Democratic Underground here.
When Norm Coleman was running for Senate in 2002, a mailer was sent out promoting his candidacy by touting his accomplishments as mayor of St. Paul. But the photo of St. Paul that was used in the mailer had been altered to make the skyline of the city appear to be billboard-free. It was as phony as Norm's recent tv commercial. So pay no attention to all this faux outrage coming from the GOP wingnuts objecting to suspicions that Norm is up to his old tricks again with a phony ad in 2008. Because he probably is.
Here's the article from the 8/22/02 Pioneer Press:
A SKYLINE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE//CAMPAIGN BROCHURE SANITIZES ST. PAUL
By Mary Divine
Has the Republican Party tried to make a silk purse out of Pig's Eye?
The latest campaign mailer from the Republican Party of Minnesota extols what U.S. Senate candidate Norm Coleman did for St. Paul when he was mayor. It touts the "remarkable renaissance" that took place in the city under his leadership. And it shows a beautiful photo of downtown's skyline.
But it's not really the whole skyline of the city originally known as Pig's Eye. Gone is the historic flashing neon-red "1" on top of the First National Bank building. Gone is the US Bank sign on top of its building, and the Radisson sign atop its hotel.
Coleman critics leaped at the opportunity to ridicule the candidate for the ad, which hit some Minnesotans' mailboxes Tuesday. But Republican Party spokesman Bill Walsh said the photo was "a piece of stock art" and was not altered by the Republican Party in any way.
"I have no great answer for you," he said. "It's just a piece of stock art, and it just went right through."
Leslie Kupchella, Coleman's spokesperson, said the Coleman campaign was not aware of the ad and had not seen it, so she had no comment.
The ad says it was paid for by the Republican Party and wasn't authorized by any candidate or committee.
Walsh couldn't say who produced the ad for the party, but Bill Hillsman, owner of Minneapolis-based North Woods Advertising, said it probably was produced out of state.
"It's odd that if they wanted people to read it as St. Paul and actually recognize it as St. Paul, why would you take out the landmarks?" said Hillsman, who produced ads for U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone and Gov. Jesse Ventura.
"When you do something for stock photography purposes and you're trying to sell it to as many as people as possible, then you would remove things that are local," he said. "I think it's a pretty big blunder on their part, if it was going to be used locally, to use the nationally sanitized version."
Commercial signs apparently don't fit in well when you're trying to promote your beautiful city for political purposes, said longtime Coleman critic John Mannillo, chairman of Scenic St. Paul, an environmental and anti-billboard advocacy group.
"It's another example of the hypocrisy of Norm Coleman," Mannillo said. "He has so totally sold the soul of St. Paul by putting names and allowing names on buildings in St. Paul far and wide ... and now he doesn't have the courage to allow what he has really created in St. Paul to be reflected in a picture."