Jun 7, 2005

Jersey State Photo Fumble

Source: The Washington Post
Written By Robert MacMillan

What’s the secretary of American University’s College Democrats chapter doing in a campaign photo for New Jersey gubernatorial candidate and conservative Republican Bret Schundler?

Providing the textbook case for why it’s dangerous to digitally alter photographs, that’s what.

The original photo on the left was shot during Howard Dean’s summer 2003 presidential campaign. The image on the right was the poorly composited altered image used on New Jersey gubernatorial candidate and conservative Republican Bret Schundler website.

Laura Reznick, 21, is an ardent Democrat. Search for the American University student’s name on Google and you find out her instant messaging address is “democrattotheend.” Her recommended reading list on includes Al Franken’s “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them,” “Bushwhacked” by Molly Ivins and “Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth.” She wrote a campaign song to the tune of ” Pink Houses” by John Cougar Mellencamp.

So it seemed rather strange when her mug showed up in a crowd screaming its support for Schundler, the former mayor of Jersey City and one of seven men vying for the Republican nomination to run against Democratic candidate Sen. Jon Corzine. Schundler, who once worked on one of Gary Hart’s presidential campaigns, is now a proud member of the GOP revolution. His campaign Web site touts praise from conservatives such as President George W. Bush and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who called him “the most exciting Republican in the country.”

New Jersey politics being what they are, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Reznick photo mishap were a secret tactic by one of his rivals to try to derail his campaign just before Tuesday’s GOP primary. No such luck; it’s a case of human error. Schundler in fact was standing in front of a photo taken of supporters of Howard Dean during his 2004 presidential bid.

The Bergen Record, one of the state’s most widely read papers, plastered the story and the photographs all over its front page Friday. In its report, the Record quoted Schundler spokesman Bill Pascoe as saying that the photo was assembled by Big Fish, a Washington, D.C.,-based marketing and advertising firm that did similar work for Dean’s 2004 presidential bid.

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