sharing or, well, unprofitable sharing of any kind?

But when it comes down to it, the biggest question on my mind is: why would Bachmann want to use this song anyway?  Am I the only one that directly associates Petty’s “American Girl” with the sex-soaked Fast Times at Ridgemont High?  Okay…it’s possible that I am.  But be warned, Bachmann.  That movie totally includes an almost casual abortion.

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