Accusations over what is, and isn't, perceived as an official Republican campaign effort in the special election for an East Bay state Senate seat have now sparked a federal lawsuit.
On Friday, the California Republican Party filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against a political action committee that sent out mailers in support of the GOP candidate on the ballot in Senate District 7, Michaela Hertle, which include a tiny elephant logo.
"The Elephant Insignia trademark is commonly used in Republican politics throughout the United States," says the lawsuit. "Moreover, it has acquired secondary meaning through its use, for decades, in California and national political discourse to signify the Republican Party's official imprimatur."
But it's the story behind the lawsuit that's most intriguing, one that's become a key issue in the race to replace Mark DeSaulnier, who resigned the seat after winning a November 2014 race for the U.S. House of Representatives.