Joe Sestak, a Democrat in Pennsylvania who is running for U.S. Senate, launched his campaign by pledging to walk nearly 500 miles in Pennsylvania. His anthem was the iconic 1980s song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers.
The song played prominently throughout a five minute-long video put online by his campaign Thursday summarizing his walking tour. The song was also featured in at least nine other videos Sestak put on his YouTube page.
The Sestak campaign, however, did not reach out to the band to ask to use their iconic 1980s beat.
On Thursday, after BuzzFeed News reached out to Sestak campaign and the band for comment, the videos were pulled.
"I requested permission to use the song "500 Miles" on YouTube via the record company, but also reached out to the band manager," Sestak told BuzzFeed News in a statement. "This afternoon, the manager of the band replied and informed us that while we could continue our earlier efforts through Warner Chappel Music, that he was "sorry,"but he would eventually 'decline any permission' for the use in 'political activities.' I have since then removed the videos from our YouTube page to comply with this information."
Kenny MacDonald, the band manager for The Proclaimers, told BuzzFeed News the song's artists had no idea Sestak was using the song.
"Craig and Charlie Reid know nothing about this usage and we have in the past declined all uses of The Proclaimers songs for political activities internationally as there have been a few requests over the years," he said in an email.
He added, "Someone from his organization had actually emailed us yesterday asking what the protocol for using the song was and I had replied shortly before your mail came in saying it was not something we would endorse."
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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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Megan Apper is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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