Does it matter Worker Bill of Rights campaign uses stock photos in campaign materials?

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Screen grab of Envision Worker Rights campaign website featuring stock photos
  • Screen grab of Envision Worker Rights campaign website featuring stock photos

The Worker Bill of Rights, a ballot initiative from Envision Spokane that could have sweeping consequences for the local economy if voters pass it in the coming November election, has the support of a dozen labor groups including local unions that represent grocery workers, firefighters, teachers, electricians and others.

But the photos of grocery workers, firefighters, teachers, electricians and others depicted on the campaign website for the Worker Bill of Rights aren’t local. Instead, they are stock photos of workers.

Kai Huschke, campaign coordinator for the Worker Bill of Rights, says the use of the stock photos is no big deal.

“We needed photos to represent the different unions that endorsed us,” says Huschke. “It’s just their professions.”

Michael Cathcart, lobbyist for the Spokane Home Builders Association who is also leading the opposition campaign against the Worker Bill of Rights, says that Envision has been trying to create the appearance that it’s a local group sponsoring the initiative, but is instead driven by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit law firm. Cathcart, who discovered the stock photos, says their use underscores his point.

“In fact, their most recent communication piece tries to trick the reader into thinking several local professionals have endorsed their campaign, but in reality they are simply using stock photographs of non-Spokane individuals — including a cropped image of a firefighter that carefully hides the Moorehead, MN, firetruck behind him,” said Cathcart in an email.