Chicago’s only Illinois House Republican is taking advantage of a historic World Series run — printing out a “W” poster in campaign mail ads that when placed on a window show the grinning faces of Michael McAuliffe and his family decked out in Cubs gear.
The Cubs last year filed applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to expand its trademark of the “W” sign — which flies above Wrigley Field after victories and is a staple at Cubs fans’ homes.
McAuliffe’s campaign said the political mailer isn’t selling a product, and isn’t causing confusion in the marketplace, which would mean a trademark infringement.
“The Cubs mailer we sent uses a family photo of the McAuliffe family,” the campaign said in a statement. “Additionally, the Cubs organization has encouraged fans to ‘Fly the W’ to support the team; it was our hope that this piece would bring people together in a contentious election season.”
McAuliffe is in a contested and very expensive race in the 20th District against Democratic challenger Merry Marwig, an O’Hare noise activist and businesswoman. The race is viewed as a proxy war between Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan, whose funding organizations are pushing big bucks into the race. Marwig has about $1.3 million in her campaign fund, with the Illinois Democratic Party her top donor; McAuliffe has $841,000, with the House Republican Organization his top donor.
The ad, mailed to homes last week, features a “W” poster on one side, and on the other two separate images of the McAuliffe family of four — one in front of Wrigley Field ivy.
If his constituents place the “W” poster on their window, they’ll see images of the Cubs gear-clad family inside their home.
Also of note, a misspelling of legendary broadcaster Harry Caray’s name: “History is in the making, and so for Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, Jack Brickhouse, Harry Carey, and all the other Cub players and announcers who never got to drink from the sweet cup of victory . . . let’s go Cubs!”
The ad asks for Cub fans to show their support by “displaying the sign on the inside of this mailer in your window.”
McAuliffe’s district covers portions of the Northwest Side, as well as the suburbs of Niles, Des Plaines, Franklin Park, Park Ridge, Rosemont and Schiller Park.