Speaker of the House Chris Donovan continues to battle for votes in the wake of the scandal that resulted in arrests of congressional campaign workers and others involved in securing allegedly fraudulent campaign contributions. His latest mail piece features a picture of current US Rep. Chris Murphy, a popular Democrat running for US Senate. The problem is, Murphy didn’t know about the piece and didn’t approve it according to Murphy campaign spokesman Ben Marter. The campaign first learned of the piece in a call from The Hanging Shad seeking comment.
Murphy’s people are rightly concerned about too much of a connection to the scandal-plagued Donovan especially when Murphy has a primary of his own to worry about and quite possibly a general election, likely against the deep-pocketed Republican Linda McMahon who could exploit such a connection.
There’s nothing illegal with the Donovan campaign using Murphy’s image and quote. However, it common practice that if a campaign wants to use someone’s image and words, it at the very least checks with that person, lets him know what the campaign plans and asks permission, especially if the person is considered a supporter. This is particularly true when the person is featured so prominently and is involved in his own campaign.
The Donovan campaign is risking a lot here. First, there’s the very real possibility that Murphy is pissified and that’s not something you want when dealing with the favorite to be the state’s next US Senator. Also, by not letting Murphy know he was being used in this manner, one can conclude Donovan knew he wouldn’t get permission. The whole thing reeks of desperation for Donovan.
UPDATE: Donovan campaign manager Tom Swan tells CTMirror.org that he regrets not getting permission from Murphy to use him in the mailing.