Mickey Leigh, the brother of the late RAMONES frontman Joey Ramone, has slammed Linda Cummings, widow of Johnny Ramone, the guitarist and co-founder of the RAMONES, for using the Ramones name to endorse the Republican Party's campaign for the U.S. presidency.
According to NME.com, Cummings had voiced her support for presidential hopeful John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin, prompting Leigh to release a statement claiming she did not represent the views of those associated with the seminal New York punk band.
"It has been brought to my attention that Linda Cummings, using the name 'Ramone,' has recently been in the media joining with the Palin family and the McCains to attempt to aid their campaign for the presidency," Leigh writes in the statement. "As a president of Ramones Productions, and brother of Joey Ramone, I just want it to be clear that Linda Cummings does not represent the political views of the RAMONES. Surely, as for Joey Ramone, the only RAMONES song he would sing at a Republican campaign event would be 'Glad To See You Go'!
"I should add that when Johnny stated 'God bless George Bush' at the 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [induction], I realize now that he was on to something. Because if it were not for George Bush and his handling of our country the past eight years, I doubt so many Americans, including so many highly regarded Republicans, would now be getting behind Barack Obama. So, yes, God bless George Bush for paving the way to Obama."
Johnny Ramone died in his sleep in September 2004 after a five-year fight with prostate cancer; the RAMONES guitarist was fifty-five.