Karl Bremer sues New Republic over Vennes photo

Stillwater blogger and notorious Michele Bachmann foe Karl Bremer has a new enemy: The New Republic.

Bremer recently filed a lawsuit against the Washington, D.C.-based magazine for using a photo he took of Frank Vennes Jr., the embattled Tom Petters fundraiser accused of helping bilk investors out of billions in Minnesota's most famous Ponzi scheme.

This isn't the first time Bremer's gone toe-to-toe with a national magazine. Just last summer, Bremer was one of the Minnesota journalists whose work was heavily borrowed in Matt Taibbi's Bachmann profile for Rolling Stone.

The Vennes photo appeared as part of a collage on the cover of TNR's October 26 issue, which featured a story on the Petters Ponzi scheme.

Here's a side-by-side of the two images, courtesy of Dump Bachmann:

Karl Bremer sues New Republic over Vennes photo

Bremer originally took the photo for his blog, "Ripple In Stillwater," where he has long been chronicling news on Vennes. He is also author of a forthcoming book on Bachmann -- The Madness of Michele Bachmann -- that will feature a chapter on Vennes.

Bremer called TNR shortly after seeing the cover. TNR eventually offered to pay him for the photo, says Bremer, but because Vennes photos are scarce, he didn't think the price was fair.

"It's kind of like trying to put a price on a one-of-a-kind item," says Bremer. "There are no photos of Frank Vennes out there. You can't find them."

The lawsuit, filed in Washington County, alleges unfair competition and asks for $5,000. TNR didn't respond for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Previous Coverage:

  • Ken Avidor talks 'The Madness of Michele Bachmann' book deal
  • Karl Bremer on Bradlee Dean, Michele Bachmann's pastor problem [Interview]
  • Rolling Stone's Michele Bachmann story follows City Pages blueprint

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