INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A photograph showing Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar's primary opponent wearing coveralls and wielding an ax is drawing fire from the photographer who took the image, who says the Lugar campaign is using it in campaign attacks without his permission.
Indianapolis photographer Dale Hanke told The Associated Press he has repeatedly asked the Lugar campaign to pull the copyrighted photo of Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, which Hanke took for a tea party "Hunks on the Right" calendar in 2010.
The original photo features a grim-faced Mourdock chopping wood and was used for the October spread in the calendar highlighting Indiana conservatives.
The photo appeared in an ad accusing Mourdock of misrepresenting Lugar's position on health care overhauls and has been used in a pair of mailings that contend Mourdock skipped out on his job as Indiana treasurer to campaign against Lugar, whom he hopes to unseat in Indiana's May 8 primary.
"It's kind of like they went out and found the most negative picture of him they could," Hanke said, noting that many other photos of Mourdock could have been used in the Lugar ads.
The ad featuring the photo was still posted on Lugar's campaign website Tuesday afternoon, but Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher said the campaign would remove the Mourdock photo from its material.
He said the campaign felt it was within its rights to make fair use of the image but would stop using it as a "courtesy to the photographer."
"It is readily in the public domain and is widely used by various online sources," Fisher said in a statement.
Hanke disputed Fisher's "fair use" claim, saying the only reason the photo is in wide circulation is because the campaign scanned it out of one of the calendars and has used it extensively in the last few months.
Hanke said he is not supporting either man in the heated primary battle but is pressing the issue of the photograph's use because he wants his clients to know their photos won't show up in campaign advertisements.
The photo flap is the latest to hit the Lugar campaign in the last two weeks. Lugar said he would repay $4,500 in hotel bills errantly charged to the U.S. Senate and pivoted on his 1993 support of an individual mandate much like the one at the center of the federal health care case being heard by the Supreme Court this week.
Mourdock has secured broad support from tea partiers and conservatives in his effort to oust the veteran senator.