Wisconsin state Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison) admits that he gets his picture taken quite a lot. "I can't really say 'no' to people," he says.
But that photograph created a small dustup in local Democratic circles when Quieto decided to print it on a campaign flier (PDF) sent out to voters this week. Although the flier doesn't say Risser and Pocan endorse Quieto, that's clearly the implication.
Pocan, who is running for Congress, has not endorsed anyone in the race. And Risser makes no bones about whom he supports: "My support in that race is [for Scott] McDonell."
Scott McDonell is miffed. He sent out his own flier (PDF) with a picture of him between Risser and state Sen. Mark Miller (both of whom have endorsed him) a week earlier. Risser's quote on McDonell's flier is: "Scott championed Dane County's historic domestic partnership registry, and he will continue the fight to ensure that all couples can legally marry."
McDonell says he's had calls from several supporters asking if Risser switched his endorsement. And he says the deception brings Quieto's character into question.
"You really need your county clerk to be above reproach when you're counting ballots," he says.
Quieto did not respond to a request for comment. His campaign manager, Zach Madden, denies anything unseemly.
"Nowhere on the literature does it say they were endorsing him," Madden says. "It was just a good picture of Mike. We used it because it was a good picture of Mike with two outstanding leaders in the community."
There are questions regarding some other endorsements Quieto claims to have.
On his endorsements list, the first one Quieto lists is "AFSCME Local 60, Executive Board." This isn't entirely true or false.
AFSCME PEOPLE, the political committee of the government workers' union, interviewed candidates for the clerks and endorsed McDonell, says Dan Dixon, chairman of second congressional district for the committee.
The AFSCME Local 60 executive board, which doesn't usually give endorsements, did give a nod of "support" to Quieto at one of its meetings, but it wasn't a full-fledged endorsement, says union member Tim Birkley. "There is a distinction between endorsement and support," he says. "Endorsements generally carry PAC money and mailers."