Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bums, Crooks and Thieves

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

History repeats. Thirty-eight years ago, I took this photograph of President Richard Nixon during the 1970 off-year campaign stump tour to New Mexico for Pete Domenici, who was running for Governor. Domenici lost. Two years later, the New Mexico Democratic Council stole my photo.

Without permission or payment, the Council used the photo on the cover of an endorsement flier introducing a slate of Democratic candidates for national and state offices before the June 6, 1972, primary election. Democrat operative Mark Acuff, who was also my editor at the Albuquerque News, gave my photo to the Democratic Council. The photo had not been used in the NEWS’ earlier coverage.

A balloon above Nixon’s head ran with a quote:

“An administration which has four years to end a war and couldn’t do it shouldn’t have a second chance.” – Richard M. Nixon Santa Monica, Cal. October 1968.

I was young and didn’t handle the rip off very well… I’m not so young anymore.

I guess I should be ecstatic, if the old saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” is true.

Demand for my working political portraits reached new heights this past month. Everywhere I turned, there was one of my images. At least seven of my photos were taken and published beyond my regular clientele.

Just one problem; I didn’t sell or authorize any of those who posted them, to use my photographs.

Worse than that, some of the photos would never have been sold to the people or groups who used them. I‘ve decided not to allow my work to be used in negative ads. My decision was not based on a particular political ideologue, but a pragmatic journalistic tenet.

The state of the political world today has sunk to a very low point, with negative and attack ads being the norm.

Journalistically, my role is to report facts and illustrate events and those involved. To that end, in showing the players you get a wide range of emotions, gestures, and views of politicians in the public square.

Sometimes the presentation of my photographs are not very flattering. It’s difficult to get a good photograph of some politicians. Several politicians wish certain images of them were not exposed.

My rationale is that, as a journalist, those I photograph may be depicted in a less than flattering light as part of normal coverage. However, if my photographs of them ended up on their opponent’s campaign attack ad or literature, then they might rightly be upset. They might become less tolerant or unwilling to be photographed in the future. If so, I would be limited in my ability to continue to report and cover issues important to the public discussion.

At Fox News there is a firestorm about last week’s cover picture, by Nigel Parry of Creative Photographers inc., for Newsweek of Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Parry is a regular cover photographer for Newsweek and other major high-end editorial publications.

The ethical rules of the National Press photographers Association sometimes are in conflict with themselves:
1. Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
2. Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
6. Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images' content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
So what’s wrong with this picture?

Media studies say viewers don’t like negative ads. However, they work.

The problem of theft of photographic services seems to be out of control.

“Sheriff Darren White Stole My Picture...Then Tortured It!!!,” the headline read over a story written by Jon Knudsen, under his pen name Johnny Mango on Duke City Fix, September 23. He complained that Republican Sheriff Darren White’s First Congressional District campaign stole, manipulated and then used a picture he took of White’s Democratic opponent, Martin Heinrich, in an attack ad.

Many of the nearly 50 comments on DCF were upset with White’s taking of someone’s property.

“Sheriff White in copyfight! Local progressive blogger sees his photo in GOP congressional hopeful White's new TV ad.” New Mexico Independent’s Gwyneth Doland wrote of Sheriff Darren White’s Congressional campaign stealing and using Knudsen’s photograph.

“Truth wins! Honesty wins! Darren White Closes Up His Thieving Photoshop” Knudsen wrote in a follow-up piece September 24, 2008.

I notified a fellow Santa Fe journalistic blogger of his Udall picture being used in negative campaign TV ads. I thought it might have been stolen; he confirmed it:
Thanks for the heads up. I hadn't seen that one, but I did see the Club for Growth used one of my Udall shots. (Christ, if Udall were Mick Jagger, I'd be Annie Liebowitz).
Funny response, but it’s not a laughing matter. I asked what his journalistic ethical thoughts were on the issue.

“…As I'm covering the Senate race, I don't want to see my name on any campaign finance report,” he wrote. “ I'll just ask the Pearce flack to pass on my request to cease and desist.”

My response is:
I have posted that I won't do negative ads and so: "There is an additional fee for not having conducted business in a reasonable way or properly crediting the photograph."

