August 25, 2006

I question the timing.

Really--Rep. Schmidt's marathon ad questioned

By MATT LEINGANG, Associated Press Writer
Thu Aug 24, 8:51 PM ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt is fast, capable of running a marathon in 3 hours, 19 minutes, 6 seconds.

At least that's what a photo on the Ohio congresswoman's Web site shows.

No way, [a clever reporter would have said "Not so fast"] says a rival who contends that the picture from the 1993 Columbus Marathon is doctored and complained to state election officials. A four-member commission panel ruled Thursday that there was enough evidence to look into the complaint. [...]

The photo shows Schmidt near the finish line at the marathon with a time clock showing 3:19:06, which would have made her one of the top finishers. But a newspaper list of the top runners does not include Schmidt, said Nathan Noy, who is seeking to run as a write-in candidate against Schmidt.

Noy said he believes the photo may be fake and suggested that Schmidt never even participated in the event. In the photo, Schmidt doesn't cast a shadow while other runners do.

Joseph Braun, an attorney representing Schmidt, denied that the photograph is fake. He produced what he said was an official race results book, listing Schmidt as the fifth-place finisher in her age group with a time of 3:19:09 — three seconds slower than the time depicted in the photograph. [...]

On her Web site, Schmidt, who is 54, said she has completed 59 marathons. In April, she received a public reprimand from the Ohio Elections Commission for claiming on her Web site that she had two college degrees when she had only one.

Be interesting to see how this plays out--it seems a remarkably stupid bit of vanity if the allegations of Fauxtoshopping turn out to be true, but it could just as easily blow up in her challenger's face if it turns out her corroborating evidence is real. I do find it odd that her attorney would just happen to have an "official race results book" in his possession from 13 years ago, and that her name wasn't listed in the newspaper. It doesn't help matters that she's already been found to have padded her resume.

Rep. Schmidt's husband Tommy Flanagan could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at August 25, 2006 08:20 AM