Monday, October 18, 2010

The truth about the Dukakis Bentsen New York AFSCME jugate

Collectors of political mementos seem to be suffering from short term memory loss. The Dukakis Bentsen jugate that purports to be from AFSCME District Council 37 in New York (identified on the curl complete with street address) was well documented by me as a collector made button in my Campaign '88 column in the Political Collector during that election, but in recent years it has popped up on eBay with claims that it is some long lost gem from the past. Actually it was impossible to sell after the negative exposure I gave it, because that would have tipped off the hobby who made it. Once the dark cloud blew over it began to slowly trickle into the hobby.

I have contacted the various eBay sellers and the responses were unanimously angry. They were positive I had to be wrong, and one even claimed the union wouldn't remember anything that far back. The union officials were certainly aware of it in 1988 when I actually contacted them, and they were considering legal action over the unauthorized use of their name. When I corrected him on his clever point he ignored me. The one detail I left out of my article was the identity of the collector who made it, even though I do know who he is, and I'm not going to do that now. I never name names without ironclad proof in writing, and I was never able to obtain that level of verification. The fact remains this is an unofficial button, and collectors need to approach it with that knowledge. It's actually a striking button, but it has little market value.

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