Last night, at 7:48 to be precise, a certain Eleventy Billionth Blog'er sent me a note in which she posed the question: "Is it just me, or is this weird?" The this, in this particular case, was a link to the Vote No Dallas, where, Bethany noted, Angela Hunt's mug was prominently featured as a civic leader urging voters to vote no -- not just on Proposition 2, which Hunt's decidedly against, but on the no-city-owned-hotel Proposition 1, which Hunt wholeheartedly supports. (As the council member wrote Tuesday, "If the hotel doesn't meet the Mayor's rosy projections for occupancy, taxpayers get stuck with the bill.")
So I called Hunt 'round 8 and asked her if she knew what was up. At first, she dismissed it as an "amusing" footnote in a campaign that seems to grow more rancorous with each passing day. But as it was on a page ostensibly devoted to Proposition 2, Hunt was going to let it slide. A little later, Dave Levinthal of The News called Hunt and asked her about the site. Hunt took a closer look at the site -- and realized, ya know, the several photos of her scattered around the site did in fact make it look as though she was against Propositions 1 and 2. Her amusement turned to something a little red-hotter ... which is why, this morning, the Vote No site no longer features photos of or testimonials from Angela Hunt.
Her letter to Becky Mayad, the spokesman for the Vote No'ers, follows. As does Mayad's response.
From: Angela Hunt
To: Becky Mayad
Hi, Becky. I was just informed that my image, as well as quotes attributed to me, are being used on the Vote No website. I would like you to please remove them. I believe the use of my image and quotes leaves voters with the impression that I oppose both propositions. While I am opposed to Proposition 2, as you know, I support Proposition 1 and do not believe taxpayers should be put at risk to build a half billion dollar, city-owned hotel.
The www.votenodallas.com/home.html page does not clearly state that the information is exclusive to Proposition 2. The page is titled "Vote No!" and lists both Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 at the top of the page, leading a voter to believe that the information presented relates to both propositions. On the page, my image is placed next to the statement "Dallas civic leaders urge you to Vote No." That wrongly implies I am opposed to both ballot initiatives.
The Testimonials page (www.votenodallas.com/testimonials.html) is equally problematic, with the slideshow combining quotes about both measures. Again, this could lead a voter to believe, incorrectly, that I oppose both measures when that is not the case.
Lastly, I believe the photo of me that is being used on your website is owned by the City of Dallas. It is my understanding that such photos cannot be used for political advertising, but I will confirm this with City Attorney Tom Perkins on Monday.
I think we all want voters to have access to accurate information, but your use of my image in a campaign I do not support is misleading. Please remove my image and quotes from the site immediately. I would appreciate confirmation when the items have been removed.
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About half an hour later, Mayad responded: "Per your request, your quote is being removed." To which Hunt replied, "Thanks, Becky. I appreciate your quick response." What a funderful election this is turning into.