To my fellow photographers and bloggers who find themselves the victims of such thefts placed in this ethical dilemma I suggest that neither the thief, nor another photographer, nor I can un-ring the bell of publishing, once they commit a criminal act of stealing. So compensation is right and proper. To not seek compensation is worse, because when one’s work is used without payment and penalty, the assumption can be drawn that one gave away his work and it can look like he is supporting the candidate.

It's not that tough an ethical situation, but a mere cease and desist order plays into the thieves’ hands. They get away with committing the crime and receive the fruits of its benefits.

The Santa Fe journalistic blogger and I, along with some others, create work for journalistic purposes, not partisan political campaigns. We have the right to deny permission to use our work. Failure to negotiate a rate, assuming we were willing to sell, blunts any disagreement as to the price we then bill them.

If the thieves think the rate exorbitant, then maybe their accountants will suggest that they don't steal any more photos.

Taking down a stolen photograph is like returning the apple core to the fruit stand after stealing and eating it and saying there was no theft – there’s your apple. The value of the first publication is what must be compensated.

For the Santa Fe journalistic blogger, the problem of asking one side to take down the picture turned cancerous as the new "Polly" ad by Udall uses the offending picture in this reverse attack ad.

In My Case

The New Mexico Independent negotiated a price for the use of a picture, sent July 12, 2008, and published on July 14 to illustrate Managing Editor David Alire Garcia’s article, “Tom Udall says he feels your pain.” It was a special deal, but Alire Garcia, hasn’t paid what he promised.

One of my photographs of James Noel was used by the NMI to illustrate two of News Editor Tripp Jennings’ articles on August 28, “Important job, but little interest” and on September 2, “Noel withdraws name as elections director.”

After I billed them, Alire Garcia immediately took down the Noel photograph, left, which had been licensed to one of my clients, and we negotiated a settlement. I provided a different picture for the NMI site’s use. They did not use the picture, right, I sent them and more than a month later NMI still has not compensated me.

The Raw Story, a Washington, D.C. based news website that claims a 15 million per month hit rate stole my photograph of Fernando C de Baca, lifting it from Peter St. Cyr’s site and posting it on an article entitled, “NM GOP leader under fire for 'Hispanics above blacks' slur.” The Raw Story has come to an agreement on payment. Their response was so amicable that I may try to cultivate a working relationship.

Maryland’s Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen is Committee Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He spoke at the Michelle Obama Rally on the University of New Mexico campus September 3. His organization, the DCCC, is responsible for supporting efforts to elect more Democrats to the House. Many attack ads against Republican Congressional candidates on television are paid for by the DCCC. According to a Van Hollen blog posting on, he claims not to be a fan of Karl Rove tactics.

Van Hollen’s DCCC stole my photograph of Republican N.M. CD 2 candidate Ed Tinsley and published it in an attack television commercial entitled “Ed Tinsley: What's Good for Ed is Bad for New Mexico (NM-02),” and my photo of Republican N.M. CD 1 candidate Sheriff Darren White, which was used in “Bush's Ally in New Mexico (NM-01).”

The most disturbing use of one my photographs is by former Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca who wrote about Sheriff White in his blogspot on Sept. 21, 2008:
“One thing you can expect from the Rove type of politics suffered on us by the republicans is that they most likely have a contingency plan for every scenario over the next six weeks. Mostly it will involve lies and sleaze.”

“…Finally, a little advice to the Heinrich Campaign. Before early voting starts I would concentrate all of my advertising on showing these two pictures together.”
Within a week, Patriot Majority West published my picture of White along with the suggested picture of President George W. Bush, side by side, in a campaign television commercial entitled “Surplus.”

Point of View, an advertising productions house in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester Springs was hired by an outfit called the Campaign Group to make the ad, flipped my picture to make it appear as if White was looking at Bush.

The following day The Justice Department report on the firing of the nine U.S. Attorneys, including New Mexico’s U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, above, was released. Baca pointed out that the Albuquerque Journal did not mention White’s name in their coverage.

“Several other Republican officials and activists complained about Iglesias to the White House as well,” Baca stated, but the report did not mention White as one of those complaining to the White House or the Department of Justice.

