CLCrow Photography Blog

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Honesty and Integrity Part 2

Three days before the runoff election between Tim Scott and Paul Thurmond, my mother received a postcard from the Scott campaign – one of many that were arriving in her mail box on a daily basis.  As usual it was hatefully attacking Paul. Although, unfortunately this was politics as usual, this postcard had a picture on it of Paul that the Scott campaign had no right to use.  The picture was one that I, as a professional photographer, had taken of Paul during the Tri-County Debate aboard the U.S.S. Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. on May 18, 2010.

In case many of you don’t know, the use of someone else’s photographs without their permission is a copyright infringement.   It doesn’t matter that my picture was posted on Paul’s Facebook page – they never asked for my permission nor did they ever offer to compensate me for the use of that picture.  Unfortunately for them, my mother recognized the picture right away as it was a very unusual angle that could not even be duplicated by someone standing right next to me.  But to be sure, she and I compared the two to make certain that it was my photograph.

I am a professional photographer and photography is my livelihood.   Because of that fact, I sent a letter, an invoice, a copy of the flyer and a copy of the photograph to Tim Scott asking to be compensated for my work.   Three days later I received a call from his campaign manager telling me that they received the letter and that they were forwarding it on to their attorney.  No big deal, I was expecting that.  A week later I received a letter from the attorney asking me to call him at my convenience, which I did.   However, he wasn’t in so I left a message on his voicemail.   Needless to say, I didn’t hear back so for the following two days I called him again – both times leaving messages.  On the third day, in my message I told him that if I had not heard from him or the campaign by September 15th,  that I would take my case to court.  Ironically, I got a phone call that afternoon.

It was the longest 6 minute phone conversation that I’ve ever had.  It was not a pleasant one as the attorney was determined to bully me but I answered all of his questions.  He then told me that he would confer with his client and get back to me.  That was on August 26, 2010 and I have yet to hear back.   I left one more message on the 14th of September stating that they had until the next morning to get this issue resolved.  Otherwise I planned to hire an attorney to take this issue to court.  To this day, I still haven’t heard anything and doubt that they have any intention of getting back to me.

This was not the outcome I had hoped for.    I tried to get this matter resolved without involving the courts or smearing Tim but it appears that Tim and his representatives have no interest in working with me or are taking this matter seriously.     As a result I have been forced to file paperwork with the federal court.

Is this the type of politician that we want representing us in Washington?

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September 30, 2010 Posted by | Experiences | , , | Leave a comment

Honesty and Integrity – Part 1

How is it that honesty and integrity and the word politician don’t seem to go together?  Yes, many politicians may start off being idealistic but somewhere along the way they change and become interested in only what being in power will do for them.  No longer do they seem to care about the people that they are supposed to represent or are concerned about making this country a better place.

Unfortunately, I believe that we are already seeing this trait emerge in the Republican candidate running for the SC 1st District Congressional seat – Tim Scott (@votetimscott).

During the Republican Primary I was hired as an independent contractor to do photography and videography for the Paul Thurmond campaign.  It was a fascinating opportunity to work behind the scenes of the race.   I got to know almost all of the candidates pretty well and, for quite awhile, I had a great deal of respect for all of them including Tim.  In fact, my early impression of him was extremely favorable.

However, as time went by I started to see and hear things that I didn’t like.  The major one was that some very influential people in the National Republican Party decided to get involved in a state’s primary and not allow the people to make their choice of who they wanted to represent them.  However, it was until the run-off that I realized how bad the situation was.

The primary race between the nine candidates running appeared to be pretty much above reproach.  Overall, the candidates treated each other with respect.  It was very refreshing not to hear a lot of nasty innuendos being hurled out trying to hurt each other – in fact it was refreshing to have people running that seemed to genuinely like and respect each other.  However, once the primary was over and the run-off was between Tim and Paul, things started to change rapidly.  Paul wanted to keep the campaign clean – Tim (after stating to Paul he wanted to do the same) was determined to make it as dirty as possible.   Nasty insinuations were made about Paul that weren’t true.  Tim got well over $100,000 in donations – much of it from out of State – Paul borrowed money to keep his campaign going and yet Tim accused Paul of being the “establishment” candidate being backed by special interest groups.   Mitt Romney, Eric Cantor, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee all backed Tim saying he was the true conservative.  I know for a fact they never interviewed Paul and doubt very seriously that they did Tim either.  It came down to the fact that Tim fit the Republican agenda – Paul didn’t.   Did they even do any research on either candidate before making a choice?  I seriously doubt it.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Experiences | , , , | Leave a comment