Date: October 25, 2007
Byline: Donald Mitchell
Letter: Use of photo in campaign 'dishonest'
To the Editor:
If you've seen the well-circulated advertisement for Commissioner Bob Gillies' re-election campaign, you've seen a picture of the smiling commissioner holding up a $500,000 check flanked by state Rep. Lawrence Curry, D-154, and state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-7.
I'm well acquainted with the photograph (I own the copyright) and with Mr. Gillies' opportune appearance in it. The occasion was when the Black Horse Inn restoration effort received the hefty state grant secured for the historic inn by Rep. Curry. And knowing Mr. Gillies' unwavering opposition to the BHI project, I would call his use of the photograph in his campaign materials ironic if it weren't so dishonest.
First of all, on numerous occasions Mr. Gillies has criticized the funds raised for the BHI effort as nothing more than "taxpayer dollars," albeit state or federal, which is certainly a legitimate argument. But if one has conviction in his argument, to turn around and try to take credit for bringing those "taxpayer dollars" into the township is disingenuous, at best.
Secondly, to somehow imply that he had anything at all to do with securing that grant on behalf of the township and the restoration effort is nothing short of deceptive. Mr. Gillies has never lifted a finger to help the BHI effort, especially not with the hard work of raising money. To the contrary, Mr. Gillies has spent his energy working against the effort.
And finally, what's more curious than anything else to me is that Mr. Gillies even chose to use this photograph in defining his campaign. It begs the question, if this is what he has to show for his four years as commissioner, the acceptance of a check he had nothing to do with, for a project he doesn't support, what exactly has Mr. Gillies accomplished?