Would-be opponent sues Dingell for stealing slogan

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Defeated Republican Congressional candidate Majed Moughni has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) for allegedly stealing his “Make it in America” campaign slogan.

The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks damages in excess of $25,000 and says Dingell began using the phrase July 27, months after Moughni first posted it on his Facebook campaign page.

Dingell’s camp denies the accusation, saying the slogan is part of a broader campaign house Democrats have been using since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) outlined the campaign in early July.

On Pelosi’s House Website, under “Current Legislation,” a post says the “Make it in America” initiative is a package of legislation aimed at increasing manufacturing jobs in America.

In a press release announcing the initiative on July 22, Pelosi was quoted as saying, “Democrats are fighting to restore the words ‘made in America’ to the center of our economic success.” The release describes “Make It In America,” as “a new strategy to create new high-skill, high-wage American manufacturing jobs and restore U.S. leadership in the global economy.”

But Moughni, who with about 4 percent of the vote finished last among four candidates in the GOP primary earlier this month, isn’t buying it.

Asked whether it was possible that the slogans came about independently, Moughni was skeptical.

“I have never seen John Dingell use this before, and he’s been in office 55 years,” Moughni said. “I’m glad he’s picking up on our ideas – that’s good and I’m happy about that – but I really think you have to give credit where credit’s due.”

Moughni said that even if the Democrat’s use of the slogan originated from Pelosi’s office, it doesn’t exclude the possibility that Dingell may have seen it and passed it along to her. The only way to find out, he said, is through depositions.

“I would love to depose Pelosi, so that we can see where all of this really came from,” said Moughni, a lawyer in Dearborn.

“And Dingell should know better than this. He’s an attorney.”