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  • Question about Scout uniform and political advertising

    A local candidate for a local office left a flier on my front door. The first page of the tri-fold flier has a picture of the candidate in a Scout leader uniform (he's a former WDL and possibly currently an ASM or CM for another Scout troop) with his two boys also in Scout uniform. Is this acceptable practice? I'm just curious. I will admit that I've had some run-ins with this fellow. He's a former good friend, and we had a major falling out a few years ago. I'm not going to our Council with this, as it would come out as spiteful and petty. I'm just curious as to the both legality and ethicality of this.

  • #2
    oops wrong section. Meant to put it in Open Discussion

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    • #3
      The prevailing wind around says it is okay if you or your family (and no other scouters/scouts) appeared in uniform for your campaign(good PR for Scouting). You and and your family could not wear the scout uniform to promote another political campaign as that might seem a BSA endorsement of a candidate.

      Seemed reasonable. Many local candidate will include in their campaign a military service photo, particularly in they still serve in the Guard or a reserve unit.

      The wind may be from a direction where you are.

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      • #4
        RS,

        That sounds reasonable, and it was him and his two sons.

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        • #5
          I disagree. At best I think it is in poor taste. it is trading on the name and good will of BSA for personal political gain.

          A few years ago a one of our troop parents was running for office when his son earned Eagle. The parent plastered all over Facebook photos me presenting the award to his son with he and his wife looking on. Okay, so far, lots of proud parents do. But a few weeks later I saw the same photo of myself popping up in the column of paid promotions. Not cool. Using someone's likeness in a paid photo without their consent is highly inappropriate. Ditto for using trademarked materials (BSA uniforms, etc.)

          No, I didn't say anything. Not worth the BS which would have ensued.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Twocubdad View Post
            I disagree. At best I think it is in poor taste. it is trading on the name and good will of BSA for personal political gain.
            Eagle Scouts have been doing this for years, and for more reasons than political gain. How many people know of President Ford's involvement in scouting? Neil Armstrong? Steven Spielberg? etc. Citizenship MB's??? aren't they all political in nature? We promote good citizenship and then punish when they follow up on it? So here we have a currently registered scouter in uniform. I don't see a problem. I would be very concerned if he was not currently registered, but would not be upset with information about his scouting history in his promotional material.

            Stosh

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            • #7
              PDC, I just moved this topic as you seemed to request in the second post.
              I would have a problem if someone used a photo of me in paid promotions. TCD is not a public figure and should have been asked for his permission before using his image. TCD, it is not a hassle. You just send a fairly direct statement of objection to the site doing the promotion, informing them of the violation they committed, and that should do the trick.

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              • #8
                In the abstract it all seems rather benign. However what if the candidate is a real nut job? We certainly have plenty of those crawling around. There was one the other day that claimed Islam is not a religion. Is it OK if a candidate prints stuff like that on the same page as them wearing their field uniform?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
                  PDC, I just moved this topic as you seemed to request in the second post.
                  I would have a problem if someone used a photo of me in paid promotions. TCD is not a public figure and should have been asked for his permission before using his image. TCD, it is not a hassle. You just send a fairly direct statement of objection to the site doing the promotion, informing them of the violation they committed, and that should do the trick.
                  huh?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chrisking0997 View Post
                    huh?
                    TCD = Twocubdad

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                    • #11
                      Absolutely not.
                      The Boy Scouts of America might be the most patriotic organization in the U.S. But don’t take that to mean we endorse any one political party. The same applies to your pack, troop, team, or crew. You and your Scouts should Do Your Duty to Country but not by endorsing any one candidate. During election years, though, the line between patriotism and political favoritism becomes thin, making it important to remind you of the BSA’s official policy on Scout participation in political rallies. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and the BSA’s official answers: Q: Could a pack, troop, team, or crew provide a color guard flag ceremony for a candidate’s public speaking event or rally? A: Yes. But, BSA Policy requires our adult and youth members in uniform to leave immediately after the presentation of colors and the Pledge of Allegiance. Should they want to stay they must do so as individuals, not Scouting represenatives, meaning, they would have to change out of their uniforms. Q: So Scouts and Scouters can’t stand on the platform for the remainder of the speech or presentation? A: No, they should not remain on the speakers’ platform or in a conspicuous location where media could construe their presence [...]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        While a unit as a whole cannot support a candidate, the individuals may. However in this case the person wearing the uniform IS the candidate. Nothing in the literature says he can't. He can't support another candidate, but he can certainly promote himself in the volunteer roles and causes he supports.

                        Can a teacher promote their position as a candidate without it reflecting on the school? Sure.
                        Can a pastor promote their position as a candidate without it reflecting on the church? Sure.
                        Can a family man promote his position as a candidate by dragging out his wife and kids? Sure.
                        Can a guy put on an apron and serve up dinner at the Salvation Army food center without it becoming a church/state issue? Sure.

                        I for one would like to know were his character development came from and if he is a former scout and is currently a scouter, then I want to know this. If he's spent year working with the Girls and Boys Club, I want to know that too. If he has helped out with the 4-H kids, I want to know that.

                        Maybe the only issue here is the person doesn't like the idea that this is not their candidate and such a gesture is going to sway voters away from their candidate. Is there a wee bit of politickin' going on here that hasn't been brought to light?

                        The only issue might be his two sons supporting him in their uniforms. Maybe they out to jerk their registration for such flagrant abuse of the symbols of BSA for their family.

                        Stosh

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
                          Maybe they out to jerk their registration for such flagrant abuse of the symbols of BSA for their family.
                          Sounds about right.

                          Maybe the only issue here is the person doesn't like the idea that this is not their candidate and such a gesture is going to sway voters away from their candidate. Is there a wee bit of politickin' going on here that hasn't been brought to light?
                          I haven't got the slightest idea who the candidate is or what his politics are. I simply know that it is neither OK nor within the rules for a Scout or Scouter to use his uniform to promote a political candidate, platform, or party. The notion that the rule is suspended when it's yourself strikes me as silly at best.
                          Last edited by Scouter99; 06-28-2014, 11:33 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Not cool, he is using the uniform to better his interests which is a no no.

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                            • #15
                              So, the public doesn't have a right to know that he is proud of his families involvement in scouting?

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