No, I didn't endorse Mike Delman. I've never heard of him.

By Jennifer Sargent of Portland, Oregon. Jennifer is the regional communications director for ILWU. (She notes: her comments here are her own, and do not represent her employer.) Previously, she contributed "Happy International Human Rights Day!"

I get a lot of political mail.

And working in political communications for the past 8 years, I can honestly say that I MAKE a lot of political mail. But here's a first:

This weekend, on a flier for a candidate for Multnomah County Commissioner, MY FACE appeared in a photograph of apparent endorsers – with no prior knowledge or permission on my part. What the heck?! I feel like the 3 a.m. girl, who shot video footage when she was a little girl, saw it in a campaign commercial for Hillary Clinton, but in fact supports Barack Obama.

Here's the deal:

Delmanwalkpiece

Last October, the Healthy Kids campaign asked me and my co-worker to record a brief video statement in favor of Measure 50. We were both working for the Oregon AFL-CIO, a Healthy Kids supporter. (I now work for the Longshore Workers.) We showed up in a North Portland studio, chatted with other union types and health advocates who were there for the same reason, and waited around for Measure 50 campaign director Courtni Dressler to tell us what to do. She told us to record our goofy minute-long statements with our logos we had brought, and we did.

Afterwards, all of the Measure 50 supporters crowded together into the studio for a group photograph. We held signs in front of our chests. Mine said "Oregon AFL-CIO." Someone snapped a photo. We all went back to work. I never thought of it again -- until now.

I take a look at the front of the mailer. Mike Delman -- Never heard of the guy. I wonder where he stands on a couple of issues, and I wonder who some of my favorite organizations are endorsing in the race. But then I turn it over and there I am, in a photo, surrounded by activists from progressive organizations. We are proudly holding signs that show our organizations' logos – You can see AFSCME, SEIU, the Oregon Food Bank, the Heart Association, and about 50 other folks and organizations.

We look like a group of proud endorsers – and we are. But we when we posed for that picture, we were endorsing something else entirely.

Is Mike Delman in the photo with us? I have no idea. If he is, he should have a caption explaining that he was joining other supporters of Measure 50. Instead, it looks like he is claiming all of these endorsements for himself. That's unfair for the activists in the photo, and especially for their organizations, which are well known and may influence voters.

I don't know Mike Delman. He may be a great guy. But I honestly haven't had time to read about him or any of his fellow candidates -- Bruce Barclay, Roy Burkett, Ron McCarty, Rob Milesnick and Judy Shiprack.

When I decide who's best on the issues I care about – high quality County services that are delivered by workers who earn family wages and receive health benefits – then I will decide I want to vote for. In fact if I were to go by endorsements alone, I would follow the lead of the County workers, and they have endorsed Rob Milesnick through their union, AFSCME.

In the meantime, I'm curious to know – have any of the other organizations in this photo, other than AFSCME, made endorsements?

As a behind-the-scenes person, should I take my stint as faux endorser as karmic payback for all of the other materials I have put in others' mailboxes?

Will the other candidates race to include this photo in their own mail? If anyone else chooses to claim my endorsement, I hope they'll check with me first. I'll even comb my hair for the photo.

(Here's the PDF of Delman's literature. Or, click here to zoom in on the photo.)

Comments

  • (Show?)

    A clarification on my affiliation: I'm the regional communications coordinator for the international office of the ILWU, and Local 8 in Portland is smack-dab in the middle of my region, which extends from North Bend, OR to Bellingham, WA. I am writing here, however, in a personal capacity and not on behalf of any local or the interational.

    And I still have haven't endorsed in the County Commissioner race. :)

  • Mary B (unverified)
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    AFSCME Local 88 interviewed all the candidates in this race and made a decision to support Rob Milesnick. This had to be a tough decision to make between three members of good Union households.

    We know Mike well, he is generally a good guy, though it seems perhaps a little expansive on who is or is not supporting him. Mike worked as project staff for AFSCME for about a year many years ago. His wife is a member of Local 328 at OHSU.

    How that hard decision was made to support Rob Milesnick (married to the daughter of a labor lawyer) over Judy Shiprack (long term friend of ours and married to Bob Shiprack head of the building and construction trades) and Mike Delman is for Local 88 to talk about, if they choose, not us. But be clear, they are supporting Rob Milesnick for the County Commission.

  • chris (unverified)
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    Man--that is some slimy shit right there. According to the photo, this guy has the endorsement of every good organization in town. If I were one of Mike's opponents, I would be pretty happy about this blatantly deceptive piece, as it's likely to blow up in his face.

  • (Show?)

    I'm the regional communications coordinator for the international office of the ILWU

    Thanks, Jennifer. I'll get that fixed up. That's what I get for operating from memory.

  • chris (unverified)
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    Man--that is some slimy shit right there. According to the photo, this guy has the endorsement of every good organization in town. If I were one of Mike's opponents, I would be pretty happy about this blatantly deceptive piece, as it's likely to blow up in his face.

  • Tim Trickey (unverified)
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    I'll have to remember that if I ever fall off my rocker and run for public office.

    I have a great picture of myself with Peter DeFazio and Darlene Hooley taken while I was a tourist in Washington D.C. By Mike's logic; I can just paste that into a piece of junk mail and instantly look like a tried-and-true progressive.

