Romanoff backs down on photoshopgate: ‘Yes we will remove offensive banner’

U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff has weighed in on the banner ad montage his team compiled and that has raised a storm of media coverage and angry protest. The montage worked in a snapshot of African-American Denver School Board candidate Andrea Mosby next to Romanoff. The Denver Post led the charge in accusing the campaign of “doctoring” the photo to heighten the impression that Romanoff appealed to a multicultural constituency.

Romanoff campaign spokesperson Roy Teicher said the campaign had done nothing wrong and despite a growing media storm said the campaign wouldn’t take down the banner. Romanoff has stepped in and taken control to make the best of a downward spiraling situation. The banner will go.

Mosby, the woman in the photo, said she saw nothing wrong with the banner montage. She said she attended the Romanoff rally from which the photos were gathered and that she supports Romanoff. But the Romanoff campaign is struggling. It has yet to release its first quarter fundraising totals despite the fact that all of the other candidates in the race have made their totals public. Teicher is the latest of four spokespeople to join the campaign and he has struggled this week, seeming to aggravate “photoshop-gate” as it was unfolding.

“Those minority folks were absolutely at the rally,” he told the Denver Post. “We were just simply moving around random people for aesthetic reasons. It’s absolutely an accepted technique. Every campaign does it.”

That set off an angry campaign by Latinos supporting Romanoff primary opponent Sen. Michael Bennet. The group of Colorado Latino leaders sent out a public letter calling for redress:

“‘These minority folks’ write to you today shocked, disturbed and outraged. Please allow this letter to serve as notice that we are NOT random people to be moved around for aesthetic reasons. We are NOT political pawns to be used when convenient nor do we accept being manipulated and repositioned when it serves one’s political motives. The ‘photoshopping in’ of minorities is not acceptable and falls far short of the integrity we expect of candidates running for the US Senate.”

Here’s Romanoff’s mea culpa release sent Friday afternoon:

“Several months ago, a volunteer put together a montage on our website, composed entirely of photos of supporters who attended our campaign kickoff. This decision and a description of it have caused offense. I regret that and have removed the montage from our website.

I take offense at any suggestion that our campaign attempted to deceive anyone. That’s outrageous and false. I bring a lifetime of commitment to equality and opportunity, and I reject these attacks on my character. I am very proud of the diverse support we’ve already received and
continue to earn every day.”

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