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Thread: Jeff Baron's undeserved attack sinks to a new low

  1. #1
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    Default Jeff Baron's undeserved attack sinks to a new low

    I had hoped to avoid saying anything about Jeff Baron's misuse of the soswayland.com domain name that he registered and then used (or allowed to be used) deceptively. Even with this rejoinder, I maintain my track record of never having instigated an attack, and pledge to continue in that vein.

    My candidacy for re-election to the Wayland School Committee is about the students we serve, and it had been my intent to stay focused in that regard. By the act of his guest column in today's Town Crier, he gives me no option but to respond.

    About the following, there is no dispute.
    1. The domain name of Wayland Save our Services is soswayland.ORG.
    2. Mr. Baron registered the nearly identical soswayland.COM in September of 2008.
    3. Earlier this year, Mr. Baron or someone to whom he'd given password access changed the soswayland.COM registration to hide the owner's identity.
    4. Earlier this year, Mr. Baron or someone to whom he'd given password access used soswayland.COM to misdirect visitors to a site critical of Save Our Services.

    Mr. Baron's explanation for why he decided to register exactly that domain name among all possibilities is unconvincing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron
    In regards to a name for a group of concerned Wayland citizens who were seeking with me to organize and protect our schools, a search using words such as "supporting schools," "save our schools" and "Wayland" produced an automated list of available domain names.
    Mr. Baron's failure to explain the deceptive use of the domain name that he registered is unacceptable.

    Mr. Baron's attempt to change the subject by citing the wholly legitimate registration and use of the waylandschoolcommittee.org domain name is undeserved.

    As spelled out on the School Committee's new "about" page (posted 3/24 following discussion at the prior evening's meeting), EVERY aspect of that site's registration and use has been and is appropriate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron
    This site operates now under a privately registered ownership status, and purports to be the official site of the committee. It is not.
    The site was temporarily registered as private as the result of renewing the domain name. Other than this recent brief period, the registration has always been public.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron
    It is, in fact, a private site used and paid for by members of the current School Committee to advocate for overrides and other positions – things that would be against campaign finance laws if it was truly an official site.
    The site waylandschoolcommittee.org is and always has been the official site of the Wayland School Committee. The fact that Committee members self-fund it (no outside funds are raised) in no way changes this fact. Mr. Baron's ignorance about the site's content is astonishing for someone who purports to be a legitimate contender for a School Committee seat. Even a cursory review of the site will show that override information is only a tiny fraction of the available content.

    Mr. Baron's ignorance of campaign finance law is equally odd. The Office of Campaign and Political Finance is quite clear that public funds may not be used for unsolicited communication regarding ballot questions (see especially their Interpretive Bulletin 91-01). Not only are no public funds used, but all communications are solicited. In short, the site's content could legally reside on the publicly-funded Wayland Public Schools Web site; it resides separately so that it can be updated more quickly without burdening School Department employees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron
    Sure, a disclaimer regarding private funding was added only after people raised the issue this past fall, modified again in an "off-agenda" discussion during the March 23, 2009 School Committee meeting after further increasing pressure from the public in regards to its misleading nature, well after the site’s reputation as "official" was established. If even one member of the School Committee refused to put his or her name on it, this obfuscation would be abundantly clear.
    Contrary to his statement at the League of Women Voters Candidates Night last evening, Mr. Baron appears to be backing away from the notion of Committee responsiveness. For six years, no one said a word about the School Committee site's registration or funding source. When a few residents expressed concern on several occasions, the Committee responded on several occasions. Why Mr. Baron is speaking out against responsiveness is curious.

    Mr. Baron's "off-agenda" comment is clearly intended to suggest inappropriateness. Again, his ignorance rears its head. The Committee frequently discusses issues that are either minor in nature or that have been raised since the agenda was put together. Failing to do so would be an abrogation of responsibility.
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 04-06-2009 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Toning down my language

  2. #2
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    Default

    I hope that I was able to conceal my bemused grin when both Jeff Baron and Steve Glovsky pledged to run positive campaigns from here on out. That will be a refreshing change for both.

    To Malcolm and Paul, I respect the way that you've each conducted your campaigns.

  3. #3
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    Default Mr. Baron earns my vote

    I can't believe people are wasting energy and effort over this, reprehensible, really?

    Is the issue that Mr. baron was critical of SOS (I'm not even sure he was) or is the issue that he registered a .com version of SOS's .org web-site and "re-directed" it to a web-site critical of SOS (I'm not even sure he was)?

    I personally find the latter amusing. Mr. Baron earns my vote for having the creativity to "spoof" a web-site.

    Jeff

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff_horan View Post
    I can't believe people are wasting energy and effort over this, reprehensible, really?
    I wasn't planning to say word one about this until Mr. Baron tried to dodge his own misdeed by accusing the School Committee of wrong-doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff_horan View Post
    Is the issue that Mr. baron was critical of SOS (I'm not even sure he was) or is the issue that he registered a .com version of SOS's .org web-site and "re-directed" it to a web-site critical of SOS (I'm not even sure he was)?
    The issue is that Mr. Baron has attempted to get mileage out of saying that the current School Committee can't be trusted. Then, he registered a domain name that could only be mistaken for a legitimate one in town. Finally, he used that domain for an underhanded purpose.

    He claims that he has fully addressed this issue (in his Town Crier guest column), but that is clearly not the case. He has said nothing about the redirection. And his partial excuse is laughably transparent.

    If Mr. Baron had any courage, he would have owned up to his wrong-doing. Instead, he made a lame excuse and tried to point the finger at someone else.

    In my opinion, that is absolutely inexcusable for someone who tries to play the trust card to his benefit.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff_horan View Post
    I personally find the latter amusing. Mr. Baron earns my vote for having the creativity to "spoof" a web-site.
    Clever pranks are amusing, in the right context. This wasn't even clever, and the context wasn't right. Here in Wayland, we're trying to provide for the education of our children in an era when funds are particularly tight. Too far one way, and we under-serve our children. Too far the other way, and we risk forcing too many people into economic hardship. Mr. Baron jeopardizes that endeavor. I don't quite see the joke.

    May I have your other vote? [grin]

  5. #5
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    Default Fix the problem!

    I'm finding that people's thinking is incongruent with reality, what we call poor thinking habits.

    I can't reconcile the fact that "Here in Wayland, we're trying to provide for the education of our children in an era when funds are particularly tight." when we have a national debt over 10-trillions dollars and a federal budget deficit this year alone over a trillion dollars.

    You want to talk about economic hardship? Wait until the money runs dry from the latest scam purported by BO and you'll see hardship.

    Fix the problem!

  6. #6
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    Mr. Horan, I don't understand your post. Are you suggesting that times aren't particularly tight in Wayland?

  7. #7
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    Default The question Jeff Baron STILL hasn't answered

    During the Peter Gossels hosted WayCAM candidates call-in program this past Thursday (3/26), Jeff Baron said something to the effect that he had used his 3/26 Town Crier guest column to fully address the question of his registration and use of the misleading Web domain soswayland.COM (not to be confused with the official SOS Wayland domain soswayland.ORG).

    Mr. Baron is of course not being candid when he says this. His guest column notably FAILS to address this key question: Why did Mr. Baron or his designee use soswayland.com to point to an Alan Reiss video critical of SOS Wayland?

    Mr. Baron claims to welcome phone calls and email regarding his candidacy. This statement too is interesting, as his campaign Web site curiously fails to display either his phone number or his email address (click the link under his picture). I encourage all Waylanders to avail themselves of this opportunity to ask him the question in bold above.

    (My email address is in my signature block below; I can be reached by phone at 508-353-3175).

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