    Something tells me it might not work, though... : )

  • LT (unverified)
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    HOW STUPID!

    This would be a reason not to vote for Mike! With that many people running, hopefully he will end up at the bottom of the pack with McCarty.

  • Irish for Obama (unverified)
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    I'm also in this mailing unbeknownst to me. Thank you Jennifer for posting this.

    My co-worker and I are in the Green AFSCME t-shirts in the far right. It is an extremely mis-leading mail piece that makes it seem that Delman has been endorsed by all of these organizations.

    When Mr. Delman was contacted about this mailing by us, he was very unapologetic...claiming that it was too late to do anything about it and that this picture shows how active he is within the community.

    Pissing off influential organizations in the Portland area; this is not how you win elections Mr. Delman.

  • (Show?)

    This is a total tempest in a teapot, and hardly "slimy shit." I'm a union officer (VP of AFSCME 1085), and I do support Mike even if the AFSCME local for the county doesn't -- in fact, I've gone walking and left the flyer in question on many a doorstep. To assume that a group photo such as that is intended by the campaign as implying the endorsement of everyone in the photo of Mike -- people not even identified by name and hardly as recognizible as a DeFazio or Wyden -- is a stretch. More, it is a stretch that anyone who's worked in politics -- as I presume Jennifer has - would not normally make. So the question, then, is why is this being posted? Jennifer, you haven't had the time to find out about Mike Delman, but you DO have the time to write a lengthy post clearly trying to harm his candidacy? Go to his web site, get his e-mail or phone number, and CALL him before you do something like this. Otherwise, my conclusion is that you DO have a horse in the race (or your union does) and it's not Mike, and THAT is why you've made this post.

  • Liz Smith Currie (unverified)
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    I have not endorsed Mike Delman and I am also in this photo--along with my organization, a non-profit 501(c)3 that can not endorse political candidates.

  • sean cox (unverified)
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    I have not endorsed Mike Delman and I am also in this photo--along with my organization, a non-profit 501(c)3 that can not endorse political candidates.

  • end bold (unverified)
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    end bold?

  • LT (unverified)
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    Marc, I think this falls in the category of "some people might think it is a stretch, but others may think it is stupid".

    It falls in the same category, to me, of the stock footage of the young woman in the Clinton 3AM commercial who is supporting Obama.

    I don't care if "every campaign" uses group photos in campaign material without getting the permission of those pictured. If I saw my face in a group photo on a piece of campaign literature for someone I never heard of, I would be angry, and would probably contact the candidate and say I didn't appreciate being in a group photo for his campaign.

    After all, this country was founded on "we the people" which I always thought meant individuals have a right to their opinions even if no one else agrees.

  • (Show?)

    my conclusion is that you DO have a horse in the race

    Marc,

    I don't have a horse in this race. I'm just flabbergasted that anyone would run a photo (which I now know has himself front and center) full of political endorsers, without clarifying that they are not his own endorsers. It seems like an enormous risk. And I can see that I'm not the only one in the photo who's not happy about it.

    I still have time to learn about all of the candidates, and I haven't ruled Mike out. This hasn't necessarily lost him my vote, but I appreciate straight shooters who will tell the whole story, and he has left out an important part of this story. That doesn't sit well with me.

  • (Show?)

    Fair enough Jennifer. I only suggest, then, that you do take the time to talk with Mike.

  • (Show?)

    It falls in the same category, to me, of the stock footage of the young woman in the Clinton 3AM commercial who is supporting Obama.

    No, I think it's much worse.

    The "endorsement" of the cute little girl in the 3AM ad doesn't carry any weight. But the endorsement of all those folks in that photo does matter. After all, that's why the photo was taken for the Yes on 50 campaign. And, let's be honest, it's why Delman's campaign put it in their flyer.

    people not even identified by name and hardly as recognizible as a DeFazio or Wyden

    Yeah, but their organization's logos are easily identifiable. And, for what it's worth, I was able to immediately recognize at least five people in that shot - including one other candidate for office in 2008.

  • Cathy Kaufmann (unverified)
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    I served as the Communications Director for the Healthy Kids Campaign and was responsible for the production of the photo. The individuals shown were there as representatives of the organizations that had endorsed Ballot Measure 50 (not as individual endorsers). I have no knowledge of how this photo was obtained by Mr. Delman's campaign.

    I share concerns that the use of this photo is misleading as no explanation of it is given in the walk piece. I hate to think that the time these organizations gave to the Measure 50 campaign is being used in a way they did not anticipate.

  • (Show?)

    This is slimy -- yech. Not slimy but a bit disappointing was the canvasser who came to my door for Rob Milesnick who seemed to know very, very little about him, such as where he now works (ODS, for the record).

    Roy Burkett is associated with the Constitution Party, and is on his third political campaign, the last of which won him the Oregonian endorsement. Progressives might be a bit more careful with how they run their campaigns, as it's not a lock that one of them will win.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Thanks, Cathy I share concerns that the use of this photo is misleading as no explanation of it is given in the walk piece. I hate to think that the time these organizations gave to the Measure 50 campaign is being used in a way they did not anticipate.

    And I might remind folks here that what ended the legislative careers of Marilyn Shannon and Julie Gianella (running for each other's seats in the time of term limits) was claiming endorsements from organizations whose tax status did not allow them to endorse. When that hit the fan, they tried the lame "we voted as if they would endorse us" nonsense which really upset some people.

