Was it political satire or did the Doug LaMalfa for Congress campaign break the law when an anonymous site attacking fellow Repbulican congressional candidate Sam Aanestad appeared on the internet? The website, sam4Congress.com has since been taken down but it contained unflattering pictures of candidate Sam Aanestad and a banner reading Sam Aanestad NOT for Congress. Aanestad’s attorney Barry Pruett says he obtained the domain records of the website which leads back to Mark Spannagel the chief of staff of Republican candidate , Doug LaMalfa and the website was created on April 18th.
Federal campaign law allows individuals who are not being paid by a campaign or committee to “engage in Internet activities for the purpose of influencing a federal election without restriction, ” including creating, maintaining or hosting a website according to the FEC.
Pruett says he is preparing a complaint to the FEC that will allege several violations in the creation and content of the website one being Sam Aanestad’s credentials as an oral surgeon.
click to hear Barry Pruett
Pruett says he is preparing a complaint he plans to file with the Federal Elections Commission, but as the election is less than 3 weeks away he does not expect them to act on the compliant until after June 5th.
Reaction from the LaMalfa camp comes from consultant Dave Gilliard who released an e-mail statement yesterday stating: “Neither Doug LaMalfa, nor the LaMalfa campaign, had any knowledge or involvement in the construction or posting of the website in question, which just came to our attention this morning. “Political satire has a long history in American politics, something that thin-skinned candidates, or those trying to hide their record, sometimes have trouble fully appreciating.”