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What’s in a Domain Name?

Common Council candidate’s online hijinks put spotlight on attention to detail—and on his own campaign’s “silly” tactics

When Albany Ward 8 Com- mon Council candidate Craig Waltz received a flier from rival John Rosenzweig that listed the Web address www.rosenzweig05.com, Waltz went to see what Rosenzweig had to say. But the Web site didn’t exist. In fact, the domain had not even been registered.

So on June 4, Waltz snapped it up, and while he was at it, also registered rosen zweig2005.com and sheehan2005.com (Bob Sheehan is Waltz’s other Democratic rival).

On rosenzweig05.com he put a take off the on the Mastercard “priceless” commercials ending with an exhortation to vote for “a well-organized candidate.” On the 2005 sites, the window titles were “Why Johnny Can’t Browse” and “Be Sheehan—not heard from (lately).” All the sites redirected the browser to Waltz’s own site.

“We’re not looking to be mean or do dirty tricks, but we are pointing out this is the kind of error that can occur when you don’t pay attention to the details,” explained Waltz, of why he targeted Rosenzweig. “We pay attention to the details. . . . This is a man who spent a considerable amount of effort to put out a flier and didn’t attend to the details. . . . Next time up, let’s suppose it’s the city budget.”

Rosenzweig said that the company he had hired to do his Web site told him Monday (July 11) that they had not completed their assignment “in a timely fashion,” but said the problem would be fixed. Meanwhile, he said, people would vote for him “because I sat in their kitchen and talked to them, not because I was sitting behind a computer. I don’t think the people of the 8th Ward are going to want someone who would run this type of campaign representing them.”

Sheehan, who has his own site at www.votebobsheehan.com and had never intended to register sheehan2005.com, finds the whole thing “silly.” “What other word can you come up with?” he said. “It’s not the end of the world, but it’s foolish for a candidate to be spending time on this.”

Waltz said he had snapped up shee han2005.com only in order to say “We’re out here” until Sheehan had his own site up and running. “Bob made no error like Rosenzweig,” he said. “He never promoted [that domain]. Bob Sheehan and I have no problem at all.” However, it seems that Waltz had not attended to all of his details before calling attention to his handiwork, for sheehan2005.com was still redirecting to his own site until Monday afternoon, three weeks after Sheehan’s site went live.

Waltz said he had spoken with Sheehan and would be offering to have shee han2005.com redirect to Sheehan’s actual site.

—Miriam Axel-Lute

maxel-lute@metroland.net


What a Week

Let’s Not Talk About It

The town of Yelm, Wash., has developed a unique approach to deal with the debate over a proposed Wal-Mart. Frustrated council members have prohibited use of the word Wal-Mart or any other big-box-store name during meetings. The practice has drawn the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union, which says that all citizens have the right to air their views in public meetings. The ACLU is also concerned that the council of Pierce County, where Yelm resides, has adopted a public-comment rule that “speakers may not attack or make an allusion to the motives of any council member.”

Sarge, I’m a Governor’s Son

Gov. George Pataki, Iraq-war booster of boosters, doesn’t seem to think the war effort is important enough to require one particular second lieutenant to serve in the marines. That would be his son, whom Pataki wants to get a deferment in order to go to law school, despite his recent choice to complete the Marine Officers’ Training program.

Green’s Not Just a Last Name, You Know

Political analyst and onetime actor in commercials Mark Grimm told Capital News 9 that Alice Green’s entry into Albany’s mayoral race would split the minority vote. Except that Archie Goodbee, the only other candidate likely to appeal strongly to minority voters, is running against Mayor Jennings in a September primary, whereas Green, running as a Green Party candidate, will face off with the primary winner in November.

Rove, Rove, Rove Your Boat

Will it stick this time? The latest round of administration deceit seems to have shaken even the White House Press Corps awake. When the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA operative came about, President Bush firmly stated that anyone involved in it would be fired. And so, the recent revelation that advisor and strategist extraordinaire Karl Rove did exactly that has people howling for Rove’s canning. Stay tuned for continued squirming.



Overheard

Overheard:

"So I gave him $50 for 'cheese' from Vermont, and he brought back $50 worth of actual cheese! It was damn good cheese though."

—late night at the Old Songs Festival campground



Hi Ho, Hi Ho

Kids at the Ten Broeck Mansion’s weeklong Summer Acheology Camp participate in an archeological dig on the site of the Mansion’s barn and carriage house, both built in 1790. With the assistance of Hartgen Archeological Associates, the kids discovered bones, nails, and other artifacts on Tuesday, their first day of digging.

photo:Alicia Solsman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Loose Ends

-no loose ends this week



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