Saturday, May 13, 2006

Christy Fustigates Bloggers

In a world turned upside down, we come to the side of a right-wing blogger. Christy Mihos' people were waaaaay out of bounds in screaming libel when HubPolitics caught them with their donations down.

From the looks of it, the situation is pretty benign and straight-forward. It appears as though a Mihos campaign mirror Website belongs to his Cape Cod c-stores, and that the campaign did not report this as an in-kind contribution.

Yet the HubPolitics posts are pretty squishy and gentle. They reported who owned the site, didn't see a corresponding entry on Mihos' filings, and asked whether this might be a violation. Sounds like a case for First Amendment Man to me.

So instead of saying, "Oops," and making it right, Mihos' minions threatened about libel and tried to have the site host take the post or maybe even the site down. The Boston Herald coverage is here.

Maybe the grocery god really, really dislikes bloggers. Even so, this is a pretty stupid tactic when he's running for office and trying to snag voters' minds.

Check the original here. It's pretty spongy, with the heading Possible Campaign Violation by Mihos. If a newspaper had discovered and run this bit, you can be damned sure it would have been firmer and snarkier.

The follow-up post is here. It explains how the campaign is claiming it is a private site, but that the WHOIS info contradicts that. Cut me a very thin slice -- my 12-year-old knows this registration stuff. Mihos' folks should have.

Link note: After the hoo-ha it caused, the questionable site,, is no longer a mirror of the main Mihos site and the WHOIS info no longer is accessible. A public apology to HubPolitics' Aaron and Matt Margolis would likely be more meaningful than trying to hide the problem.

As HubPolitics reports:
At 5:18 PM, Peter Pendergast, Christy Mihos's campaign manager, also responded to this post and accused Hub Politics of publishing falsehoods and libel. It was around this time that Hub Politics was issued a takedown request initiated by a representative of the Mihos Campaign for Governor, claiming that we published information that was "libelous" and violated our hosting company's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
If there has ever been a candidate who doesn't get it, it's Kerry Healey, but Mihos is hot on her trail. Not owning up to a problem, screaming "Lies and libel!" without solid cause, pretending that registrar data don't exist, slamming a blogger instead of taking responsibility, and trying to take down this news source through the host add up to some poor thinking.

Is this the kind of guy we would want on Beacon Street?

The best we can hope for here is that Pendergast was operating as a rogue, without Christy's knowledge or okay. From here, it sure looks like a rich guy thinking he can do whatever he wants. I don't believe that's what a public official should be about.

Nit and grit follow-up: The details on the site registration appear on MediaNation, where Dan researched the sign-then-switch. It does look like the Mihos folk were sloppy and then deceptive, as HubPolitics claimed. Dan calls this hypertechnical and thinks the Magolis lads are making too much of it. I disagree with both judgments, but I'm glad he sorted and sifted.

5/16 followup: This is a cockroach that just won't die. Maybe the wife of the guy who registered this site can clear it up. Start here. Warning though, if you click through to her post, grab a cup of coffee or a stronger drink. She admits that she writes looooong.

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susan said...

Talk about trying to shoo a fly with a sledgehammer. Not the smartest political move I've seen.

It does make for an interesting campaign though.

Bugsy said...

Susan, you don't get what's happening here.

Mihos is against Cape Wind. Hub Politics receives "contributions" from Jim Gordon via Cape Cod Today.

This hack job over $14.95 was designed to torpedo the Mihos Campaign. They know him. They knew he'd loose his cool or something so minor. It worked.

I'm not sure when they'll move on Reilly, but you can count on it.


susan said...

Bugsy - I get it just fine. I responded to the topic as posted by massmarrier.

massmarrier said...

Bugsy, whom I don't know, seems deeply interested in Cape Wind. I learned much from the BMG comments where he and others engaged on this. Check these comments.

Even so, getting from a distaste for or obsession with this to the Mihos Website thingummy is an oddment.

Bugsy said...

This will lay it out for you. You are welcome to disagree.