    Democrats/ progressives are supposed to be better than that. And anyone who says "well everyone does it" needs to be reminded that such statements don't convince parents to let their kids do something foolish, so why should it apply in politics?

  • (Show?)

    And yeah, I think I have a picture with me and Al Gore somewhere..the three second handshake at a fundraiser. Time to run for office!

  • John Englsih (unverified)
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    Marc,

    If you are the same Marc who was former chair of the DPO, I recall some folks were upset at you for erroneously listing them as endorsers for you re-election in 1999. Maybe you don't think this is a big deal , but most do.

    I don't know hat the rules are regarding photos, but I can remember the Atiyeh campaign in '82 shooting footage in my home town, and campaign staff calling my parents to try to find out the names of people in the film in order to seek their permission for production.

    When an actual name is used for a public endorsement , the standards are strict from the point of view of the SOS's office regarding voters pamphlet and many newspapers regarding advertismetns. They will want a waiver authorizing their name to be sued publicly.

    The standards are often more lenient for campaign produced literature and press releases, but candidates and campaigns will be lax at their own risk.

    Gephardt's campaign in Iowa really started to decline in July '03 when the St. Louis Post revealed that 1/3 of his announced Western Iowa leadership team were supporting other candidates or were neutral.

  • (Show?)

    I really really really really don't have a horse in this race. Hell, I wasn't even aware of the race, much less the horses in it.

    That said, this clearly crosses the line. Even if the people pointing this out were politically motivated, that doesn't detract from that simple fact.

  • Joel Corcoran (unverified)
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    I am on staff with Mike Delman, so I'm intimately familiar with the flyer that Jennifer Sargent discusses in her post. I'm writing to respond to a few points she and others have raised on the issue, and please feel free to email me ([email protected]) if you'd like further information. I'd be happy to talk to anyone on the phone about this as well, so just email me for my phone number.

    1. Mike used the photo in the same way many other candidates have used photos of themselves attending various events or activities. In fact, the photo illustrates a point stated in the directly adjacent text: "I [Mike] am a community activist, volunteering for the County Health Help Program, SOLV, the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association and currently with the Portland Citizens Disability Advisory Committee, the Multnomah County Human Services Budget Advisory Committee, and the Fernwood Middle School site committee."

    Mike participated in the Yes on 50 campaign coalition as part of his organization. He appears in the picture but nothing, anywhere, in the entire flyer conveys the idea that other members of that coalition endorse his candidacy for Multnomah County Commissioner. Thus, it's pretty clear to anyone reading the flyer that the photo is simply saying "look at all these great community activities I'm involved with," and not "look at this huge group of people endorsing me."

    Additionally, the other side of the flyer shows a picture of Mike Delman standing in front of a sign for Multnomah County Libraries, yet nothing, anywhere, in the entire flyer conveys the idea that the county library system endorses Mike. It’s just him standing in front of a sign, very similar to the other picture of him sitting with a large group of people. And neither photo expresses any endorsement of Mike.

    1. Mike never intended the photo as any sort of endorsement whatsover. I think this “tempest in a teapot” (as Marc Abrams said) arose because we’re all highly politically attuned and we strictly examine things that 99.9% of the general public would simply never even consider.

    2. If you would like to ask Mike why he used the picture (and at least get an explanation from him before you judge whether he is “slimy” or “deceptive”), please get in touch. You can reach us through the campaign website (http://www.mikedelman.com) or email Mike directly at [email protected] You can also find the campaign’s phone number on the website.

    3. The flyer is a walking piece, not a mailer. We've distributed several thousand pieces in our canvassing efforts, but it's never been sent out as a mailer. On the printed flyer, the photo measures 2-2/3 inches across and 1-9/16 inches high. That's pretty close to the actual size shown on Jennifer's post (at least on my computer screen). The only way you can see who anyone is in the photo is with a magnifying glass or by blowing up a digital image (like Jennifer’s “click to zoom” link). I doubt more than a handful of the people receiving are going to bother trying to figure out who all those people are in the picture. In fact, when I first saw this walking piece, I told Mike that it was a bad photo because you can’t even identify him (much less anyone else) without a magnifying glass.

    4. Jennifer seems to be arguing for an "endorsement by association" standard in political literature. I think that's pretty extreme. It sounds too much like a “guilt by association” standard. Granted, there are some candidate photos where an endorsement is clearly expressed or implied (e.g., Candidate X shaking hands with Governor Y, or Candidate X appearing in front of a banner for some company or organization). But that type of photo is the exception, not the rule.

    Personally, I think this "endorsement by association" idea is a little too extreme because then candidates would have to: (1) use very boring photos with no people or organizations in the backgrounds; or (2) obtain endorsement releases – in addition to model releases – for any person or organization appearing anywhere in any campaign photo. Think about that.

    If we accept Jennifer’s argument, a candidate using a photo of herself attending a Portland Trailblazers game would convey the message that the Blazers organization endorses her campaign. Or a candidate using a photo of himself standing in front of Pastaworks (a gourmet food store on SE Hawthorne) would intend to convey the message that Pastaworks endorses his campaign. Or a candidate pictured talking to a senior citizen while wearing an Oregon State Beavers sweatshirt would convey the idea that OSU endorses her candidacy.

