Another campaign mailer from Dave LaRock arrived at our house. It contained some photos from local businesses, with the tagline “Dave LaRock: Helping small businesses. Creating jobs.” The implication, of course, is that those pictured endorse his candidacy; that’s not unusual. But it turns out that Mr. LaRock did not seek authorization to use the photos.
Scott Harris, the owner of Catoctin Creek Distillery and pictured below in the green shirt, was forced to politely correct the record in a letter to the Purcellville Gazette:
Catoctin Creek Distillery on Political Endorsements
Recently, a campaign flier was distributed showing my image and speaking with one of the candidates for delegate of our district. I would like to clarify that Catoctin Creek is an independent organization, and does not support political candidates formally.
We have had the pleasure of meeting both candidates in this election, and we were happy to show each of them our facility and explain the nuances of our small business and its particular challenges.
We wish both candidates the best of luck in the election, noting that Catoctin Creek is not endorsing any particular candidate in this election. It is our wish simply to encourage people to get out and vote, no matter their politics.
Owner, Catoctin Creek Distillery
As Mr. Harris says, his business does not endorse candidates, and we don’t know his political leanings one way or the other. He granted us permission to use the above image because we asked him.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Mr. LaRock would engage in this entitled behavior. It’s the same pattern we’ve observed all along: He doesn’t accept that the ordinary rules of conduct for other people apply to him. The unauthorized use of a private citizen’s image in a campaign mailer is just the tip of his Special Rights iceberg. A few weeks ago some local musicians performed at a fundraiser for his opponent Mary Daniel; Mr. LaRock felt entitled to invent a fake logo which he then falsely attributed to them, defaming both the band and Ms. Daniel with juvenile name-calling. Last year, Mr. LaRock saw a business sign he didn’t like posted along road frontage on the business owner’s property. Rather than allowing the lawful enforcement of our sign ordinance to proceed, he felt entitled to take the law into his own hands and enter the business owner’s property to steal and destroy her sign. This is not a man who has respect for the rights of other people, or for lawful, democratic processes that get in the way of what he wants. Be advised.