White’s name appeared in the Journal Sept. 29, in an article written by Associated Press’s Heather Clark, left: “Iglesias Applauds US Justice Dept. Report on Firing,” as one of several New Mexico Republican Party officials and activists pressuring Iglesias to prosecute alleged voter fraud.

On the What’s The Word with Peter St. Cyr blogspot of Sept. 29, “Darren White Provides Documentation in Voter Fraud Investigation,” disputes Baca’s assertion that White was involved in the contacting DOJ or the White House with complaints about Iglesias.

White provided an undated letter from Journal Editor Kent Walz in which the paper retracted its reporting that White had been among New Mexico Republicans to complain to the DOJ.
It appears that in a story published April 15, 2007, we incorrectly placed you in a convesation [conversation] with Kyle Sampson of DOJ during a meeting in the spring of 2006. We reported that you complained to Sampson about Iglesias and that Sampson produced statistics showing Iglesias was doing a good job.
This site had relied on the now retracted Journal article while writing a June 6, 2008 posting: “Election Fraud? UPDATE,” of White’s contact with the White House and DOJ.

At no time during the reporting of that story, or since, has White, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Erin Kinnard Thompson, whom I communicated with about that story, or White’s Congressional campaign staff, including Campaign Manager Sarah Lister and Communications Director Stephen Schatz, attempted to correct the reporting until now, through St. Cyr.

Kinnard Thompson had called, at the time, to complain about what she considered an error in that reporting about BCSO’ failure to actively investigate charges of voter fraud in City Councillor Don Harris’ recall election last year.

White, his campaign staff and I have had numerous contacts at which time he might have set the record straight.

Domenici Key in Firing of Iglesias, Report Says,” wrote Journal Washington Bureau Michael Coleman Sept. 30, article about the DOJ’s findings. Senator Pete Domenici, right, and Congresswoman Heather Wilson, next to him, seen here at Memorial Day services in Albuquerque were named. Also mentioned in the report were Sen. Domenici’s Chief of Staff Steve Bell, GOP operatives: former State Senator Mickey Barnett, newly elected State National Republican Committeeman and former State GOP lawyer Pat Rogers were named as politically influencing Iglesias’ firing.

Rogers, right, is seen with Sen. Domenici, center, and Congresswoman Wilson at Domenici's endorsement of Congressman Steve Pearce for the Senate seat he is vacating. Pearce defeated Wilson who had been endorsed Wilson in the June Republican primary.

Journal Staff Writer Colleen Heild, left, wrote of White’s limited involvement in the Iglesias matter in an Oct. 1, article, “Sheriff Mentioned in Firing Account.”

Heild wrote that the Journal, in an April 2007 story incorrectly reported White had complained about Iglesias to DOJ official Kyle Sampson in 2006. The Journal wrote that White met with Sampson in 2005 about a job in the U.S. Marshals Service

The day before the Journal’s retraction, Baca complained in his Sept. 30 posting, “Any Other Day:”
If the report on the Justice Department firings of U.S. Attorneys had come out on any other day but yesterday, we would have seen major news coverage of Senator Pete Domenici, Congresswoman Heather Wilson, and Sheriff Darren White's complicity. Oh, lets dont forget Pat Rogers and the rest of the extreme rightwingers too. Last night I watched local TV news and the story got very little coverage. Astonishingly, the Albuquerque Journal didn't even mention White's name in the story it did. How could that happen?

Even so, I think it is enough to pretty much finish the Sheriff's run for Congress against former City Council President Martin Heinrich. Martin, give me a call and I will write a TV commercial for you....
Baca also used a picture lifted from Monahan's site, which he posted, Sept. 29, 2008, on his blogsite of former City Councillor Vince Griego, right, who had just passed away.

Had Baca contacted me, knowing from our many Monday evenings spent with Griego at City Council meetings, Baca as Mayor and I photographing the City Council meetings, I would have been very reasonable about the use of the photos of Griego.

However, the White picture provides a very different set of circumstances. It was stolen and used in a negative attack piece. Baca gave, “advice to the Heinrich Campaign,” suggesting a television attack ad using my photo and the one of Bush running side by side. Within a week, such a negative ad appeared.

