Politics

CD 19 Cyber Campaign Heats Up as Trey Radel Foes Blast Co-Opted Web Pages

By: Kenric Ward | Posted: April 19, 2012 3:55 AM
Paige Kreegel, Gary Aubuchon and Chauncey Goss

Rep. Paige Kreegel, R-Punta Gorda, Rep. Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral and Chauncey Goss | Credit: myfloridahouse.gov

Web pages bearing the names of three Republican candidates in the 19th Congressional District aren't their websites at all -- and they're not very complimentary.

In fact, the sites -- chaunceygoss.com, kreegelforcongress.com and aubuchonforcongress.com -- blast the candidates with a series of talking points and Internet links.

The faux sites are the latest weapon in a cyber war waged by Trey Radel, a rival GOP hopeful. Each site contains a link to "Friends of Trey Radel," where viewers can see a compendium of complimentary websites and articles about Radel.

The race to succeed Rep. Connie Mack, R-Naples, is a spirited one, with nearly a dozen candidates vying for attention in the heavily GOP district.

With his aggressive online tactics, Radel, a former reporter and radio talk-show host, has turned it into "Domain-gate."

As Sunshine State News first reported, Radel's campaign began buying up domain names of  prospective GOP opponents nearly a year before he formally announced his candidacy.

"It looks like this guy will do anything to get elected -- even resorting to Washington-style dirty tricks," said Josh Cooper, spokesman for state Rep. Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral.

State Rep. Paige Kreegel, R-Punta Gorda, said, "The issue here is not the content of these sites. What is at issue is Mr. Radel's integrity."

The faux Aubuchon and Kreegel sites -- using the headline "These Are The Facts" -- assail the lawmakers for "increasing your taxes" and supporting the high-speed rail project, which Gov. Rick Scott rejected.

To which Kreegel responded:

"The facts appear to be that Mr. Radel purchased the domain names of private citizens more than a year ago, yet he denied it. The facts seem to bear out that Mr. Radel's intentions all along, for more than a year, were to smear the good name of these citizens, myself included," Kreegel said.

Matt Pusateri, head of the Friends of Trey Radel, declined to discuss the website purchases, but has promised a "cutting edge, conservative Republican campaign."

"For years, the Democrat Party has owned the Internet. Not anymore. Our campaign is changing the face of Republican politics in Florida today," he told Sunshine State News last month.

The Radel-owned Chaunceygoss.com site attacks the Sanibel resident for his Washington, D.C., roots and his former employment in the federal government. The Web page is currently listed for sale online for "$5,000 (negotiable)."

Radel has declined to speak about the website controversy but, in an earlier interview, declared, "People are fed up with career politicians."



Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341.

Comments (4)

William B
9:48PM APR 19TH 2012
I looked at his FEC report and saw that people in Naples are supporting him. Ed Morton from the hospital, former State Rep and current President of Citizen's Insurance Tom Grady, Naples attorney Joe Cox and restaurant owner Loe Vlasho. What the heck are they thinking? Do they condone this sort of activity or are they asking for their money back? I have a hard time believing they want to be associated with him.
Radel's actions show why he is exactly the sort of person we don't want in Washington, DC.
Jim
4:52AM APR 22ND 2012
Radel and Grady go way back. You see this guy who tries to present himself as some Tea Party guy is actually a political insider. If people only knew. He is Exactly the kind of person they want in Congress.
Conservative Voice
8:33PM APR 19TH 2012
Okay so Radel owns the sites and yet states it is not cybersquatting. Fine then it has to be identity theft since there is no record on his financial report that they purchased them. So I believe that he and this Matt character (who sounds like a broken record) must have stolen them! This is, the crime of the century!
Conservative Citizen
9:46AM APR 19TH 2012
Matt Pusateri, head of the Friends of Trey Radel, declined to discuss the website purchases, but has promised a "cutting edge, conservative Republican campaign."

"For years, the Democrat Party has owned the Internet. Not anymore. Our campaign is changing the face of Republican politics in Florida today," he told Sunshine State News last month.

So stealing individuals identities is cutting edge? Looking at Goss's website Radel states that Goss moved back to Florida just to run for Mack's seat. I guess cutting edge includes LIEING? Goss moved down here in late 2010. Now unless I am missing something no one knew and Mack certainly did not announce he was running for Senate until early 2011 and then if you remember he changed his mind. So let that set the record straight.

Now as for Aubuchon and Kreegel. They make a big deal about High Speed Rail. First that was in 2009 and a lot of people were for that venture back then. In fact, if I remember correctly Jeff Atwater championed that cause and all of the studies show it would not cost the people of Florida one dime.

There is that other little pesky matter. Why is Goss's domain up for sale? When you purchase a domain you actually have to check a box that you are willing to entertain offers for the site. If you do not check that box it does not go up for sale. Sorry Matt, you lose again.

So we can conclude that in order to be cutting edge you need a complete lack of character, integrity, and the ability to lie profusely. Plus have no respect for individual property rights (an individual's name). Yup that is cutting edge the way Radel and Mack define it. Pretty much describes the methods of the Obama administration as well.

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