Mayo’s blog post links to this PittsburghChannel article wherein we learn:
The biggest buzz is about this hands-on-the-hips photo that remains on the city's and the campaign's sites, as well as city Redd-Up fliers and billboards.
"Those were private photos that were generated and given to me personally from a photographer in the South Side," said Ravenstahl. "So that was a file that was given to me. The city never paid anything for those photos, so that's my personal photo."
The professional photographer who took that hands-on-the-hips photo of the mayor confirmed that he gave the mayor the photo for free.
It's from a photo session that would normally cost $1,500.
Ravenstahl provided that photo to both the city and the campaign.
OK, let’s think about this for a second.
After Ravenstahl becomes Mayor, he coops the late Bob O’Connor’s signature (and very popular) Redd Up program, renaming it after himself. He then “donates” the image that brands the program (and seemingly all things garbage collections-related) and which appears on billboards all over the city and which he, alone, retains full control of to the City.
(Hmmm…I wonder if that’s also true for the photo which is used for all the 311 billboards and other advertising?)
I’m sorry, but I’ve never heard of such of a thing before.
I can’t come up with any similar instances of any official of any city owning the images that brand city programs, much less an official then using those same images to promote himself for his own personal gain. (Then again, most cities don’t have multiple official city programs named after one person and then plaster that one person’s image all over the town. You’d have to go to Castro’s Cuba or back in time to Mao’s China to see that kind of thing.)
I really find this astonishing.
I mean, it would be as if George W Bush donated a picture of himself with his dog Barney to the US Government for a federally funded program to adopt shelter animals and then used that same image later to sell “W” brand dog food.
Did Ravenstahl plan to use the hands-on-the-hips photo on an eventual campaign website when he “loaned’ it to the City?
Damn! That is some pretty slick self-promotion.
I have to say, I guess he really isn’t as dumb as he looks.