    I don’t want to go down that road at all. I’m returning to campaign work after an absence of several years, and if I had to manage a campaign under that standard, I’d be pulling my hair out. I’d rather go back to the tedious legal scrivening I was doing a few years ago rather than have to get signed endorsement forms from every last person or organization implicated in a candidate photo.

    However, if that is the standard that Jennifer (and others) wish to adopt, then I’m sure they can introduce a bill to change Oregon election laws in the next legislative session that would impose that standard. In the meantime, I’ll look forward to Jennifer’s continued intense scrutiny of all campaign literature – including from the candidates she supports – for other cases of “endorsement by association.”

  • (Show?)

    To assume that a group photo such as that is intended by the campaign as implying the endorsement of everyone in the photo of Mike -- people not even identified by name and hardly as recognizible as a DeFazio or Wyden -- is a stretch. More, it is a stretch that anyone who's worked in politics -- as I presume Jennifer has - would not normally make.

    Sheesh. This photo was staged and taken as an endorsement photo, that is, endorsement of SOMETHING ELSE. One could even argue that this photo belongs to the Measure 50 campaign, if it still existed. Everybody who sat for that photo did so only to lend their name, face and reputation, as well as that of their organizations, to the Measure 50 campaign.

    This is not in any way similar to the 3 AM ad, in which a young person's likeness was sold to an agency and later bought by the campaign.

    I guess we should all check for cameras if we're ever in a room with Mike, since his defense and Marc's rationalization seem to indicate that if you happen to be in a shot with Mike, you may find yourself on his campaign literature. The defense is just as unsettling as the inappropriate use, in that it indicates that they just don't get it.

  • (Show?)

    Joel, If I were you I'd lay off knocking people for the standards they wish to support and start dealing with what appears to be a growing group of people now immediately ticked off at your candidate. To minimize their concerns simply because you don't share them isn't helping him, and will likely hurt him as time goes on and he attempts to become more well-known. Whether his intention was to make it appear that those in the picture endorse him or not is immaterial. How it is being received and making those people feel and how they view him, is not.

  • SuperJunk (unverified)
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    How dissapointing! I recieved this very lit piece!

    After straining, squinting and eventually using a magnifying glass in the proper light, I surveyed each of the faces on the small, 1 inch photo. Eventually I realized that one of the 1/8 of a centemeter-sized faces was that of Ms. Sargent! I had clearly taken this for an endorsement and was excited to vote for Mr. Delman based on this fact!

    But then I realized that I don't know who Ms. Sargent is nor do I particularly care. And then I relized that Mr. Delman clearly used the photo because HE'S IN IT. In the front row. Center.

    Come off it: no one in the world planning on voting for Mr. Delman because they saw Ms. Sargent's tiny photo.

    I get it: you believe the photo shouldn't have been used because it suggests that these groups endorse Mr. Delman. Or maybe the guy just used it because HE'S IN IT.

    My God, what an incredibly boring and hopelessly self-involved post...

  • LT (unverified)
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    Joel, you seem like an honest guy, and I don't live in Mult. Co. so I wouldn't be voting in this race.

    However, this strikes me as about 2 steps better than the obnoxious tactic of putting a lawn sign in someone's property when they aren't home (or late at night).

    What is your evidence for

    Thus, it's pretty clear to anyone reading the flyer that the photo is simply saying "look at all these great community activities I'm involved with," and not "look at this huge group of people endorsing me."??

    Do you mean you did a focus group? If you went to the parking lot of a big box retailer (great place to see lots of people who aren't political) and asked the first 25 you talked with what they saw in the picture, how do you know they would mention community activities the candidate has been involved with? You might happen upon a photographer who has worked hard to get clearances for photographs, or someone whose child was shown on the news without clearance and was not asked for permission!

    Maybe Mike has never run for anything before and this is a rookie mistake. But my former state rep. once had (flier? newspaper ad? ) something with a picture and a list of names of endorsers---but if you looked closely you saw many of them did not live in the district and some were other legislators. Others have been shown with a child which turned out to be a niece or nephew but the picture implied parenthood.

    You may not have thought there was anything wrong with it, but it looks to me like the wrong judgement call was made.

  • Sharon (unverified)
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    Mr. Delman's staffer Joel wrote "Granted, there are some candidate photos where an endorsement is clearly expressed or implied (e.g., Candidate X shaking hands with Governor Y, or Candidate X appearing in front of a banner for some company or organization). But that type of photo is the exception, not the rule."

    I just looked at mikedelman.com. The first photo is of Mr. Delman with Governor Kulongoski. Does this mean that the Governor has endorsed Mike too?

  • Liz Smith Currie (unverified)
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    I have no feelings either way for this candidate, but I find the campaign's response disturbing. Why not chalk this up to a mistake--that is, admit they shouldn't have used the photo--and move on? I would have accepted that and don't see the point in making the excuse that this doesn't look like an endorsement. Plus I look terrible in it...

  • Joel Corcoran (unverified)
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    LT, thanks for the response, and I appreciate your comments. You concluded with "You may not have thought there was anything wrong with it, but it looks to me like the wrong judgement call was made," which I think is fine. You think Mike Delman made the wrong call. We can agree to disagree. I have no problem with that, and I'm quite happy to debate the finer points of election law governing what constitutes an endorsement or not.

