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I-10 billboard against Jindal focus of state lawsuit

3 years 2 months 1 week ago March 14, 2014 Mar 14, 2014 Friday, March 14 2014 March 14, 2014 8:42 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Ryan Naquin

BATON ROUGE - A billboard on I-10 is creating such a controversy, the state filed suit against the group that had it installed.

MoveOn.org leases a sign between Gross Tete and Port Allen that blasts Governor Bobby Jindal's policy not to expand Medicaid, which leaves 242,000 residents without healthcare.

But, the state says politics has nothing to do with why the sign needs to come down.

"It's an infringement on our registered mark," Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said.

The billboard bears striking similarities to state-designed tourism billboards for the "Pick Your Passion" campaign.

The state sent MoveOn.org a cease and desist order to take the billboard down, but the group refused.  So, a lawsuit was filed in federal court.

"They have a free speech right to say whatever it is they want to say. We just feel like they can't use our registered brand as an attention getter on that billboard to try and make it appear as if it were our own boards," Dardenne said.

MoveOn.org released a statement saying ""We have yet to receive a legal complaint, but if press reports are accurate, it is very sad to see the state spend taxpayer money on a frivolous lawsuit instead of providing health care to the people of Louisiana. Once our lawyers receive and have a chance to fully review the complaint we will have more to say. In the meantime, we strongly urge Governor Jindal to do the right thing and allow 242,000 Louisianans to access Medicaid."

A Baton Rouge lawyer has agreed to take on the case at no cost, Dardenne said.

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