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Democrats charge US Chamber with altering Ohio senator's photo in ads

AP

This still frame from a December 2011 video advertisement by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows Rep. Sherrod Brown, left, D-Ohio, who is facing re-election in 2012. Democrats said the original Associated Press photo of Brown was altered to make him look haggard and unshaven in this ad. The AP authorized the use of the original photo, but did not authorize alterations.

It seems like anything goes in political television ads these days (original photo below). But you have to wonder if it's time for the Associated Press to stop selling photos for use in campaign and "issue" ads.

AP reports:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Democrats are accusing a leading national business federation of altering a photo of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and misrepresenting one of his votes in TV ads airing statewide.

Brown is a Democrat facing re-election next year. Democrats say the U.S. Chamber of Commerce made him look haggard and unshaven in an Associated Press photo that was used in the ad. The AP says it authorized use of the photo but not alterations.

Chamber spokesman J.P. Fielder says the organization didn't doctor the photo. He says Democrats are distracting from the message of the ad, which targets Brown's vote to end $4 billion in government subsidies for five large oil companies and other positions that could raise energy prices.

Brown calls the $1 million ad campaign cynical, with "outright lies."

David Kohl / AP

This combo shows a July 7, 2006 file photo, left, of Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in Middletown, Ohio, and a still frame of Brown from a December 2011 video advertisement by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Brown is facing re-election in 2012. Ohio Democrats said the original Associated Press photo of Brown was altered to make him look haggard and unshaven in the ad.