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Political slate leaves court

Before I write this column, I should disclose that as posted on Facebook, I’m in the hip pocket of the PSJA Family Matters slate because it has advertised with The Advance throughout this election. As such, my stories/columns are allegedly slanted in their favor, and according to another poster, The Advance News is “horrid.” All lies, although “horrid” is a subjective term, but since this is an election season, some people say some crazy stuff. It comes with the territory. If this newspaper was indeed horrid, you’d think I’d know about it. Okay, now that I’ve gotten that behind me, let’s get to the real facts of this story, which began when a PSJA assistant principal filed a petition for a temporary restraining order, claiming that the PJSA Stronger Together Campaign 2020 slate (Jesse and Jorge Zambrano, Jesse Vela, and Cynthia Gutierrez) had hijacked, so to speak, the school district’s brand this school year: PSJA Stronger Together, along with its Twitter handle, #PSJASTRONGERTOGETHER. In other words, Villanueva claimed, it’s not right for a political slate to use the same slogan as the district was using, especially if tax dollars were used to create it (school staff did the work). By the way, not long after the petition was filed, PSJA ISD gave up the slogan, PSJA Stronger Together, not wanting to remain caught in the middle of a legal dispute. The plaintiff, Kelly Elementary Assistant Principal Jessica Villanueva, also complained that the slate had used a photo of the Kelly Elementary staff, which included her photo, and then coupled it with PSJA Stronger Together campaign material, making it appear as if the school and staff were endorsing the slate. The PSJA Stronger Together slate filed a counterclaim, dismissing Ms. Villanueva’s allegations as false. In the end, though, the matter was settled, based on court filings in County Court-at-Law No. 1. Whatever the settlement agreement contained, will not, however, be made public, as agreed to by both parties. By looking at the PSJA Stronger Together social media platforms, though, it would appear that they at least agreed to remove the Kelly Elementary photo from its social media platforms. The name on the slate’s campaign material, however, remains. The question always boiled down to, can the PSJA Stronger Together slate take from PSJA ISD the Twitter hashtag slogan #PSJASTRONGERTOGETHER or just the slogan, PSJA Stronger Together, and copy and paste it on their own campaign material even if ...

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