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vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for fredericksburg.com and The Free Lance-Star.

Check here for the latest reports on news from Stafford County. You can email her at vremmers@freelancestar.com.

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Domain Domination

No local government race would be complete without the standard accusations of sign-stealing, sign-switching and straight-up sign removal. The Aquia Supervisor contest has all that and more. Paul Milde and Paul Ortiz have taken those shenanigans from the roadside to the information superhighway. Ortiz recently purchased two internet domain names–veteransformilde.com and veteransformilde.org–and Milde is not amused.

Note that both sites link to the same page as paulortiz.org, the official site for Ortiz’s campaign.

This sort of domain poaching has happened plenty of times before, including this incident we covered two years ago. There are some important differences this time around. First of all, any person even thinking of running for office should immediately buy their desired domain names. This is common knowledge these days and is something Milde and Ortiz are both aware of. Second, Ortiz did not swipe paulmilde.com, Milde’s official campaign site. Nor did Ortiz buy paulmilde.org or paulmilde.net, both of which are available. He bought the "veteransformilde" domains, which Milde said he had no intention of ever buying or using.

It appears this bout of virtual sign stealing was inspired by a set of physical signs at the entrance to Aquia Harbour. Ortiz, himself a retired Marine Corps Colonel, has been busy courting the veteran vote. To that end, he has a number of red, white and blue signs that read "Veterans for Paul Ortiz" and has a web address–vets4ortiz.com on the signs. Milde, whose standard campaign signs are green and white, posted his own red, white and blue "Veterans for Milde" signs right next to Ortiz’s at the corner of U.S. 1 and Washington Drive. Milde’s sign has no web address on it.

"He’s intentionally trying to confuse the public by using the same colors and the same words," Ortiz said before pointing out that Milde has no military experience.

"I know thousands of veterans who support me," Milde said. "He doesn’t have the rights to votes of all veterans."

When asked why he would purchase domain names that haven’t been made public and likely never will, Ortiz said "probably because everyone else does it. If you don’t, your opponent possesses all those internet addresses. It’s an effort to ensure that if you want to talk about veterans in this county, vets4ortiz is the way to go."

Milde responded to the same question by saying "I think it’s underhanded. He’s trying to trick people into coming to his website. It’s just childish and disappointing."

Both men feel their opponent’s actions show a lack of integrity.

Irene Egan, the other candidate in the race, has managed to avoid the fracas. Her website is ireneegan.net.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/staffordnews/2009/10/14/domain-domination/

Domain Domination

No local government race would be complete without the standard accusations of sign-stealing, sign-switching and straight-up sign removal. The Aquia Supervisor contest has all that and more. Paul Milde and Paul Ortiz have taken those shenanigans from the roadside to the information superhighway. Ortiz recently purchased two internet domain names–veteransformilde.com and veteransformilde.org–and Milde is not amused.

Note that both sites link to the same page as paulortiz.org, the official site for Ortiz’s campaign.

This sort of domain poaching has happened plenty of times before, including this incident we covered two years ago. There are some important differences this time around. First of all, any person even thinking of running for office should immediately buy their desired domain names. This is common knowledge these days and is something Milde and Ortiz are both aware of. Second, Ortiz did not swipe paulmilde.com, Milde’s official campaign site. Nor did Ortiz buy paulmilde.org or paulmilde.net, both of which are available. He bought the "veteransformilde" domains, which Milde said he had no intention of ever buying or using.

It appears this bout of virtual sign stealing was inspired by a set of physical signs at the entrance to Aquia Harbour. Ortiz, himself a retired Marine Corps Colonel, has been busy courting the veteran vote. To that end, he has a number of red, white and blue signs that read "Veterans for Paul Ortiz" and has a web address–vets4ortiz.com on the signs. Milde, whose standard campaign signs are green and white, posted his own red, white and blue "Veterans for Milde" signs right next to Ortiz’s at the corner of U.S. 1 and Washington Drive. Milde’s sign has no web address on it.

"He’s intentionally trying to confuse the public by using the same colors and the same words," Ortiz said before pointing out that Milde has no military experience.

"I know thousands of veterans who support me," Milde said. "He doesn’t have the rights to votes of all veterans."

When asked why he would purchase domain names that haven’t been made public and likely never will, Ortiz said "probably because everyone else does it. If you don’t, your opponent posesses all those internet addresses. It’s an effort to ensure that if you want to talk about veterans in this county, vets4ortiz is the way to go."

Milde responded to the same question by saying "I think it’s underhanded. He’s trying to trick people into coming to his website. It’s just childish and dissappointing."

Both men feel their opponent’s actions show a lack of integrity.

Irene Egan, the other candidate in the race, has managed to avoid the fracas. Her website is ireneegan.net.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/staffordnews/2009/10/14/domain-domination/

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