The Scott Walker campaign is using his music, and rocker John Mellencamp’s publicist says this sort of thing has happened before. Publicist Bob Merlis said it last happened during the 2008 presidential race, when the McCain/Palin campaign featured Mellencamp music at rallies. “It happens all the time, because his songs are so evocative, politicians kind of feel like “wow, this is my theme song,”” said Merlis. “Yeah, except “who wrote your theme song” is the question we’d like them to ask themselves.” He said the McCain campaign stopped using Mellencamp songs after he contacted them.
A Mellencamp fan – Merlis said they call themselves Mellenheads – alerted them to Walker’s use of the song Small Town at campaign events. (During a campaign stop in Green Bay on Tuesday, Walker’s advance team apparently had no other music: Small Town played over and over until the governor arrived.) Merlis said they’re NOT asking the Walker campaign to stop using the tune. “He’s just telling him . . . who he is, and what he typically stands for,” said Merlis. “It would seem to me that his politics are somewhat at odds with Governor Walker’s.” Merlis said Mellencamp’s father was a union activist, and the musician supports collective bargaining.