The ugly photo of an opponent is a staple of dirty politics. Some would-be leaders hire goon squads to stalk the competition like paparazzi and capture their pissed-off expressions. Some kingmakers even manipulate the images of their foes, making googly-eyed monsters out of otherwise normal-looking folks. But the best we've ever seen required no digital tricks or borderline illegal shadowing. For his campaign mailers, 40th District state Rep. John Burnett added a black-and-white shot of his much younger primary opponent, J.J. Rizzo, taken at a debate between the two candidates. Rizzo looked like the kind of skinny kid jocks tend to stuff in lockers. His body was twisted at a couple of improbable angles, and his top set of teeth was bared, Hee Haw
style. It looked as if he might be saying, "Duh-err!" The scary thing was, it was a fairly genuine likeness. Burnett's crew would have gone through a lot more film if they'd tried to show the not-yet-out-of-college, never-had-a-job Rizzo in a more regal pose.