    I have no evidence for my statement that "it's pretty clear to anyone reading the flyer that the photo is simply saying 'look at all these great community activities I'm involved with,' and not 'look at this huge group of people endorsing me.'" That's just my opinion, based on gut instinct and my years of experience as an attorny and resurgent politcal campaigner. I had just over 12 years experience in campaign management (paid and volunteer, candidates and ballot measures), but then moved to Washington, DC, for a few years. I moved back to Oregon in late 2004, volunteered for some light work on a couple campaigns then, and for a lot of reasons, I've decided to dive back into the political thicket.

    The points you brought up about your former state representative using a list of endorsers or a candidate substituting a niece or nephew as his own child are good points. I think those efforts would be deceptive if they conveyed deceptive messages. If the state rep identified his list of names as "local endorsers," then sure, that's deceptive. If the candidate expressly stated the child was his, or used some very leading photograph (such as tucking the kid into bed), then sure, that's deceptive, too. But Mike didn't do anything like this.

    Again, the explanation for the photo can be found in the text right next to it -- "I am a community activist, volunteering for ... etc. etc. etc." The photo illustrates Mike's years as a community activist, not any sort of endorsement relationship. In my opinion, just showing a candidate within a large group of people doesn't convey an endorsement message.

  • lonnie G. (unverified)
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    I just went and checked out Delman's website, just for the heck of it and see what the brew-ha-ha was all about. Front and center of this site, is a link that shows the piece in question.

    I gotta tell ya, it looks to me like it's just to show how active he is in the community, not at all an endorsement. What probably happened is that one of the other campaigns that recently filed, (my understanding is that Delman has been in the race for over a year) is just now starting to campaign. (None of the faces in the walk piece are recognizable, nor frankly are the signs. None of that however matters.)

    When I looked at the piece, I was expecting it to have at least a blushing overtone of an endorsement ring to it.

    For the record, I don't live in district 3. But I'm supporting Judy Bauman-Shiprack in that race.

  • (Show?)

    Lonnie G.: I gotta tell ya, it looks to me like it's just to show how active he is in the community, not at all an endorsement.

    If it had been labeled as such, for example "Delman working with fellow activists on Measure 50", I would have no problem with it. But come on - do you really think that a picture of this candidate in a crowd of people holding up various organization signs wouldn't be interpreted by many voters as support for him? Or that Mr. Delman couldn't anticipate that?

    Mind you, this is way less bad than the typical Republican trick of lying about your opponent. But still, it does cross a line.

  • Eryn (unverified)
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    NEWS UPDATE! NEWS UPDATE!

    Jennifer Sargent has endorsed UNITE HERE!

    She has even agreed to pay for their VICTORY PARTY after they win their campaign against the Portland Hilton!

    THANKS JENNIFER!!!

    Eryn Slack

  • lonnie G. (unverified)
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    Steve:

    But come on - do you really think that a picture of this candidate in a crowd of people holding up various organization signs wouldn't be interpreted by many voters as support for him? Or that Mr. Delman couldn't anticipate that.

    Yeah, I would. I don't think it was the intent, nor do I think people (unless they are looking for fault) would interpret it that way.

    Some people might, but the pic is soooo small, it says nothing about endorsement, only about groups he's involved with to portray that he's active in the progressive community. He got his pic taken during an activity on M50. I don't read anything more into it than that. When I look at the actual walk piece that's on his site, again, it's so small. It's not an endorsement piece, it looks like an intro to the candidate piece.

    One more item: I don't think Liz Smith Currie has anything to worry about. But I like Liz and I find it difficult to believe that she could ever take a bad pic. :-) the pic is way to small.

    Like I mentioned, I'm supporting Judy. But I don't think anything is afoul with this walk piece.

  • (Show?)

    Personally, I think this "endorsement by association" idea is a little too extreme because then candidates would have to: (1) use very boring photos with no people or organizations in the backgrounds; or (2) obtain endorsement releases – in addition to model releases – for any person or organization appearing anywhere in any campaign photo. Think about that.

    Yes. That is the exact choice that you have to make to avoid dealing with bullshit like this. Make a release form, have people sign it during your photo shoot, and you are good to go. Are there really people who run campaigns without being careful about that sort of shit? It isn't actually difficult at all, and you won't have to deal with anyone saying that you used their photo without their permission.

    And this will all be fine, so long as you don't STEAL SOMEONE ELSE'S PHOTO. Just don't do that, and you'll be fine. But instead you are now shooting yourself in the foot by actually arguing that it is A-OK to use a person's photo in a campaign piece without their permission.

    And a bit of advice, when defending your candidate against theretofore nebulous accusations, do NOT immediately jump to "it isn't illegal and I can prove it." Preemptive please of technical legal inculpability rarely make for effective political speech.

  • Iced Tee (unverified)
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    I've got no dog in this fight: I'm an anti-union voter in most elections (because they already have most Oregon Democrats by the short hairs, and I'm paying for their PERS), and I'm not a union member.

    That said, the action of holding an organizational sign up in front of you (while smiling) certainly prompts the casual observer to assume those organizations are friendly to Delman's cause. It really doesn't matter what the photo caption says, because the campaign knows that most door hangers go straight to the recycle/trash can: it's intended to build name recognition and "touch" the voter as they carry it to the trash/recycle bin. Pictures are worth 10,000 words on a campaign flyer.

