Tom Petty Tells Bachmann: Stop Draggin’ My Songs Around

Michele Bachmann might be a proud “American Girl” — but she can’t blast it over the P.A. systems anymore.

Rolling Stone has confirmed reports that after Bachmann’s campaign played Tom Petty’s song “American Girl” at her campaign announcement rally in Waterloo, Iowa, Petty’s management sent her a cease-and-desist letter for her unauthorized use of his music.

For a presidential candidate who warns that President Obama is allegedly destroying the private-sector economy, this treatment of other people’s intellectual property might not be the best way to start off the campaign.

This is not Tom Petty’s first run-in with Republican politicians purloining his music. Back in 2000, the George W. Bush campaign played his song, “I Won’t Back Down” — and were quickly told to, well, back down. At the request of Petty’s management, the song’s official publisher told the Bush camp to stop, saying that the use of the song “creates, either intentionally or unintentionally, the impression that … [the Bush] campaign have been endorsed by Tom Petty, which is not true.”