Monday, September 17, 2012

Conservative Think Tanks Battle over Slogan

Although the Koch v. Cato battle has been resolved, two lesser-known think tanks have been battling it out over the use of slogan, "Peace Through Strength," made famous by Ronald Reagan.

Here is how the Washington City Paper describes the battle between the American Security Council Foundation (ASCF) and Center for Security Policy (CSP):
In the crowded world of Washington think tankery, eggheads need every advantage they can get. So it's only natural that two of Washington's most bellicose think tanks have been feuding for more than a year over which of them can use just three words as their motto. Now the dispute's headed to the only two places a dispute this thorny can be settled: federal court, and Wikipedia.
The prize here is "Peace Through Strength," a phrase made famous by Ronald Reagan. The antagonists are the similarly-named American Security Council Foundation and the Center for Security Policy, both based in D.C. The ASCF has trademarked "Peace Through Strength" and wants the CSP to stop using it, but so far, the CSP hasn't budged.
Things heated up in May 2011, when ASCF president Dr. Henry A. Fischer sent CSP president Frank Gaffney a passive-aggressive letter mentioning their shared concerns (Iran, China, "the ever increasing Muslim population growth in Europe")—and oh, by the way, that's our slogan.
"I would like to give you an update on the issues we are concentrating on as a band of like minded brothers," Fischer wrote, while making sure to plaster every mention of "Peace Through Strength" with registered trademark marks.
Proving that they really believe in peace through strength, ASCF soon hired mega law firm Holland & Knight, which sent Gaffney a cease-and-desist. That apparently didn't work, because the ASCF filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Gaffney and his think tank last week.

CSP, a conservative think tank focusing on national security, was founded in 1988 by Frank Gaffney.  [He recently made Foreign Policy's list of the 50 most powerful Republicans in foreign policy.]  ASCF, a conservative think tank, was founded in 1958 and it was originally known as the Institute for American Strategy.  The current President & CEO is Henry Fischer.

In the most recently available public documents, CSP had net assets of around $1.26 million with $4.1 million in total revenue.  Frank Gaffney's salary was $299,063.  ASCF had net assets of around $5.78 million with $204,160 in total revenue.  John Fischer's salary was $42,804.

Here is a Wikipedia article on the slogan "Peace Through Strength."