    The Blazer's analogy would be more apt if you had a uniformed player from every NBA team holding their logo in a photo published by a Nike employee running for local office. Sure, they all smiled for the camera, but they had no idea it would be used for a political campaign they neither endorsed nor authorized.

  • lonnie G. (unverified)
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    Well, that settles it then. If Iced Tee, a self-admitted anti-union voter says that it's an endorsement piece, then it must be. Those types of people always know the real game. HA!

    ...the action of holding an organizational sign up in front of you (while smiling) certainly prompts the casual observer to assume those organizations are friendly to Delman's cause. I

    Yep. If his ilk says so. Sounds like this guy is all about "fair & balanced."

    Look, Delman, and other progressives are in the race. SO of course he's going to bash the walk piece or any piece that could possibly be interpreted in a way that wasn't intended, if it's coming from a Dem.

    It just shows Delman at an event, a M50 event. Betcha Ice Tee supported M50 too.

    Ouch! My tongue just got sprained pushing the inside of my cheek too hard.

  • A Former Campaign Manager (unverified)
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    Hey Joel,

    Just a tip: good campaigns DO get endorsement and model release forms for everyone on their campaign lit. Why don't you "think about that". Well run campaigns also have their shit together enough to stage their own endorsement photos instead of "borrowing" another campaign's. The fact that you would use ANY photo in your lit piece that you didn't own or explicitly get permission to use boggles the mind. Why would you or Mike put your campaign at risk like that?

    p.s. Your first comment is quite possibly the worst, worst worst thing you could have done in this situation. A simple apology for not including a caption would have sufficed. Instead, you ramble on and on about God knows what, including suggesting that the people that your campaign didn't have the decency to contact before printing their pictures actually contact YOU before jumping to conclusions. LAME!

  • Iced Tee (unverified)
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    Nicely done, LG. I like the way that tongue looks pressed up against your cheek...Kind of reminds me of a certain N.J. Governor that likes to s.....NEVER MIND.

    Ignore the message, burn the messenger. Sprinkle with sarcasm and frost with progressive disdain.

    I don't even know what office Delman is running for: if he's a Democrat, his odds of winning are pretty good. If Delman doesn't win, it likely means he lost to an even more "progressive" candidate.

    If you support Delman (or work for him), you would be well advised to inform him that manipulation, obfuscation, and deflection will be out of style by November. Like plaid with white shoes.

  • lonnie G. (unverified)
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    Well, Former Campaign Manager,

    Then surely, SURELY, with all your experience, wouldn't you have put in 14 size font, a bigger than life picture if it HAD been an endorsement piece?

    C'mon. It's a happy picture, Delman is in the middle of the pic at an event. That's it.

    Now, Mr. Tee. As to Eliot Spitzer. Yah, I did him. Now, where is my $2 million bucks from Penthouse & Hustler?

    Just in case you don't know this, the phrase "Tongue in Cheek" means one is being facetious--kinda kidding. It's a tone. Do you know what factious means? Oh, cripes! I forgot. You don't like public employees, you know. Like teachers.

    Must mean that you weren't paying attention in class that day during the vocabulary lesson. You should be spanked! Hard!

  • lonnie G. (unverified)
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    Here from Wilki: Tongue-in-cheek is a term that refers to a style of humour in which things are said only half seriously, or in a subtly mocking way. It is related to satire and irony.

    From the dictionary: facetious |fəˈsē sh əs| adjective treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.

    ORIGIN late 16th cent.(in the general sense [witty, amusing] ): from French facétieux, from facétie, from Latin facetia ‘jest,’ from facetus ‘witty.’

    Example: unfortunately, they took my facetious remarks seriously. flippant, flip, glib, frivolous, tongue-in-cheek, ironic, sardonic, joking, jokey, jocular, playful, sportive, teasing, mischievous; witty, amusing, funny, droll, comic, comical, lighthearted, jocose. antonym serious.

    So there.

  • lonnie G. (unverified)
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    Oops! Mea Culpa Ice Tee!

    You mean McGreevey. Yah, him too. Sorry, Spitzy. But I still want my $2 million. Thanks in advance.

  • Clark (unverified)
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    I would check out Bruce Barclay. He has been a member of AFSCME four for years. He has been a public school teacher, public defender trial assistant, service advocate for the mentally ill, and a small business owner. His campaign is people driven, not money driven. It is neighborhood focused not Portland insider focused. He has worked at the county for years and believe we can do a better job. Don't stick with the same old politicians and the same old county corruption. Vote for Bruce Barclay, running on bringing transparency and an open ear to the county.

    Bruce Barclay is the only candidate in the race who filed by petition instead of paying a fee. He campaign is all volunteer, no paid consultants. His website was built for free by a woman living in district he met going door to door to listen to people's concerns.

    Disclosure: I am just a citizen but am excited and volunteering for Bruce Barclay to bring trust and transparency to the County.

    This is REAL grassroots. Join us. www.Barclay2008.com A Community Driven Campaign

  • lonnie G. (unverified)
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    He was recently endorsed by AFSCME, wasn't he? It's good to endorse your own, but I was hoping AFSCME would go for Judy. She's got a good track record on local neighborhood issues.

    I always think its good when there are lots of good candidates to choose from.

  • Joel Corcoran (unverified)
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    After discussing the issue some more, Mike Delman’s campaign will include a disclaimer in our next printing of the walking piece clearly stating that the picture does not constitute an endorsement. We’re working on the language of the disclaimer, but it should read something like "This photo does not constitute an endorsement of Mike Delman by anyone pictured and is offered only to illustrate Mike's community involvement and activism."

