ALL NEWS

Cease and desist sent by Lt. Governor’s office to stop unauthorized use of State Seal

Nov 22, 2019, 7:01 AM
FILE - Jury trials continue in Utah State Courts....
Cease and desist sent to Utah Association of Realtors over use of state seal in mailings. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A cease and desist order has been sent to the Utah Association of Realtors after a mailer sent out by the organization included the use of the official Utah State Seal caught the eye of Utah Representative Carol Moss.  Moss tweeted disappointment that the organization sent out the mailer that “presents a misleading explanation of tax reform and possibly violates election law by using the Utah State Seal.”

Justin Lee, Director of Elections with the Lt. Governor’s Office responded with a cease and desist order, sent to the Utah Association of Realtors on Wednesday.  Lee says anyone who wants to use the state seal has to get permission.

“In this case for this flier, we didn’t get any kind of application or give out any approval for its use.  If someone uses the state seal without approval or permission, we send them a letter to tell them to stop using it because they didn’t get the required approval,” says Lee.

According to Utah Administrative Code, the State Seal is off-limits for general use without permission, and “in a political campaign, or in ways that may legitimize or assist to defeat another candidate for elective office; or to function as, or be construed to function in any way as an endorsement of any business, organization, product, service or article.”

The flier appears to promote proposed tax reform pushed in the Utah legislature, and asks recipients of the mailer to contact their legislators, and suggests visiting the website “SupportUtahTaxReform.com.”

A spokesman for the Utah Association of Realtors, Mike Ostermiller, says there was no malicious intent in incorporating the state seal in the mailer, nor does he know who decided to use it, but he does believe the motive behind the cease and desist order may be less than pure.

“Honestly, I think the whole issue of that is a red herring.  I think all that is is a way for people who are against tax reform and the tax cut proposal that goes along with it is just a way to find an argument to distract people from the real issue which is a tax cut,” remarked Ostermiller.

He confirmed that the organization was asked to discontinue use of the likeness, and says they will comply.  Ostermiller says the flier is meant to push an agenda of supporting tax reform that they believe will help Utahns.

Some lawmakers are aiming for a December special legislative session to push through tax reform, but others say many details are still in the negotiation process.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

...
Jeff Zeleny, Eva McKend and Gregory Krieg, CNN

Georgia voters once again have the last word during election season

During a campaign rally for Warnock in Atlanta last week, former President Barack Obama stressed the immediate impact of Democrats potentially winning a 51st Senate seat.
10 hours ago
homes...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Suspected criminals on Zillow listing Utah homes for sale without homeowners’ knowledge

Be careful when looking at homes on Zillow with the intention of buying or renting them, they may not actually be on the market.
10 hours ago
A memorial is pictured near the scene of the Colorado shooting at Club Q...
COLLEEN SLEVIN Associated Press

Colorado gay club shooting suspect charged with hate crimes

Investigators say Anderson Lee Aldrich entered Club Q, a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community in this mostly conservative city, just before midnight on Nov. 19.
10 hours ago
The Quiet Santa event allows kids with sensory issues to meet Santa. (Photo: Canva)...
Chris Jacobs

“Quiet Santa” provides space for kids with sensory issues

The University Place Mall is hosting a "Quiet Santa" event for kids with sensory issues like Autism. The event runs. through Dec. 10.
10 hours ago
The mayor of Provo, Utah, discusses how popular the city's four-day workweek has been, why it's pop...
Simone Seikaly

A 4-day workweek is working for Provo government

Provo Mayor Michelle Kafusi said she isn't surprised at the positive results reported after a global 4 day workweek pilot program.
10 hours ago
This photos shows the gate to the Duke Energy West End substation in Moore County, N.C. on Sunday, ...
Nouran Salahieh and Hannah Sarisohn, CNN

Tens of thousands still in the dark after ‘targeted’ attacks on North Carolina power substations

With no suspects or motive announced, the FBI joins the investigation into power outages in a North Carolina county.
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Cease and desist sent by Lt. Governor’s office to stop unauthorized use of State Seal