A review of Baca’s site reveals he is a long-standing proponent of Martin Heinrich’s campaign with no less than 34 entries. Heinrich replaced Baca as New Mexico Natural Resource Trustee appointed by Governor Bill Richardson. Part of Baca’s support stems from his association with Heinrich’s wife, Julie Hicks, left with her husband. She served in Baca’s mayoral administration in several roles, including communications director. Read Baca's several postings on Hicks: Heinrich is the One, Another Accomplishment for Martin Heinrich, Fund Raiser, Staging, and This is one of my favorite pictures.

The alarm bells go off in this old cop’s head. It is illegal for a candidate, like Heinrich or his campaign to communicate directly with a third party support group, like Patriot Majority West.

Baca seems to be dragging me, totally unwillingly, into a possible Federal Elections Law violation. I won’t go. Billing him with the caveat of an additional fee creates a settlement statement, by payment in cash, acknowledging his failure to engage in a reasonable business negotiation.

When I sent a bill to Baca, he responded with a telephone answering machine message, in which he insisted there was no copyright notice, that he had contacted Joe Monahan, that he wanted Monahan to have me contact him, and that he was going to use my photos.

Baca said, “I’ll certainly take them off the website, but I’m not going to pay you.” He took my pictures down from his site and we then had further communications.

“I picked up both pictures by googling them too.” he wrote. “Seriously, is there no way you can get a copyright on them?”

There are several problems with his statement: when one uses Google’s image search, each photograph is accompanied by a warning, “Image may be scaled down and subject to copyright.” Monahan puts a copyright bug on each of his postings, though there is no legal requirement to do so any more. The law on bugging copyrights changed years ago and material is inherently copyrighted by its creation.

“Reconsideration might be a good thing, a better thing than just the bad publicity you are about to face,” I wrote.

Baca wrote that he would pay and, “I will also keep the email you sent in which you threatened me with black mail, something about damaging my reputation with bad p.r. (public relations). I will decide what to do with that.”

I responded, “I did not make a blackmail threat with the sentence, ‘Reconsideration might be a good thing, a better thing than just the bad publicity you are about to face.’ It was not a statement that if you didn't pay that you would face bad PR; you are going to face more than ‘just’ bad PR, I'm going to tell the truth on you. With the payment I'll be able to say, ‘at least he paid me.’”

Baca and the third party production company, Patriot Majority West, and The Campaign Group Inc. have since paid their bills in full.

Upon paying the bill, I provided a substitute photograph of Griego, left, for Baca to post on his site.


There are some basic legal problems exacerbated by the ease of Internet technology.

Copyright is addressed in the Constitution of the United States, Article I, (the Legislative Branch) Sec. 8. (Powers of Congress)
To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
Property is something in law, that is personal, real, tangible or intangible, and is exclusive in its ownership and in the right to dispose of it.

The copyright laws apply to anything produced by anybody. The fact that somebody does not complain of a theft or infringement does not make the stolen property someone else’s.

None of those who appropriated my work or other’s works have any claim to them. If they make such a claim they must first admit to illegally taking them.

To that end I refer to criminal law.
Albuquerque Code of Ordinances
(A) Petty larceny consists of the stealing of anything of value of $100 or less which belongs to another.
New Mexico State Statutes
Criminal Offenses
Crimes Against Property
30-16-1. Larceny.
A. Larceny consists of the stealing of anything of value that belongs to another.
B. Whoever commits larceny when the value of the property stolen is two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or less is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.
D. Whoever commits larceny when the value of the property stolen is over five hundred dollars ($500) but not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) is guilty of a fourth degree felony.
Therefore, depending on the value of the work, one may be in violation of both copyright and criminal law at the same time.

An Aside on Jim Baca
I’ve known Baca a long time. Here he is with his wife Roberta "Bobbi" Miller Baca. He’s one of those guys that you can place in two categories at the same time. As a person, I like him; while some of his political acts cause problems.

I’ve supported him and opposed him. I put his name up for union endorsement as mayor once, but he didn’t get selected; David Cargo received the endorsement.

