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Mark Schmitt makes an excellent catch over at The Decembrist. Bush is using photos from the FY 2005 Federal Budget in his campaign material.

This may or may not be illegal; it seems to me like it might be, but Schmitt knows better than I and he doesn’t think it is. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t think government documents are protected under copyright, so Bush has the right to remix those photos however he likes. Kinda shady of him to get the government to pay for the photos if he intended to use them later, though. And if he had his own private photographer pay for them and give them to the government, well, why is the government publishing campaign photos? No matter what happened, though, it’s definitely a slight erosion of the barriers between the campaign and the government. Not a scandal, but definitely an indication of character.


  1. t. rev t. rev

    This strikes me as an extremely petty objection to raise, given that the gummint funds both campaigns to the tune of 75 million dollars apiece.

  2. Sorry, but ditto for me Bryant. Besides, there’s all this stuff about Bush administration undermining democracy in Venezuela (donations to anti-Chavez parties) and Haiti to play with. To be honest, i haven’t followed either situation closely enough to have a really well-informed opinion, but this looks fun:

    “We believe that President Aristide, in a sense, forfeited his ability to lead his people, because he did not govern democratically.” –Condoleeza Rice

    Well now that’s an interesting idea. I wish she’d offer some specifics, so that we can see whether the current U.S. administration would fit her criteria for “forfeiting” it’s ability to lead.

  3. No need to apologize. I think it’s not a scandal, and I think it’s a fairly minor issue. I just found it interesting — it’d be so trivial to do it right, but Bush didn’t bother. Which is the indicative bit.

    Nice quote from Condoleeza, there. I’d like to know the same thing.

  4. I guess what makes it not worth mentioning to me is that presidential campaigns are such huge enterprises, and this sort of thing is almost guaranteed to happen even if the attitude from the top is not to have them happen. If you had a list, evidence of a big trend it would be different.

    Would love to see where you’d go with a blog post from the Rice quote… (it’s not really my wiki or blog’s style)

  5. Life has cleverly provided me with additional ammunition. 🙂 How about the $120 million the Department of Health and Human Services just spent on advertising the new Medicare changes?

  6. Nothing surprises me these days in regards to these folks. The budget is sprinkled with photos of the Shrub in lieu of charts and graphs.

    You know, the things you found in Clinton budgets, and those of any company presenting information.

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