Building Trades Workers Demand that Kevin Faulconer Stop Airing Illegal Campaign Ads

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2016                                     

CONTACT:     Carol Kim: 619-521-2914 | carol@sdbuildingtrades.com

SAN DIEGO, CA – On the afternoon of Wednesday, June 2, 2016, Richard Aldrich and Jeremy Casas, two sheet metal workers who are members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 206, issued a “cease and desist” letter to Kevin Faulconer’s campaign for mayor, when it was discovered that their likenesses had been used by the campaign in at least two different television commercials without their knowledge or consent.

California has long recognized a common law right of publicity, which is violated when the following four elements are present: “(1) the defendant’s use of the plaintiff’s identity; (2) the appropriation of plaintiff’s name or likeness to defendant’s advantage, commercially or otherwise; (3) lack of consent; and (4) resulting injury.” White v Samsung Electronics America, Inc., 9671 F.2d 1395, 1397 (9th Cir. 1992).

The cease and desist letter sent by Ochoa|Law representing the workers, laid out the case for violation of their rights of publicity, stating that the committee had used the workers’ identities to Faulconer’s political advantage by seeking to create an impression that Faulconer had the support of construction workers. This, when in fact the workers reported that Faulconer had not identified himself to them, neither one of them recognized him during the recording of the footage, and at no point did Faulconer’s campaign committee inform them that their likeness could be used to promote his candidacy. It wasn’t until the commercials in question were seen by their fellow union members, giving the false impression that they support Faulconer’s re-election, that the workers learned their likeness was being used this way.

Richard Aldrich, one of the sheet metal workers depicted in the campaign ads, noted that he finds the situation distasteful and offensive: “I’m a hardworking, proud Union member and it is disrespectful and disingenuous for Kevin Faulconer to feature me in his campaign commercial without my permission. Faulconer opposes Unions, working families, and better wages, and his commercial wrongly gives the impression that he supports Union construction workers.”

Jeremy Casas, the other sheet metal worker in question added, “During a break, a guy later identified to me as Kevin Faulconer, came to our construction site, and I thought he was there to talk about the excellent work we’re doing to build a state-of-the-art courthouse or maybe talk about middle class careers in the construction industry. Instead, Faulconer showed up to shoot video with construction workers without telling us what it was about. I only found out later who he was, and I think it’s deceitful that he put me in his campaign commercial because he opposes prevailing wages and local hire – things that help me put food on the table for my family and pay my bills.”

The letter demands that the campaign pull the offending commercials from the air and have it removed from websites immediately. If Faulconer does not voluntarily comply, Ochoa|Law cautioned that Aldrich and Casas are considering initiating legal action against the campaign.

 

Screenshot of commercial

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