I also seconded a motion back in 1985 to make a negative endorsement against him in his run-off mayoral election with City Councillor Ken Schultz. Baca threatened the police union saying he was not seeking their support, but if the union made an endorsement and it was for the wrong candidate, then watch out. Schultz misused the negative endorsement of Baca, as a positive endorsement for him, in a full-page ad on the back of the first section of the Sunday Journal just before the election. Schultz won.

Baca sought my opinion on several matters over the years, including asking me whom I thought he should appoint chief of police when he fired Chief Joe Polisar. I suggested he make a global search, opening the possibilities nationwide and to place the police union president on his selection committee. He agreed with my suggestions, but didn’t follow through by putting a cop on the selection committee.

There were some 75 applicants for the job. I made an inspection of public records request to see who wanted the job. The Baca administration’s response was that the search committee was performed by non-city employees led by Roy Soto, his friend, political crony, and former deputy commissioner of Public Lands during Baca’s Land Commissioner days. More recently Soto, below left, was the State's Information Technology Cabinet Secretary until he abruptly left this past August. Contrary to Governor Bill Richardson’s polite press release, Soto, according to a legislative branch source, indicated he was fired for incompetence.

I took Baca to court for a temporary injunction. The court would not rule immediately and though the issue was alive, a hearing would not be scheduled or held before Baca, right, would make his decision and announce the selection of Gerald Galvin, center, as Chief. Baca did relent and placed the union president on the selection panel, but only after the field was narrowed to five finalists.

I had a run in with one of his appointed members of the Police Oversight Commission.

Baca has expressed thoughts that the police were out of control and sought ways to gain greater power over them. One such way was his establishing the POC. I was the Vice President of the local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge and took on a watchdog role when the Mayor and City Council created an ad-hoc committee to draft legislation that eventually formed the POC.

The ad-hoc committee met 10 times.

Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association President Alex Marentes, above, was on the committee.

During the June 17, 1998, town hall meeting on the POC legislation Baca entertained himself by reading a golfing catalogue.

Then City Councillors and now County Commissioners Alan Armijo, second from left and Tim Cummins, to his right, were on the ad-hoc committee. At the Town Hall meeting several models were presented, though it was a foregone conclusion as to which idea was favored by the Council and would be used.

The POC ordinance was adopted Oct. 19, 1998.

Cummins made a statement to KOB TV after passage as Chief Galvin walked by.

I wrote several reports for the APOA Review that were not well received by the administration. I was instrumental in having then-Councillor Michael Brasher, who is the manager of KNAW FM radio station, now a County Commissioner and is very attuned to open government, add an amendment requiring all POC meetings be televised on the government access cable channel, GOV 16. Brasher, above, is seen here on March 22, 1999, at the POC meeting explaining his amendment on televising meetings.

Appointed members of the POC, especially Commissioner Susan Seligman, right, next to Chairwoman Jill Marron, bitterly complained about having to hold their deliberations in public and on television.

Baca, seated, listens to City Attorney Bob White address the City Council as they deliberated the Police Oversight Commission legislation Oct. 19, 1998.

The POC attempted to hold interviews for hiring their Independent Council in closed sessions and I had to take them to District Court for a violation of the Open Meetings Act. I was successful and the POC was resisting the court’s order when I spoke out and was told to sit down by the Chair Jill Marron. I continued to speak and was eventually ordered to sit by my Deputy Chief Bill Weiland, above right, seen here at an earlier meeting with Lt. Michael Callaway of Internal Affairs, and Chief Galvin who napped.

Ultimately, I was fired and criminally charged. Mayor Baca didn’t say or do anything. I went through a year of hearings and a criminal trial where the charges were dismissed at the end of the State’s presentation. Almost a year later the City asked for mediation and reinstated me. I then retired. I had not threatened to or filed a lawsuit. The City’s rules required Baca to be aware of the amount of the mediated settlement. He again said nothing.

