IE Mailer Photo, Letter Causes Stir in Ninth Assembly Race

May 27, 2014 | A mailer, and more specifically a photo in a mailer, send by an Independent Expenditure (IE) committee on behalf of Elk ...

May 27, 2014 |

A mailer, and more specifically a photo in a mailer, send by an Independent Expenditure (IE) committee on behalf of Elk Grove Vice Mayor Jim Cooper is adding another wrinkle to an increasingly contentious primary race for the California Assembly Ninth District seat.

In a letter released today, parents of Galt Young Marines sent an undated letter to Cooper's campaign demanding a photo of their children be removed from his campaign's website. The letter stated that by placing the photo showing Cooper with members of the Galt Young Marines on his website, IE's have used the image in mailings.
Mailer sent by CDIE in support of Jim Cooper. 

The mailer with the picture was sent by the California Dental Independent Expenditure (CDIE) PAC. Cooper, one of four remaining candidates in the race, is expected to be one of the top-two finishers along with Sacramento City Council member and fellow Democrat Darrell Fong in next week's primary.  

The letter, which was signed by five parents of the children in the photo, said "we are sending you this letter to day [sic] to inform you that you and your campaign will cease and desist from using any further usage of the images of our children and any other images that you currently are using, without written permission, to further your political ambitions."

One of the parents signing the letter was Elk Grove resident Christoper Orrock, who reiterated that Cooper's campaign did not have permission to use the image. Orrock said one of the parents of the subjects, who is an adopted child, was especially upset with the use of the photo.

"His parents were livid," he said.

Because the Galt Young Marines is also a so-called IRS 501c3 non-profit group, the letter said at the time the picture was taken, Cooper agreed to not use the photo according to Orrock. 501c3 groups are specifically not allowed to be involved in politics and doing so could threaten their tax status.

In response to the letter, Cooper said as soon as his campaign received the request, the photo was removed from the website. Cooper said that the picture and several others were posted from around the Ninth District and in no way intended to jeopardize the groups tax status.

Because IE's are not allowed to communicate or coordinate efforts with candidates, Cooper said the CDIE independently selected photo from the numerous images posted on his campaign's site. The parents letter also implied the IE independently used the image, but added that placement of the photo on the site "caused other entities to further exploit the image of our children in a campaign mailer that was sent to voters on May 23, 2014."

"I feel bad about it," Cooper said. "I hope they understand I did not do it."

The CDIE could not be reached for comment. 

Saying he has the utmost respect for the Galt Young Marines, Cooper noted that he arranged for them to be servers at previous Guns and Hoses Crab Feed that he helped organize. He also noted that Orrock is well known for his involvement in Elk Grove area Republican politics and campaigns. 

"It just comes down to partisan politics," Cooper said. "This is why things can't get done in Washington D.C., and it is creeping down to local politics now."



Post a Comment

2 comments

Anonymous said...

How is using a picture of children without permission a partisan issue?

Anonymous said...

Use a military based organization to make it look like the military supports you. Well played, cooper. Well played.

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