Fake website pops up for real candidate
By George P. Hassett
Disenfranchising minority voters and croquet and high balls at Foss Park have never been a part of William A. White Jr.’s political agenda. But a faux website created this week tried to make a joke of White’s candidacy for the 2nd Middlesex state Senate seat by filling its site with such rampant lies.
White, R-Somerville, said he was surprised and disappointed to see the web page for www.whiteforsenate.com (pictured above), in which his picture was featured inside a collage of photos of conservative Republicans George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom Delay and Rick Santorum.
Under the pictures was a false list of upcoming White-sponsored events ranging from polo and croquet at Foss Park to an election stealing seminar. Of course, White said he will be hosting no such events.
“The site was so far gone I doubt anyone will take it serious. But it is unfortunate somebody would resort to this,” he said.
Jake Williams said he was the owner of the account used to create www.whiteforsenate.com, but denied having a hand in the creation of the website.
“I know who did it but I’m not telling. I think it’s clearly a satire. I don’t think anyone could take this too serious,” he said.
Williams bought the domain name www.vincentciampa.com last year for a friend who set it up as a satire of Ciampa’s career in politics.
“I think they’re both pretty funny, harmless sites,” he said.
But the phony website was a cheap trick and an inaccurate attack on its target, said Sean J. Fitzgerald, Chief of Staff for the late Sen. Charles E. Shannon, the man whom White is trying to replace.
“This was unfair. Bill White can’t be grouped in with Bush or Cheney. He is a moderate Republican, cut from the mold of an Ed Brooke,” he said.
State Rep. Patricia D. Jehlen, D-Somerville, is White’s opponent in the September 27 general election. She agreed that the internet attack on White was unfair and inaccurate, but did point out a similarity between White and the fellow Republicans on surrounding him on the page.
“I’m sure he doesn’t agree with the other people on that page, but he is a Republican just like they are,” she said.
White said the deceptive maneuver will not affect his campaign.
“It is not something that is concerning me. I am going to continue my work and not allow it to derail me,” he said.
The on-line treachery aimed at White is just a new spin on an old game, said Fitzgerald.
“Campaign hi-jinx, shenanigans and dirty tricks will always have a place in politics. With the emergence of new technology such as the internet, these old games just take on a new form,” he said.