Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere sue after engagement pic used in Colorado hate mailers

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Here's the original photo, as captured by photographer Kristina Hill to mark Edwards and Privitere's engagement. Note that it features the New York skyline in the background:

And here's a mailer attacking White. As you can see, the NYC scenes have been replaced by snowy trees, presumably meant to suggest the couple lives here. Finally, here's the version used against Hare, which, once again, features a different backdrop -- mainly a cloud-filled sky. According to the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Edwards, Privitere and Hill by the Southern Poverty Law Center (we've included it here), the mailers were funded by Public Advocate of the United States, a Virginia-based 501(c)(4). We Googled the group, and the key-word-loaded item that topped the search boasted that the organization's head man, Eugene Delgaudio, is fighting "Liberals Tyrants Elitists Homosexuals Barack Obama pornography gay marriage same-sex marriage high taxes over-regulation."

Where did Public Advocates find the shot? Likely on a blog Edwards and Privitere established to keep in touch with loved ones about their nuptials, which took place in September 2010. They learned the image had been co-opted this past June, when the New York Daily News ran an article about Senator White and featured the mailer; a friend recognized Edwards and Privitere in the shot.

Continue to read about reactions to the hate mailers and to see the lawsuit.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts