Former campaign bus driver for multiple Republican candidates, Montgomery, Alabama, native Johnny Williams took to Facebook recently to call out presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee over what Williams terms infringement on his copyrighted bus name “Asphalt One.”
“I have just been made aware that one of the long shot Presidential Candidates, Mike Huckabee, is using my Copyrighted name, ‘Asphalt One’ on his bus, and in his fundraising letters,” wrote Williams, who is evidently not a fan of Huckabee’s.
“I want the people of Iowa, to know that this is not me,” Williams wrote. “That name is part of my Legacy, and I don’t want my winning record spoiled, because we worked with winners for the last 27 years. I am going to ask him nicely, if I can get past his handlers, to stop using it without my permission.”
Williams has driven for candidates such as both Presidents Bush, Pat Robertson, and several others with his Johnny Williams Bus Charters company, which he operated for 30 years.
Huckabee was using the phrase on social media as recently as Tuesday, as seen in the Tweet below:
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) January 5, 2016
Williams provided the following text from the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library to bolster his claim of longstanding use of the name, and provide a little history of campaign bus titles.
“Whatever other type of military and non-military transportation used by the President is typically dubbed in the same manner, usually unofficially as it is normally a temporary use. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush campaigned in the former presidential train dubbed ‘Rail One.’ In 2004, President George W. Bush‘s campaign bus was dubbed ‘Asphalt One’ (which was the name of his campaign bus when he ran for Governor of Texas in 1998). In 2012, President Barack H. Obama campaigned in the newly acquired Presidential Bus dubbed ‘Ground Force One.’ Also, ‘Executive One’ has been used on a variety of transportation types most frequently on non-military aircraft.”
Williams’ connection to the Asphalt One brand is also documented in a 1998 article in the Wall Street Journal. It begins by describing Bush rolling into a small town: “The bus called ‘Asphalt One’ rolls into this tiny east Texas town, distilling Gov. George W. Bush’s campaign message into two words emblazoned on its flank: ‘Opportunity’ and ‘Responsibility.'”