The greatest insult heaped upon the man was after he tenaciously fought for a new baseball stadium he had to rebuild the old Sport Stadium. It’s a beautiful, functional and friendly facility. However, because the park was opened after Baca left office, his replacement, Mayor Martin Chávez, took credit for the project on the brass plaque at the stadium. There are several City facilities with lists of City Councillors and or Mayors spanning more than one election cycle. This speaks loudly to Chávez’ arrogance and ego.
In his run for Land Commissioner, two years ago, Baca almost received an endorsement on this site. Before that race was over against current Land Commissioner Pat Lyons, I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either of them.
This picture of Lyons was also stolen by local blogger Scott Key who writes “Burque Babble.” Key had a conniption, when billed, and has never paid.

My Take

I’m disheartened to have to expose my business practices publicly. However, the rampant nature of theft from the internet deserves some open discussion.

Before some go off trying to justify such thefts as “Fair Use” I would liken the argument to what happens when a police officer pulls you over for a traffic offense.

At one point in my career, I routinely visited the High School approved driver training classes and explained what to do when an officer stopped a driver. I started with “there are four ways to meet Officer Bralley;”
1. Up against the wall or assume the position
2. Let me see your driver’s license, car registration and insurance information.
3 Do you want to tell me about the accident? Or,
4 Wave and say, Hello Officer Bralley. And that’s done with all five fingers, – I already know I’m number one.
With my apologies to the
New Mexico State Police Officer
who spoke to my High School class,
from which I adopted parts of this.
With a challenge to someone who has taken a picture for their own use, the first question is, did you make the photograph? We both know the answer is no, because, at least I know that I took the photograph. The next question is do you have a license? We both know the answer is no, because, I didn’t issue an authorization to take and use my work.

Until those threshold questions are appropriately answered, no other theory has any standing.

A piece of legislation is working its way through Congress, having been passed by unanimous consent in the Senate during the bailout crisis and is heading towards the House.
It is cited as the “Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008”.

The language of the bill states:
Section 2. Limitation on Remedies in Cases Involving Orphan Works.

In general.—The Act creates a new section 514 of title 17, which provides a limitation on remedies in certain instances of copyright infringement in which the user of the work is unable to locate the owner of the work despite having conducted a diligent search.

Conditions on eligibility. To qualify for this section, a user must (1) perform and document a good faith – but ultimately unsuccessful – search for the owner of the copyright in the work being used prior to such use; (2) provide attribution if the identity, but not location, of the owner is known; and (3) include with the use of the infringing work a symbol, indicating the author was not located, in a manner the Copyright Office will prescribe.
Here is a major part of the rub.
Limitation on remedies. If the user qualifies for a limitation on remedies under this section, but the user and owner do not agree on reasonable compensation, a court may determine and award reasonable compensation, defined as the amount to which a willing buyer and a willing seller would have agreed immediately prior to use.
I can see what is happening here being argued. However, the original Constitutional language on copyright is, “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” The words being, “exclusive right.” What this bill does is allow people to force work into the public square without regard for the owner’s wish. It assumes that the owner wishes to relinquish his exclusive right and that he is a “willing seller.”

It is presumptuous for Congress to draw such a conclusion.
No award of damages may be made if the user is a nonprofit educational institution, museum, library, archive, or a public broadcasting entity and such user can demonstrate that the infringement was not performed for direct commercial advantage; the infringement was primarily educational, religious or charitable in nature; and, the user promptly ceased infringement after receiving notice. Proceeds directly attributable to the use may be awarded to the owner.
“Direct commercial advantage” should not be the test; neither should, “nonprofit educational institution, museum, library, archive, or a public broadcasting entity,’ be the breakpoint on usage.

“Exclusive right” should be just that exclusive to the creator. I may choose never to allow use in any other way than it originally appeared. No matter how much someone else may want to use it or thinks it should be shared with the world; no law should force the owner into the marketplace.

In his phone message, Baca said, “I’m just really surprised about why you would do this to me.”

However, he’s not the victim by his own actions. It’s offensive, but I’m certainly not surprised at being accused of not allowing Baca to get away with taking my pictures.

As much as I might have enjoyed taking on a criminal action, it is easier on everyone to come to a settlement, even if it doesn’t make anyone happy. Settlement doesn’t assuage the question raised about Baca engaging in Rove like tactics himself.

