The U.S. Marshals Service has asked GOP 11th Congressional District candidate and its former Eastern District Director Tony Amador to place a disclaimer on his campaign Web site after it received a complaint about his use of photos that show him wearing a polo shirt with the agency logo.
However, the former U.S. Marshall is apparently free to use photos of himself taken during his seven years on the job.
“There is no indication that the photos of Amador’s Web site depicting him wearing USMS articles were taken after he left office,” an agency spokeswoman said in an email. “Amador surrendered his badge and credentials upon his retirement from the USMS. Moreover, there is no USMS policy requiring employees to surrender clothing articles, such as polo shirts, when separating from the USMS.”
Federal law prohibits the use of the likeness of a U.S. Marshals Service badge, logo or insignia in a “manner that is reasonably calculated to convey the impression that the wearer of the item of apparel is acting pursuant to the legal authority … or is approved, endorsed or authorized by the U.S. Marshals Service.”
President George W. Bush appointed Amador in 2002. He retired in August as part of the exodus of Republican appointees after President Barack Obama took office.
The agency has asked Amador, who recently moved from the Sacramento area to Lodi, to place the following statement on his Web site: “Neither the Department of Justice nor the U.S. Marshals Service have any role in, endorse, or support my candidacy, and have no involvement in this election.”
Amador spokesman Stan Devereux said today that the campaign will comply with the request.
This is a curious thing.
In California, law enforcement and fire agencies routinely ban the use of their uniform insignias, logos and badges in political campaigns regardless, although you often see them depicted in generic or uniform-like clothing.
The U.S. Marshal Services’ opinion is in marked contrast to that of the U.S. State Department, which asked Democratic candidate and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier to stop using photos and endorsement statements from former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher in his recent 10th District congressional campaign. (He didn’t comply but it didn’t help; he still lost.)
Tauscher is now the Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security and banned under federal law from making political endorsements; she gave DeSaulnier her support before she took her new post. A State Department lawyer argued that the use of even a legally obtained endorsement could give the appearance of impropriety.