    If anyone has any further questions, concerns, comments, or needs to speak to someone in Mike Delman's campaign on this issue, please feel free to contact me. You can email me at [email protected], and if you want to talk on the phone, I'll gladly give you my cell phone number.

    On a purely personal note – and please understand I am speaking only for myself here – I want to apologize for reacting like a lawyer in my comments this afternoon. My earlier comments were simply too brusque and dismissive, and I allowed my own stubbornness to cloud my ability to read some comments posted here. I should have done a better job of explaining myself, and I should have done a better job of differentiating the questions and criticisms made in good faith apart from the comments that immediately dismissed Mike and his campaign as slimy, deceptive, and intentionally manipulative.

    I will try to communicate better when I next post on BlueOregon.com.

    I offer the following comments, not as an excuse, but as an attempt to better explain myself so you know where I’m coming from.

    I left politics entirely four years ago because I just couldn't take the prejudice in our own ranks. I have a great love for public affairs and political work (which is why I'm getting back into the game), but there are aspects of electoral politics that I utterly detest and sometimes have a hard time stomaching.

    When I saw comments from various people calling Mike (and his campaign) slimy, deceptive, manipulative, and acting with bad intent, that stuck in my craw. I took things too personally. And I became very defensive. A little angry, but really just very defensive. And rather stubborn. And perhaps a bit bitter.

    We can all agree to disagree on our own opinions of whether a picture showing a candidate in a crowd of people holding signs is an endorsement by association. I’ve heard from many people who I know and highly respect tell me what they think of this issue, and they’ve come down on all sides of the questions tossed around here today. The amount of debate here in this post – and in the many phone calls and emails going on among all of us behind-the-scenes – should be enough to show that people of good faith can honestly disagree on the questions presented here.

    The debate is fine. I’m not only a lawyer, I’m Irish-American, so I adore a good debate.

    But to personally attack someone, to question his character, to call him slimy and manipulative, without even bothering to at least ask him why he did something ... ?

    Personally, I have a very hard time putting up with that, especially from progressives.

    I expect that just about any stranger I meet on any given day will pre-judge me and question my character based on any number of silly reasons -- because I'm gay, overweight, a lawyer, a Husker fan, I’m almost 40 years old, I don’t own a car, I play D&D, or because I prefer creamy peanut butter over crunchy. I'm used to that. It doesn’t bother me at all.

    But I still sometimes have trouble dealing with those attacks from people who I naturally expect to be my allies.

    We're progressives. We either suffer prejudice and discrimination directly, or we are close to people who do. And we want to end that. We think it’s utterly unfair to pre-judge someone’s character based simply on his or her religion, race, gender identity, sex, economic status, sexual orientation, disability status, or any number of other unrelated factors. Because of that experience, we fight for tolerance, equality, and fairness. We're supposed to be fighting against intolerance, unfairness, and people who are all too willing to judge us for no reason. You would think we'd all do a better job of at least questioning someone about his motives before harshly judging his intent and condemning his character.

    I do want to thank those of you who provided straightforward, direct comments without questioning Mike's intent or character right off the bat. I read your comments, took them to heart, and my personal note here is in response largely to you.

    And again, if anyone wants to speak to me directly, just drop me an email.

  • Mister Tee (unverified)
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    Creamy peanut butter? Show some self respect, Mister. And remove that pledge pin!

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    D&D in a World of Warcraft era?

    Certainly shows that you value established tradition over passing fads.

    Just don't try to put up an endorsement from Gygax for your guy.

    Wouldn't be prudent........GHWB

    Full Disclosure: I prefer mindless First Person Shooters to RPGs, but I'm not speaking on behalf of any gamer or group of gamers

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    After discussing the issue some more, Mike Delman’s campaign will include a disclaimer in our next printing of the walking piece clearly stating that the picture does not constitute an endorsement.

    That's highly ethical of Mr. Delman's campaign, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that this was not intended and just slipped through.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Political theater of the absurd.

    I've looked at the flyer now a half dozen times, and Jennifer Sargent's entire post, as well as many of the comments following, are ridiculous. The flyer does not talk about endorsements, and the only reason to jump to that conclusion is if you have too high an opinion of yourself or your organization. Seriously, the photo shows a guy engaged in the community, and that's all any reasonable person would see.

    For the record, I don't even know who Delman is, nor any of the other candidates for MC commission.

    Finally, I assume Mandate Media is not working for any of the candidates, since surely Kari would have disclosed that in his own comment. Given the lack of substance in the original post, I find myself searching for a reason why this guest column was approved for publication.

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    After discussing the issue some more, Mike Delman’s campaign will include a disclaimer in our next printing of the walking piece clearly stating that the picture does not constitute an endorsement.

    Hey, I get it. Things move quickly in campaigns and sometimes mistakes are made. It happens to everyone.

    But for me, even the coolest photo in the world is not worth alienating the potential (and essential) allies in the photo. Several of the people and organizations in the photo have said we do not want to be featured on Mike Delman’s literature. Many of us are holding the logos of 501 (c)(3) organizations whose tax status does not allow them to endorse candidates. For me, a disclaimer would be better than nothing, but I’d still prefer not to be there.

