Monday, March 4, 2013

CD11 Candidate Tina Hess' Campaign Doubles Down, All But Admits Copyright Infringement (UPDATED)

See that little © symbol? It means ask before you touch.

Since posting a story Friday on how CD11 candidate Tina Hess had committed a bit of an ethical boo-boo by using my copyrighted photos in her campaign literature without my knowledge or consent, things have taken a turn for the weird.

Over the weekend, Patrick Furey,  President and COO of Liberty Campaign Solutions - the consulting firm running hired to send out the mailers for Ms. Hess' campaign, all but admitted misappropriating my work in this snappy little tweet:

Evidently quite amused by his own wit, Mr. Furey went on to tweet this:

When I asked Mr. Furey for links, I got nothing but crickets in response.

Here's a link to what you get when you type "Mike Bonin" into Google Images. A dollar for anyone who can find 10 copies of the photos misappropriated in Hess' mailers.

But here's the thing - it doesn't matter if my images of Mike Bonin appear in a hundred places on the web, as long as they're being used with my permission, or being used under "fair use".  Neither of which is the case when it comes to Ms. Hess' mailers.

This seems to be a concept beyond the geniuses at Liberty Campaign Solutions. Perhaps by the time the LA Ethics Commission finishes it's investigation of the complaint I lodged against their client's campaign, they'll be able to turn this into a "teachable moment".

Until then, if you're a potential candidate looking for competent campaign management, you might want to think twice before using the ethically challenged Patrick Furey and Liberty Campaign Solutions.


I just got off the phone with Mr. Furey, who clarified his firm, Liberty Campaign Solutions, was hired just to mail out the campaign flyers, not design them.

According to Mr. Furey, that honor belongs to his former partners at Veritas Campaigns LLC.  And indeed campaign records show Hess paid Veritas around $21K for their stellar work.

I'm sure their thought process went something like this, 

"Hey, we'll take the photos off the opposition's website, he'll look like a jerk if he complains!"

Here's the problem with that - if your opponent doesn't have an in-house photograp
her, or they're just licensing the images for that campaign or borrowing them with the photographer's permission, then you're SOL, because the photographer doesn't care if they look like a jerk, they just care that their work is being stolen and used in ways they never authorized.

This is why candidates should never just grab random images off the web, why you should source everything, and why you should pay for what you use if a fee is required.

It's Due Diligence 101, and the chuckle-head on Hess' campaign who thought this was a good idea needs to have their knuckles whacked in small claims court.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Look at the campaign finance reports, which I link to. She's paid them nearly $24K for postage and "campaign communications". That's a lot of money for nothing, don't you think?,%20RPT_FNAME&orderbydesc=yes&showall=yes&requesttimeout=1000&SCHEDULE=C%2CE%2CF%2CH&rept_type=AllExp&election_id=45&cand_per_id=9557&viewtype=pf

  3. Deadly combination of arrogance & ignorance. I hope you prevail with the ethics commission!