Donald Trump Stops Campaign Counterfeiters
Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" caps have become somewhat of a cultural icon lately, but the Republican presidential candidate has made sure that all of the caps come directly from him. According to The Fiscal Times, The Trump Organization is sending cease-and-desist letters to businesses that have been selling merchandise featuring his name, image and slogan.
Trump sent one letter to CafePress, after the popular e-commerce site used the domain makeamericagreatagain.com to sell Trump merchandise. The site has since been taken down. There are still Trump campaign items available on CafePress, however, including T-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers and yard signs.
"You have people believing they are supporting a campaign, and they are just buying counterfeit goods," said Alan Garten, general counsel for The Trump Organization, to CBS News. "People will say this is a free speech issue, but using Mr. Trump's trademark for your own personal profit is not protected by the First Amendment."
Purchases made on a candidate's website count as campaign contributions under federal law.
"Those outside paraphernalia are not sanctioned by the campaign and none of the proceeds can be legally donated to the campaign," said Kenneth Pennington, digital director for Bernie Sanders' campaign.
The other problem with outside retailers selling campaign merchandise is that there is no guarantee that the products are union-made, or made in the U.S, which is something that many candidates boast about.