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Crockett campaign denies corporate logo use was meant to imply endorsement

Published: Monday, Oct. 8 2012 9:32 p.m. MDT

Mark Crockett speaks during a Salt Lake County Mayoral debate against Ben McAdams on Friday, September 14, 2012.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Mark Crockett's campaign team is denying accusations that the Republican candidate for Salt Lake County mayor used corporate logos on a flier in order to imply endorsement.

The charge was made by left-leaning political blogger Eric Ethington in a post published Sunday. On his blog, PRIDE in Utah, Ethington said he contacted each of the companies listed on the flier, including Bank of America, Transamerica, Universal and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

The logos accompany a list of cost-saving programs Crockett says he helped implement during his career as a management consultant. 

Ethington reported that he learned none of the organizations had agreed to endorse Crockett and had not given permission for their logos to be used.

Evelyn Call, a spokeswoman for the Crockett campaign, said the images were printed on a page in a press packet as a way to illustrate the candidate's corporate experience. The logos appear under the heading "illustrative organizations."

"Mark never implied these were endorsements," Call said. "They're organizations he has actually worked with, and he has saved them tens of billions of dollars."

Call said the flier wasn't "mass produced or sent out," other than to members of the media.

Crockett and Democrat Ben McAdams are vying to succeed Mayor Peter Corroon, who opted not to seek a third term.

Ethington said he decided to review his collection of campaign materials from Crockett after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the GOP candidate regarding another matter.

The cease-and-desist letter was issued in response to a blog post by Jeff Bell, another liberal blogger and host of the radio program "The Left Show." Bell had commented about and posted a copy of an old tax lien against Crockett, which included part of Crockett's Social Security number.

Crockett's letter took umbrage at the potential hazards of disseminating private information.

Ethington said his only involvement in Bell's post was retweeting a link on Twitter.

The flier in question is believed to have come from the Salt Lake County Republican Convention, which Ethington attended. He said including corporate logos on campaign materials is commonly done to represent an endorsement.

"When you do something that is very commonly used … to show endorsement, just because you leave out one word, that's incredibly deceptive," Ethington said.

Ethington said the Crockett campaign hasn't contacted him about the blog, but he has received several reader responses supporting his disapproval of the flier.

Call said the blog post is an attempt to distract voters from campaign issues.

"This is just a distraction from the things voters really care about and the things that we should be talking about during a campaign," she said. "What is your plan to deal with the county budget? What are you going to do in your role as county mayor? Those are the things voters care about."

E-mail: mromero@deseretnews.com Twitter: @McKenzieRomero

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