Thursday, December 17, 2009

Virtual mud in the mayor's race

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 6:53 PM

Seen this? It's a Web site called Mitch The Mayor (not to be confused with Mitch Landrieu's actual Web site, Mitch for Mayor). The confusion doesn't stop at the name, either.

Landrieu's Web site:

click to enlarge mitch

Fake Landrieu Web site:

click to enlarge not mitch

The parody Web site has a front-page message from "Mitch" to former candidate Leslie Jacobs, who withdrew from the race last night:

I'm sorry that I lied to all of you initially about this campaign. Especially you Leslie as I know that the only reason you decided to run for office was because I told you I wasn't gonna. Thanks for warming up the crowd all the same and best wishes.

The fake-Mitch page also includes a "remix" of Landrieu's actual You Tube announcement video, along with links to a fake-Mitch-Twitter account with messages like "If New Orleans had its own Vatican, I'd be running for pope. But I will settle for being your mayor" and "Thinking about ways to decorate my new office in city hall!"

The contact info at the bottom of the fake-Mitch page leads to yet another domain, www.perryforchange.com, which doesn't have a Web site associated with it. Alex Morgan, James Perry's campaign manager, vociferously denies the Perry campaign has anything to do with "Mitch the Mayor."

"It is definitely not us," Morgan said this morning, "and we're in the process of finding out who it is so we can file a cease-and-desist order for using our name. Moreover, we have put in a request to YouTube to pull down the fake video."

Mud is nothing new in New Orleans mayoral campaigns, but it usually takes the form of whisper campaigns and anonymous flyers. This seems to be the 21st-century equivalent. Meanwhile, there's plenty of chatter in political circles about the person and/or campaign behind this, and from the calls we've already gotten, it seems the parodist will be unmasked soon.

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