political image users

This is kind of amusing.

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden is defending fundraising websites set up by the Republican campaign committee he oversees that critics say mislead voters into thinking they’re actually donating to Democrats.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which Walden chairs, has set up 16 websites that use flattering photos of Democratic incumbents and in many cases the same typography and colors they use on their own campaign sites – as well as web addresses that use the names of the Democrats.

In smaller type under the candidates’ names, the sites describe how they’re raising money to defeat those candidates.

And Greg Walden and the Republicans are not particularly fooling anyone with this rationale:

NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said the committee didn’t intend to deceive anyone and that the fuss was much ado about nothing.

“I think we give voters credit for being able to read a website and come to the conclusion that they are negative attacks on Democratic candidates,” she said.

Visuals are at times everything in politics — there’s a famous example of a critical news piece from one of the networks which juxtaposed Reagan’s glowing ads with his record, where Reagan’s political operatives than thanked the network for what was a positive piece for them is pushing the visuals forward again.  So here is the irony of this use of positive smiling pictures of your political opponents for, in part, reasons of fooling…

Time Magazine, which posted a story on the websites Wednesday, described it as similar to a “spoofing” telemarketing scam and quoted Kathy Kiley of the Sunlight Foundation as saying:

“If it were a consumer product we were talking about it would be illegal—or at least you’d get the better business bureau all over you…It’s just another example of how un-transparent and shady the system of funding political campaigns has become.”

The alternative, and what we see is typical, is use of the unflattering pictures imaginable of your opponent, set up against horror music for dramatic effect.  And you know what?  This gets a lot of derision from the same people critical of the Republican use of the smiling positive images.

Damned if you do; damned if you don’t, and the only honest method of campaigning is to go to the negative image.  Kind of ironic.

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