So, I will leave it to the Republican Party or Darren White’s campaign to pursue and connect the lines from Baca’s original posting, “…Finally, a little advice to the Heinrich Campaign. Before early voting starts I would concentrate all of my advertising on showing these two pictures together.” Did the Heinrich Campaign, the third party advertiser, Patriot Majority West and The Campaign Group Inc., and Point of View Productions have direct links?

It all comes down to the theory that when those who are about to do wrong, attempt to justify their action by believing, “it’s easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.”

That’s when they become Bums, Crooks, and Thieves.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Catherine “Cappy” H. Gottfried

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

My favorite aunt, Catherine “Cappy” H. Gottfried, of Hackettstown N.J., died last Friday. She was 85.

My mother’s younger sister, Cappy was a fun-loving caring woman, quick with a joke, often a dirty one. She was a lifelong resident of New Jersey. Born Nov. 11, 1922, in Montclair, N.J., to Percy and Marguerite Guthrie.

She married Philip Gottfried, lived for 50 years in Whippany and raised a family of four children. I spent part of the summer of 1969 with them before attending New York Institute of Photography.

Her husband Phil, a former Army Major, gave the outward appearance of being a gruff man. He was stern, but fair and as a couple, they had a running comedy routine seldom matched. Cappy could blunt Phil’s remarks in a way that reassured those around him without putting him down.

I would take a 40-mile bus ride into New York City from Whippany and spend the day photographing. One day, I noticed in the newspaper that Bernadette Devlin, left, an Irish socialist and the youngest member of the British Parliament, was in town to meet Secretary General of the United Nations U-Thant, right. She was then going to receive the keys to the city from Mayor John Lindsay. I said I thought I’d take her picture. “Don’t bring her home for dinner,” Uncle Phil said. Cappy winked and said, “But, if you do, call and I’ll set an extra place at the table.”

She worked on an assembly line at Colgate-Palmolive in Morristown, N.J. and later became an Administrative Assistant in the Morris County Prosecutor's office. She had an understanding of my police work because of her association with the investigators with whom she worked.

Cappy was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 2004, and her son Richard.

She is survived by: her daughter Carol Falzo, sons Douglas and his wife Maureen Gottfried and Nick and his wife Joanne Gottfried, all of Northern N.J., many grandchildren, her sister, who my mother, Constance Bralley of the Sacramento, Calif. area, and their brother, Norman Guthrie of Birmingham, Ala.

She is seen here, left with my mother and father when she visited Albuquerque in 2003.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin’s Achilles

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Lots of bloggers are trying to make their case for who won the vice presidential debate.

I’ll leave it to them to turn red or blue in the face arguing that point.

It struck me that Alaska Governor and Republican candidate Sarah Palin didn’t answer the questions. It was most obvious when the moderator, Public Broadcasting Systems’ Gwen Ifill asked each participant what is your Achilles heel?

Palin did not answer the question. It wasn’t the only time last night. Democratic candidate Delaware Senator Joe Biden thanked Ifill for limiting his endangered heel to just one reference.

So what’s wrong with this picture?

I noticed it at the time, when Palin arrived in Albuquerque Sept. 6, and was greeted by a welcoming committee; it appeared she had three heels. Click on picture to enlarge.

She covers her deficiencies in not knowing an answer with making up her own question and answering it instead. It’s a technique that can prove helpful, especially with the press when a public figure wants to make a statement and the press wants to talk about something else. As I’ve taught in media relations classes when the microphone is pointed at you, it’s your's; say what you need to say.

It works well with sound bites, just not so well in televised debates. Palin showed her Achilles weakness which can be one of honesty, forthrightness and knowledge.

My take

She falls like the Greek mythological hero of Troy in The Iliad of Homer.

To some bloggers, they may hope the arrow hit the third foot; which wouldn’t be good for Darren White’s Campaign Manager Sara Lister, whose foot creates the optical illusion.

Of course, we still don't know who the Republican gentleman greeter was who got the long hug and chat from Palin, thanks to Lister and McCain '08 Southwest Regional Communications Director Ivette Barajas for not haveing identified the greeting party.