(HorizonPost.com) – Former First Lady Michelle Obama has complained that footage of her is being used to support the campaign of a candidate she has not endorsed. Philadelphia businessman Jeff Brown, the Democratic candidate for the city’s Mayor, has used video footage and photographs of Obama as part of his campaign and quotes her extensively. Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to the former president and first lady, said, “Mrs. Obama does not get involved in Democratic primaries and is not supporting this candidate.”
Schultz also said that some of the material had been edited or taken out of context and expressed disappointment that a candidate would manipulate appearances and undermine public trust.
Obama’s office reportedly contacted the Brown campaign to say they were unhappy with the ad. Still, a spokesman for the candidate said the material used was all in the public domain and included comments that Obama had legitimately made about Jeff Brown. The spokesman said the use of the footage was not intended to imply a direct endorsement from the former First Lady.
Brown is known in Philadelphia as the founder and CEO of the ShopRite and Fresh Grocer supermarket chains. His election campaign heavily emphasizes the employment opportunities his stores have created in the city. On his website, Brown says that he has brought 60,000 jobs to less well-off parts of Philadelphia.
However, his campaign has gained some negative attention because of his advertisements, which are seen as racially motivated. He drew criticism when he released a video clearly aimed at black Philadelphians. In his response on Twitter, fellow candidate Derek Green said, “You can’t use us Black Philadelphians when it’s convenient and sell us out when we’re not around. Leadership is keeping your convictions & positions no matter the audience. And you can expect that leadership in a Green administration.” Green is a member of the city council. He was first elected in 2015 and re-elected four years later.
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