In the run-up to the June 5 primary election, we couldn’t help but notice that many of the attack mailers from mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio’s campaign featured familiar photos of his opponent, Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher. Many had been shot by photographer Sam Hodgson for the online news outlet Voice of San Diego.
It turned out that DeMaio’s campaign had neither asked Hodgson’s permission nor paid him for the usage, which suggested that the fiscal hawk was pinching pennies by stealing intellectual property from a local small businessman. Voice laid off Hodgson in December amid budget cuts; he’s since focused on building up his freelance-photography clientele.
DeMaio’s latest campaign-finance disclosure shows that he has made good with Hodgson, paying him $1,500 for the photos. Hodgson says he received another $500 for photos of San Diego City Councilmember Sherri Lightner that her opponent Ray Ellis used in his mailers. Ellis and DeMaio both use Revolvis Consulting to manage their campaigns.
“I just want to be classy about it, because they did take care of things,” Hodgson says. “My position is that they settled it appropriately, and I appreciate them working with me….”