Monday, February 2, 2015

Did California 25th Senate Candidate Anthony Portantino Fabricate Endorsements On His Campaign Website?

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Mod: Here is an interesting article that ran on a site called loscerritosnews.net (link) a couple of weeks back. It deals with an "Anthony Portantino For State Senate" website that apparently was not ready for prime time. Anthony is running for Carol "Lookie" Liu's soon to be vacated State Senate seat, and I am sure he does not need this kind of aggravation.

California 25th Senate Candidate Anthony Portantino Fabricated Endorsements On His Campaign Website - A Hews Media Group-Community News investigation has revealed that a website created and paid for by California 25th Senatorial District candidate and former 44th assemblyman Anthony Portantino, contains false endorsements and false statements from several high ranking California politicians, city council members, unions and other organizations.

The investigation revealed that after Portantino termed out of the California Assembly in 2012, he commissioned a “webmaster” to build the site and began uploading the false endorsements, subsequently sending supporters to the site to create a “snowball” effect.

A  “WHOIS” search shows that the web address, va4ndor.com, is registered under an Elliot Cuite of Duarte.

After a few phone calls placed by HMG-CN to officials listed on the website, it became apparent that the falsified list of endorsements and statements was staggering even to the most seasoned political veteran.

A Google search using the term “Anthony Portantino Endorsements” sends the user to the website http://va4ndor.com/anthony-wp/endorsements (Mod: since deleted) listing over fifty endorsements and statements.

The bottom of the website indicates that it is, “Paid for and authorized by Anthony Portantino for Senate 2016, ID# 1334175.”

One of the first endorsements is by Sen. Darrell Steinberg talking about Portantino’s integrity. Steinberg presided over the chamber while three fellow Democrats were suspended. “I have worked with Anthony on foster care issues, stem cell research and good government reform. He has great conviction and integrity and I would be very pleased to welcome him to our Democratic Caucus. He has my complete trust and support.”

Mod: You can check out the article by clicking on the link above. The website we're discussing was deleted shortly after the original article appeared, but a screenshot does exist. It is extremely long, so we are only posting the top portion. To link to a PDF of the entire site, click here.


Mod: Apparently Anthony even scored the prestigious Joe Mosca and John Buchanan endorsement!


Mod: Naturally Anthony Portantino did not enjoy this kind of adverse exposure, and he replied by sending out the following e-mail with his explanation of what happened.

Mod: I can certainly understand Anthony's embarrassment here. However, in the age of the Internet you do not put up things such as this without running the risk of at least some adverse exposure. 

One more question. If Anthony didn't release this as he says, how did it go live in the first place?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

49 comments:

  1. Politically, Anthony Portantino is dead to me. He sponsored a law to take away my Constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment Rights.

    Guess he's another one of those folks that thinks I'm not allowed to protect myself against criminals. Idiot.

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    Replies
    1. That's why I thought he was such a good guy. He never wanted to take your rights away - just stem the proliferation of guns. Puleeze

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    2. You're so cute, 12:47. Maybe you should Google "Fast and Furious" and get back to us on how that's working out.

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    3. I assume Portantino is a target of these type of attacks exactly because he has pissed off NRA crazies and the pro-710 freeway supporters like Barbara Messina. If you take a closer look at the page it is unfinished and appears to be a prep page/mock-up. Probably not intended to be seen or go live until the endorsements were secured. I'm saddened to see the Sierra Madre Tattler reprint this political attack without recognizing it for what it is.

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  2. Deny, Deny, Deny. Worked for Bill Clinton "I did not have sex with that woman...) and lots of other politicians.

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  3. Mod,
    I think the web site is indeed a fake. Otherwise, it would have endorsements from Nancy Walsh & John Harabedian. They endorse every Dem candidate.

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  4. Is there anyone in the area that didn't endorse Anthony Portantino?

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  5. That is a much longer list.

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    Replies
    1. Check out the link and scroll to the bottom.

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    2. The Google cached version referred to in the link also appears to have been taken down:
      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:KxM_G8C2Si4J:va4ndor.com/anthony-wp/endorsements+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

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    3. Moran, Walsh and Harabedian endorsed Portantino. What a shocker.

      Janice nelson is on there, as well.

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    4. I wonder if they know.

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    5. I wonder if they even care.

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  6. If you go to the Los Cerritos Community News site there is a follow up story. Apparently the Portantino people were not happy.
    ‘Team Portantino’ Threatens Los Cerritos Community News Over Endorsement Story
    Hews Media Group-Community News has received an email from “Team Portantino” threatening the newspaper for publishing an investigative story related to a website that had published bogus quotes endorsing Portantino.

    The website was pulled offline minutes after HMG-CN broke the story on January 15.

    The investigative story found that several names and quotes were fabricated.

    The names included state Sen. Mark Leno who said, “I have not spoken to Anthony in years,” but was quoted as endorsing Portantino on the site; Glendale Councilwoman Laura Friedman, Pasadena Councilman Terry Tornak, and Eric Bauman, Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party who told HMG-CN he was “emphatically not supporting him (Portantino).”

    In the days after publishing the story, several other officials have come forward to HMG-CN saying they did not endorse Portantino.

    HMG-CN will publish those names in a separate story.

    The “Team Portantino” email to HMG-CN stated, “we are writing to request that you immediately retract the false and misleading story that ran in Los Cerritos News last week asserting that a campaign website with fabricated endorsements was posted for public review.”

