It's been awhile since we've had a good old fashioned nude pics political scandal—maybe it's because politicians are getting savvier about technology and sexting, maybe it's because they've learned from the mistakes of their colleagues, or maybe it's just because no one could possibly top Weinergate. But one upstate legislator is feeling the heat after his Republican opponents revealed the scandalous news that he has two nude photographs on his personal website—except the candidate proudly admits he posed nude for a photography project while getting a fine arts degree in college.
Democrat Stephen Eckel says he took the self-portraits in 2000 when he was a student at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester. The pictures were in a portfolio posted online to showcase his work as a professional photographer—in addition to politics, he also teaches photography classes. Eckel, who has been a Monroe County legislator since 2005, is up for re-election this Tuesday, and is proud of his artistic shots—he told the Post he removed them because he didn’t want the campaign focused on unnecessary blather. And he had harsh words for the opponents who made an issue out of them: "They have to resort to these lowdown, slimy tricks. This is just a low attack on me to put my stuff from an artistic portfolio to be used to smear me."
Indeed, a GOP activist on the Monroe County Republican Committee alerted TV station WHAM to the pictures—they then confronted him about it last week. Eckel's opponent in the race, GOP candidate Tony Micciche, condemned him for the photos: "They're totally unacceptable and inappropriate. For someone to display these naked photos on a website where everyone can see them, children, wives, everybody, it's totally wrong." But here's the best part: Micciche admitted he hasn't actually looked at the photos which he has been vigorously passing judgment upon: "I don't want to see them. And I wouldn't want my wife to see them or anyone's children to see them either."