7:22 pm Aug. 13, 2012
Here's a bit more on that The Journal News story about Greg Ball's campaign sending out an email under the name of its Democratic opponent, Justin Wagner.
The email was intended to promote the site, WackyWagner.com. Ball's campaign told the News it sent the email and registered the site.
It appears Ball himself was the registrant. A domain search on GoDaddy.com currently lists the site as registered anonymously in Scottsdale, Arizona. But Wagner's campaign sent a screen shot of the GoDaddy site at 1:41 p.m. yesterday afternoon, which indicated WackyWagner.com was registered by "Ball, Gregory" using "firstname.lastname@example.org" as his contact.
And in sending the email, Ball's campaign may have violated a state law he previously voted for, which expanded the definition of criminal impersonation.
Wagner has asked the Westchester district attorney to investigate the matter.
In a brief interview, Wagner told me the use of his name in the "From" field appeared to violate the law, but the question of whether it was illegal should be determined by the district attorney and the courts. (Ball's campaign told the News that using Wagner's name in the "From" field was a mistake that it corrected in subsequent emails.)
Back in 2008, New York State amended its definition of criminal impersonation to include impersonations "by internet website or electronic means with intent to obtain a benefit or injure or defraud another."
The bill was introduced by Ball's Republican colleague in the State Senate, Andrew Lanza, who himself claimed to be a victim of online impersonation.
I asked Ball's campaign whether they thought the "Wacky Wagner" email violated that law. A campaign spokesman did not address that issue, and instead, said Wagner's complaint to the district attorney "is itself a waste of taxpayer dollars, if not illegal."
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