Photo of Boy Scouts holding campaign signs for Kevin Faulconer sparks controversy

BSA rules do not allow politicking in uniforms

SAN DIEGO - San Diego mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer is responding after a photo showing some Boy Scouts holding campaign signs was posted on his Twitter and Facebook pages.

Critics of the photo say the local troop had no business posing for photos because the Boy Scouts of America is considered a non-partisan organization.

Mayoral candidate Mike Aguirre saw the photo, and he said, "Fair play doesn't allow for non-partisan groups to be politicized."

10News was also able to track down the leader of Troop 246, the group featured in the photo. Mike Sisk would not comment on camera, but he said it's not exactly what it seems.

Sisk said the boys were invited to the Faulconer campaign headquarters as part of a merit badge qualification, and the visit was in no way intended to promote any one candidate.

10News contacted the Boy Scouts of America, but they did not return calls.

According to the BSA's rules and regulations, the website, colors and pledges of allegiance are acceptable at political events. However, posing for photos in Boy Scout uniforms is not.

It reads: "Photos of candidates or scouts in uniform or BSA marks and logos are not allowed in political campaigns or materials of any kind."

During a "Faulconer for Mayor" event, 10News was unable to get the candidate to comment on the Boy Scout photo. However, campaign spokesman Tony Manolatos said it was just a lesson in local government.

"It was an educational forum for these young men to get a better understanding of what's involved in a campaign," Manolatos said.

The Faulconer for Mayor campaign released this statement Thursday:

"The campaign reached out to the troop to ask if they wanted to volunteer at the Veterans Day parade and invited them to come by the campaign headquarters to learn about elections and civic engagement … Nine boys, five parents, the troop leader and scout master stopped by Tuesday for about an hour. They took a tour and some photos. The response from the kids, parents and troop leaders was overwhelming positive."

Aguirre said it's unfortunate the Boy Scouts are getting pulled in to local politics.

"I don't think it was done evil, or with any evil intent, but I do think a lot of times ethical choices are imbedded in our decisions in a way that they're hard to recognize and you know, upon reflection, I think Kevin should probably step forward and take responsibility," said Aguirre.

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