    And it’s certainly not kosher to reprint it without the blessing of the Measure 50 campaign, who organized and presumably paid for the photo. Remember, they asked these people to be in the photo, and you have put them in a position of explaining to those people how the photo ended up being used by someone else entirely. Even with a disclaimer, that’s an awkward place for them to be.

    I think Cathy Kaufmann’s word should be taken to heart here:

    I served as the Communications Director for the Healthy Kids Campaign and was responsible for the production of the photo. ... I hate to think that the time these organizations gave to the Measure 50 campaign is being used in a way they did not anticipate.

    I don’t know whether a disclaimer would help get Cathy to give you the green light. It just seems like continuing to use this photo against people's wishes is not worth the risks.

  • Hilary Mortensen (unverified)
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    I am one of the individuals in the photo and you do not need a magnifying glass to see who is in the photo. If you truly needed a magnifying glass to decipher those in the photo what would the point of using it be?

    Having said that, I did take time out last week to call Mike Delman to let him know that I was not comfortable with being on his literature piece. He was not all that friendly about my concerns and said it was too late to do anything and the literature would probably not be used again because they would be dropping the last few 1000 pieces in the next couple of weeks.

    I then asked him where he obtained the photo because I remember signing a release form for the Measure 50 campaign to use the photo anyway they liked but not for the individuals in the picture to use anyway that they pleased. It seems the Portland Citizens Disability Advisory Committee gave him the photo.

    I personally had not made a decision about who to vote for in the upcoming Commissioners race, but I can say Mike Delman will not get my vote. His rude response to me on the phone did not bode well and should not be the way that a politician reacts to general public.

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    Finally, I assume Mandate Media is not working for any of the candidates, since surely Kari would have disclosed that in his own comment.

    You are correct.

    Given the lack of substance in the original post, I find myself searching for a reason why this guest column was approved for publication.

    I disagree that there's a lack of substance. Good people can disagree about whether Jennifer is correct and this is a big deal, or whether Joel is correct and it's not. But it does appear to be worthy of a post.

  • Tim Fitzgerald (unverified)
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    I have a stake in this election, since I'm Bruce Barclay's campaign manager who is running against Mike Delman in District 3 of Multnomah County. I don't want to pile on the criticism, since I think that Joel's last comment was a good way to resolve the situation. I really just wanted to say that this really struck me as a simple mistake; simple, as in easy to avoid. I've never run a campaign before, and Bruce Barclay has never run for office before, but we both knew from the beginning that there are a lot of simple things to avoid in a political campaign. For example: we took a number of pictures of Bruce for campaign material, but we ended up not using a some of them because other people, businesses, residences, etc. were visible in the background in some pictures. Even though we took the picture while on public property, and the focus was Bruce, since we didn't have their permission, the pictures were out. I think that a simple standard for whether of not the use of material is objectionable, is to ask the people in the material if it's alright. That's what a photo-shoot release or an endorsement form are for. I think that since clearly some people (and possibly organizations) in the photo had an objection to its use, then there was a problem, regardless of whether or not they have a stake in the election. I know that I'm going to double-check whatever stuff we put out in light of this.

  • Jeff Smith (unverified)
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    At some point in time everyone should have known i would weigh in on this I am glad Jennifer has brought this to everyone's attention.

    I am the President of ILWU Local 8 and also the Oregon District Area Council President. Even though Jennifer wrote this post on her own time and on her own behalf, I want to back her up by saying that I agree with her post.

    I am involved in all of the union's endorsements and I can say that no one gets an endorsement unless it has been voted on by our union members and that hasn't happened. The only candidate who has even approached me in this race is Judy Shiprack.

    It seems to me like the right thing for Mike Delman to do is to apologize and make sure no one else gets that flier without seeing a disclaimer on it.

  • Mike Delman (unverified)
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    There was never an attempt on my part to mislead the public about an endorsement by those in the picture. That photo was used to show my commitment to community activities and local issues that I care about. I've participated in these activities for over 24 years, including library levies, public safety levies and many initiatives. When it was put in the mix for consideration in creating the walking piece I was worried that my photo (let alone anyone elses) would be too small to be noticed. In retrospect a disclaimer should've been used to clear up any confusion. In my wildest dreams I never expected anyone would take that particular photo for an endorsement of their organization.

    We will use another photo in subsequent printings. I hope people will take this as its intended and get to know me outside the context of this blog. The website is: www.mikedelman.com

  • Steve Buel (unverified)
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    I am a Mike Delman supporter and actually passed out the piece door to door. I have run four city-wide campaigns for myself and worked on a myriad of others. The reason I suspect that his campaign manager gave the response he did is that he was eager to show there was nothing slimy or even really wrong about using this photo. (i.e. there was no intent other than to show Mike in an activist role.) It was a great photo for demonstrating Mike's tremendous activism for progressive issues in Portland. However, as Mike states there was another way to look at it which he hadn't contemplated. This is not a rookie mistake, nor a lack of judgement -- it is just one of those things you didn't necessarily think about. Since I know Mike enough to know he is an honest guy with very good intentions I imagine he didn't even think about the dual perceptions that some people might have concerning the photo.

    <h2>Chalk it up to campaign experience. It is nowhere near putting up lawnsigns in unapproved places or slimy in any manner. And certainly nothing that would make me question my support for this fine person.</h2>
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