Mellencamp unhappy with Walker
MADISON — Liberal rocker John Mellencamp wants conservative Republican Gov. Scott Walker to know he supports union rights and says Walker should think about that before using his songs on the campaign trail.
Politicians for years have been using rock songs at campaign events, and Mellencamp has found himself crossways with Walker and other candidates before.
Two years ago, Mellencamp chided Walker, who effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers in Wisconsin, for playing his song "Small Town" at campaign rallies.
Walker was targeted for recall in 2012 by those angered over the union law, which passed despite massive protests that elicited support from other liberal musicians, including Pete Seeger, Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Peter Yarrow and Billy Bragg.
When Mellencamp caught wind of Walker playing "Small Town" during the recall campaign, his publicist sent Walker an email letting him know that Mellencamp supports collective bargaining and union rights.
Mellencamp took the same approach in 2008 when Republican presidential hopeful John McCain played "Our Country" on the campaign trail. Mellencamp's publicist wrote McCain's camp a letter explaining Mellencamp's liberal leanings and said he was supporting Democrat John Edwards.
In 2010, when the National Organization for Marriage played "Pink Houses" at events opposing same-sex marriage, Mellencamp also had his publicist notify the group saying he was opposed to its agenda and suggested it pick a different song to play that is more in tune with its views.