    The email indicated that the website was not public and that Portantino’s campaign “did not know about it.”

    Sources told HMG-CN that a few city councilmembers told them that Portantino would go to local meetings sending officials to the website, even pulling it up on his phone, to show them all the “impressive” endorsements.

    In addition, the bottom of the website stated, “paid for and authorized by Anthony Portantino for Senate 2016, ID# 1334175.”

    The email went on, “the draft homepage of the “mockup” was private and password protected. No one on Team Portantino knew that the long dormant satellite pages, including the one in question, were in any way available to the public or that they could be accessed without a password.”

    The HMG-CN investigation found that the website was indeed publicly accessible for a very long time and easily found by a “Portantino Endorsements” Google search.

    HMG-CN Publisher Brian Hews said, “the page was public. Google crawled it and cached the site meaning it was public. I did a Google search, found it, and took screenshots. If it was private at the time, the search would have produced a login or password page. After the story published, Portantino pulled the site down and now a Google search of “Portantino Endorsements” takes you to a login page.”

    “Further,” Hews stated, “after seeing the site, my website company said that was very elaborate for a mock-up. Website mock-ups use stock pictures and “Greek text.” If the site was a mockup, they went through a lot of trouble to fabricate text that was very specific to the campaign. It is unheard of to pay a web designer to find pictures and related photos and come up with copy that’s going to be thrown away.”

    The threatening email to HMG-CN contained several other demonstrably false statements.

    In response to the story, Portantino initially claimed the web page was from his aborted 2012 run for State Senate.

    In the email to HMG-CN, Portantino indicates the website is “years old.”

    However, the website in question contains Portantino’s 2016 Campaign information.

    Further the website also contains the current titles of individual politicians indicating it was created well after 2012.

    Alan Lowenthal, who served in the State Senate until 2013 is listed by his current title of Congressman.

    http://www.loscerritosnews.net/2015/01/21/team-portantino-threatens-los-cerritos-community-news-over-endorsement-story/

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  7. Wow. Somebody is upset.

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    Replies
    1. The post at 10:04. "Team Portantino" went ballistic. Heavy threats, too.

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    2. Are they going to "take out" The Tattler?

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    3. I think Anthony does a lot of take out. Pasta especially.

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    4. I don't want to be mean, but it did occur to me that you will never see a woman politician who looks so...so...lacking in diet and exercise.

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    5. Two words:
      Bella Abzug

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    6. Chunky and unattractive is not the same thing as morbidly obese. And who since Bella?

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    7. He is just wearing fat clothes, that's all.

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  8. Some of the endorsements might be legit? That one from Mosca and Buchanan sounds a lot like them. That turning around stuff.

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    Replies
    1. That, and the lack of original thought.

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  9. One of the endorsements is from Claire Boggard - I assume there's some relationship? She calls Anthony the biggest advocate for the 710.
    Good thing this scandal will hopefully stop him.

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    Replies
    1. Whether this scandal stops him or not will depend on how effective his damage control team is.

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    2. Most people believe Anthony Portantino is an opponent of the 710 Tunnel. Which is a saving grace for the guy. So what is Le Dame Bogaard saying here? That is assuming she actually said that.

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  10. There's a weird emptiness on towards the top of the second page - a couple of "endorsers" with their pictures, a blurb, but no names!
    Maybe they were "endorsements-in-process"

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    Replies
    1. One of them, the redhead, is Mary Ann Lutz, mayor of Monrovia.

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    2. A regular who's who of local poltical hooligans.

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  11. Why isn't the Pasadena Star News covering this story?

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    1. Why hasn't the illustrious Terry Tornek, he of (lack of) oversight of a confirmed $ 6.4 million embezzlement from the City of Pasadena, talking about this. He wants to be Mayor of Pasadena, maybe he could show some so-called Leadership. Or maybe not.

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  12. It will be way too easy for people to distance themselves from this one.
    "I never said that. They used my picture without my knowledge."

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  13. Maybe we should make up a webpage of endorsements for The Tattler. We'll start with Barack Obama and work our way down.

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    Replies
    1. Barack and Dubya side by side.

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    2. Cool. Just like Mosca and Buchanan!

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    3. Eddie Haskell and the Beeve.

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    4. Susan Henderson & John Harabedian.

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  14. Elliot Cuite is tied in with ACT Pasadena. Portantino is a co-chair.
    http://actpasadena.org/page/committeeroster.org

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  15. Is Mike Gatto on Anthony's love list?

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    Replies
    1. Not by a long shot

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    2. In the picture it looks like Anthony is reaching out to someone.

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    3. I think he is gesturing in hopes that someone will help dislodge the chicken bone caught in his throat.

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  16. What do expect from a washed up political has been, out of work politician, from New Jersey?

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    Replies
    1. Which suburb? New York, Trenton or Philadelphia?

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  17. What do you think about using the meta description on your website? I read told me Matt Cutts said to not bother with them a few months ago as they are no use anymore.

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  18. Anthony will tell you that he is Hollywood screen writer. That is a joke and ask him for his payments from whoever he wrote for. The truth is Anthony is another out of work pol whose wife worked for Disney before she got axed. They now need this new government job to bring home the bacon at home. The last thing this area needs is Carol Liu/Mike Peevey clone. He is the poster child for what is wrong in Sacramento.

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