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By Emily St. John Mandel
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Moveon.Org Wins Billboard Battle
MoveOn.org's Obamacare billboard can stay up, a judge ruled this week. U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick parried a request by Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne to take down the Obamacare-focused placard, which satirizes the state's "Pick Your Passion" tourism campaign.
Moveon.org, the national left-leaning netroots org, posted the billboard on Interstate 10 heading east into Baton Rouge in early March. Directly juxtaposing the state's tourism campaign with Gov. Bobby Jindal's decision to reject Obamacare's Medicaid expansion money, the sign reads: "Pick Your Passion! But hope you don't love your health. Gov. Jindal's denying Medicaid to 242,000 people."
Dardenne, whose office oversees tourism promotion, claimed trademark infringement on the grounds that the billboard would confuse people into thinking the state is criticizing its own governor.
Dick soundly rejected that argument, writing that MoveOn's parody is protected under free speech, and that people are unlikely to look at the billboard and think that the state
"In this Court's view, the Lieutenant Governor underestimates the intelligence and reasonableness of people viewing the billboard," she writes.
With the ruling in hand, MoveOn.org Executive Director Anna Galland that more signs are likely in the future.
"We are doubling down on our campaign to ensure every American has access to health care. We are expanding our billboard campaign in Louisiana," she said. "And we will will not rest until Governor Jindal and all of the other Republicans blocking access to Medicaid get out of the way."
Dardenne, who is running for governor in 2015, hasn't indicated whether he will appeal the ruling.
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