Did Stephen LaBonte of the NH AG’s office ” mislead viewers” of his Josh Youssef ruling to think it actually wasn’t gibberish?

Sheesh, what maroons (Er, that would be BOTH Ed Mosca and Stephen LaBonte)!  A fake internet site during a campaign – what a NOVEL CONCEPT to think of.  I…I…don’t think anyone has tried that during a campaign before!  Shhh….don’t let ANYONE outside of NH get ahold of this idea, because, well, people might think….well, LOOK!

Sean Eldridge Fake SiteOH Wait!  That’s from another race!  My, could I think that one is not like the other??  Quick, Stephen, call up your crack investigators (hint – put up by the NRCC)!! As Moe Lane said: “Nice to see the GOP going on offense. Also… hasn’t the DCCC learned by now to secure the potential websites for its candidates? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Back to what LaBonte said time.  Moe’s advice would also apply to lawyers who wish to shove their clients into the middle of an election….that would be Ed Mosca, IMHO. I guess, Stephen, this would make you look a bit…silly for your ruling (after the jump)  Here’s what I wrote at the time (emphasis from original & now, and reformatted).




Ed Mosca Blog LogoSo, Ed Mosca has a bug up his **s, eh?

Full Disclosure #1: We endorsed Josh Youseff for NH State Senate District 7Full Disclosure #2: Ed Mosca, the lawyer for Josh Youseff’s ex-wife AND the Legal Counsel for Office of the NH Speaker of the House. Full Disclosure #3: Ed used to write here at GraniteGrok.  Then he started his own site: The Ed Mosca Blog (and I was sorry to see him leave)

Full Whining Alert #1: STOP WHINING, Ed!  Pull on yer Big Boy pants and consider that you’ve put yourself into this situation.  A Manchester attorney has filed an election law complaint against Republican Senate candidate Josh Youssef, alleging that Youssef hijacked his personal blog to benefit his state Senate campaign. In the complaint, Ed Mosca, who represents Youssef’s ex-wife in their contentious divorce, said he discovered late Monday that his blog had been duplicated onto another website and edited to appear that he was supporting Youssef’s Senate run. The two blogs are virtually identical and share the same name: The Ed Mosca Blog. The real blog is at edmosca.com and contains Mosca’s biting commentary about Youssef’s alleged stonewalling in the former couple’s child support case. The phony blog is at edmoscablog.com and contains more than a dozen letters of support for Youssef’s campaign.

I think this is hilarious – kettle, black, pot…I’m no lawyer, but since Ed has decided to spill whole bunches of stuff about his legal representation of the ex-wife all over the blogosphere, and has done it during an election season, I have no pity at all for the “dirty” trick.  Frankly, I’ve laughed hard, as I have seen this before from both sides of the aisle.  This isn’t “dirty politics” – it is “pretty amusing” as it shows that somebody didn’t bother to do their homework and take care of details…Phony blog?  Hardly – and the folks behind it (I REALLY don’t know who did it) should have kept it up (it has been taken down).

Full Whining Advice #1:  If you wish to put yourself  AND your client into the political sphere during election season BY BLOGGING ABOUT THE DIVORCE, don’t complain when political  people take note and ‘welcome” you.  It makes them look fairly smart and  you pretty stupid.

I stand by that statement: “It makes them look fairly smart and  you pretty stupid.“.  Lawyer for Bill O’Brien or not, former writer here or not, to moan and groan because you failed to reserve more domains to protect yourself and then shoving your client & yourself into a hotly contested election was, in my opinion, dumb.  You got bushwacked and weren’t smart enough to go “yeah, but not next time”.  Hey, I had a fake GraniteGrok Twitter account come after us a while ago – frankly, it was great sport!  Instead, you went all dour and embarrassed – and now it shows.

Back to Stephen LaBonte who has made himself now a target for we political bloggers – and I think both sides of the aisle are probably snickering over this.  From the Laconia Daily Sun (8/12/13) (reformatted for space and emphasis mine):

The state Attorney General’s Office has determined that unsuccessful state Senate Republican candidate Josh Youssef of Laconia violated the Provisions for the Purity of Elections during his campaign last year by creating a blog under the name of his ex-wife’s attorney. Stephen LaBonte from the Civil Bureau of the A.G.’s Office ordered Youssef to cease and desist operating the edmoscablog.com or face possible criminal charges.

Like I wrote in Sept 13, 2012, the site was already down.  Like many things Government, it took LaBonte just about a full YEAR to make a ruling?  So, is this mere posturing (seems that lawyers in AG Offices often do that if they have dreams of grandeur dancing in their heads of attaining higher office)?

“Given the similar website design and layout it appears as though if someone had read “‘edmoscablog.com'” they could have reasonably thought the blog was written by Ed Mosca.  “The deceptive nature of your blog could have easily misled viewers, in violation of RSA 666.6,” LaBonte wrote.

Right – we all outside of Government are absolutely stupid; we have no brains, we have no discernment, and we bow down to your greater intelligence (albeit, a year late; that mean much?).  Er, Mr. AG Office Inhabiter, do you REALLY think that the edmosca.com looked like a CAMPAIGN site that would come under the auspices of RSA 666 (what a well numbered RSA, btw)?  Or that he, along with GraniteGrok and a myriad other privately run sites, simply was commenting on an election?  Remember, rebuttal comes in many forms, and I would think that given the plain language of the US Constitution (as opposed to the statutes that many politicians used to make themselves Forever Incumbents) says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech“,  wouldn’t edmoscablog.com simply have been a farcical parody that would have made the Founding Fathers (after all, they knew all about, and thus encouraged, a sharp pamphleteer – and ancestors of we bloggers) proud?

…In a ruling issued Aug. 6, LaBonte said investigators determined the fake blog was purchased from GoDaddy and had the same billing address as Same Day Computer – Youssef’s business. The investigator reported to LaBonte that when he called the telephone number listed on the GoDaddy purchase he was able to reach Youssef. Mosca filed his complaint in February, 2012 — three months after Hosmer beat Youssef 15,573 to 10,768.

Yeah, now we’re back to that timing thing again – on time and on point?  Or just a point of posturing?  My post was up on 9/13/2012 and here on 8/22/13,  and now you issue a threat of “ or face possible criminal charges“.  One of my recent constant themes: public servant or Public Master?  Waiting this amount of time to issue that when the site in question has been down for this long??   Enforcing the law, or just late in carrying a “legalized billy club” against a citizen that took advantage of both technology and the laziness of someone who inserted themselves into the election?

And if he wishes to issue a rebuttal, I would be happy to do so – and have that discussion.

RSA 666.6 is a section in election law statutes that refers to illegal influence in elections and prohibits falsely representing someone else for the purpose of influencing an election.

So, Stephen Labonte, gonna go after the NRCC next?   After all, that site can be seen here in NH and it is about an election…..?  And just in case, that question was “satirical”.