To the Editor:
Imagine my chagrin when I saw a photo of my grandmother on the “Columbia Heights Friends for an Informed Decision” Facebook page captioned: “Tim Utz shares an emotional moment with Mrs. Nawrocki at the Bruce Nawrocki park official dedication.”
Tim Utz is running for office to represent District 41B in the Minnesota House. This photo was posted on a page claiming to inform Heights citizens about the election. I commented, “In no way should this photo taken at the dedication of Bruce Nawrocki Park be construed as an endorsement of Tim Utz. The Nawrocki family does not plan on officially endorsing anyone at this time or possibly ever. This photo is not appropriate to post in this forum. And in case there is any question, those lovely roses were given to my grandmother by Gary Peterson.” I was probably snarkier than I intended.
The administrator of the page responded (I’m paraphrasing because all of this has been deleted) ‘Tim didn’t know I took the picture. Tim and Bruce were political friends.’ This photo was taken without knowledge of either party and posted in a public forum. That makes it even less appropriate. It’s disingenuous to imply posting it wasn’t a political decision.
Defensive replies made me curious about the administrator. It’s Adam Davis, candidate for Anoka County Commissioner, ally of Utz, and (full disclosure) a high school classmate. The “Informed Decision” page suddenly appears less neutral.
I no longer live in The Heights so I can’t cast a vote there. I won’t endorse any candidate. I will say, anyone who is running a forum claiming to be informative, running for office and posting photos of people (without consent) that may be construed as political endorsement doesn’t have the foresight one might need to help steer the future of the county.