Yesterday morning when I was trying to search for a factoid about AUSD on the Alameda SOS website. I typed in what I believed to be the website for Alameda SOS into the address box “alamedasos.com“, turns out, I had misremembered the domain which is actually “alamedasos.org“.
Instead of pulling up the Alameda SOS site since the organizers apparently decided to not purchase the dot com version of their domain, visiting the site instead directs folks to the Committee Against Measure A’s website:
While folks may think this is clever, it’s actually not legal. In 2001 the State Legislature took up this issue after the 2000 general election when opponents to Prop 36 snatched up domain names that might be affiliated with the proponents campaign and redirected those domains to their sites.
It is unlawful for a person, with intent to mislead, deceive, or defraud, to commit an act of political cyberfraud.
Political cyberfraud includes, but is not limited to, any of the following acts:
(A) Intentionally diverting or redirecting access to a political Web site to another person’s Web site by the use of a similar domain name, meta-tags, or other electronic measures.
(C) Registering a domain name that is similar to another domain name for a political Web site.
Of course it’s not clear who actually registered the domain because it was registered via proxy and via GoDaddy.com. Interestingly enough, the CAMA website is also hosted at GoDaddy.com as well.
This latest bending of the campaigning rules is no surprise given some of the tactics being used by CAMA. Such as their out-of-state robocalls that conveniently forgot to include identifying information as to who paid and/or commissioned the call. According to witnesses at a Rotary meeting, CAMA secretary Leland Traiman told the crowd that he did not include identifying information because the robocall company charged by the word.
In response to AlamedaSOS filing a complaint over the flagrant violation of the FPPC rules, CAMA decided that two could play the filing of complaint game and filed a complaint against Alameda SOS and AUSD because a campaign mailer feature a photograph of a teacher in a classroom. They claimed that this was misuse of AUSD funds by subsidizing Alameda SOS’s campaign. Except for the fact that it was revealed that the proper permits were secured and that the photo shoot happened after school hours. The idea that CAMA didn’t actually consider that this may be the case is absurd which just goes to show that the filing of the FPPC complaint was not about righting a legitimate wrong, but rather creating drama in order to bring negative attention to Alameda SOS and the School District — regardless of whether the accusations are true or not.