For many, the acronym “WTF” means something more crass than just the letters “W” “T” and “F” strung together. Not for Blockchains CEO Jeffery Berns, who wants to create a minor political party under the same name.
It’s under that same logic that Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske denied Berns’ request to form the WTF Party in May.
“Since the name of the party will include an acronym that commonly serves as a substitute for a well-known profanity, we believe that it may be offensive to a substantial portion of the electorate,” said Cegavske in a letter. She further informed Berns in the letter that his documents would be held in the pending status unless he could prove the name was not meant to be offensive.
Berns filed a lawsuit this week against Cegavske, citing violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments while claiming the party’s name is “non-vulgar, peaceful political expression.”
The lawsuit lists examples of other minor political parties with potentially offensive names, including the nationally organized “American Beer Drinker’s Party.” Bern’s attorney, Maupin, Cox & LeGoy, expanded the argument in a response letter to Secretary of State Cegavske’s request for clarification.
“...the phrase “WTF is not itself profanity and there exists numerous interpretations for the acronym,” Maupin, Cox & LeGoy explained in the letter. “That the acronym can represent a potentially offensive connotation does not overcome the protections provided by the United States Constitution.”
Berns shared his own observations of the political parties.
“I believe that both the national Republican Party and the national Democratic Party are destructive to our democracy, and I can no longer support either,” said Berns.
Berns, the CEO of Blockchains LLC, has made purchases in Nevada, including Kirkwood Bank of Nevada and 67,000 acres of land, where he plans on building a blockchain-based community. And this isn’t his first plan that has left many curious: In 2018, he shared his plans to 3D print a part of the community using hemp.
His company has given political donations on both sides of the aisle, including to Gov. Steve Sisolak and former Attorney General Adam Laxalt.