Tag Archives: Deceptive Campaign Practices

Palm Springs City Council – Roxann Ploss’ Deceptions May Be Illegal

As you probably know by now, Roxann Ploss, nee a Republican and now a Decline to State according to her, continually posted on mydesert.com under a fictitious name even after officially drawing papers for the race for Palm Springs City Council and even after declaring her candidacy (Ploss also ran for City Council in the last election.)

For two months, Ploss repeatedly denounced her fellow candidate, John Williams, for some of his positions and some of his past business dealings.  Ploss hammered Williams under the guise of being a 70-year-old ‘John Morris,’ probably since the seniors are a target population for Williams who is a boardmember of the Mizell Senior Center.

This weekend, The Desert Sun discovered Ploss’ deception and bared her all.

I have now received notification from Kurt Barrie, via the mydesert.com diarist, The Observer, that Ploss’ actions may in fact be not only deceptive but also illegal!  More below the flip…

On KurtBarrie2007’s page in mydesert.com, dated October 14, 2007 at 5:24 a.m., Barrie writes that Ploss’ actions seem to be illegal under the Elections Code 18320-18323:

“(a) This act shall be known and may be cited as the “California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act.

“(b) It is unlawful for a person, with intent to mislead, deceive, or defraud, to commit an act of political cyberfraud. 

“(c) As used in this section: 

(1) ‘Political cyberfraud’ means a knowing and willful act concerning a political Web site that is committed with the intent to deny a person access to a political Web site, deny a person the opportunity to register a domain name for a political Web site, or cause a person reasonably to believe that a political Web site has been posted by a person other than the person who posted the Web site.”

As a result, it appears that Ploss broke the law of California!  I am sure that more is to follow on this.

Palm Springs City Council – Roxann Ploss’ Deceptive Campaign Practices

Roxann Ploss, Candidate for Palm Springs City Council, has admitted to using a fictitious identity to blog negative statements about John Williams, a leading Candidate for Palm Springs City Council, and others in the race.  According to mydesert.com and The Desert Sun, Ploss has been deceptive for two months during the campaign, posing as a 70 year-old male named ‘John Morris.’

According to Stephanie Frith, Desert Sun writer in an article dated October 13, 2007 and entitled Candidate for Council Busted for Online Posts, National media and policy experts term such blogging as ‘deceptive.’

Other bloggers and diarists on mydesert.com have decried Ploss’ behavior as ‘deceptive’ and as ‘poor judgment.’  Many have asked for Ploss to withdraw from the campaign.  Indeed, one other Candidate for City Council, Arlene Battishill, who previously endorsed Ploss for City Council, has labeled Ploss’ behavior as deceptive, lacking in integrity, and ‘underhanded.’

“As a fictitious person, that is something designed to deceive people…You have to maintain your integrity. That was not the case here.  It’s underhanded.”

More below the flip.

National media experts who decry such activities as Ploss evidenced include Peter Scheer of the California First Amendment Coalition which is based in San Rafael, CA.  Scheer stated

“It strikes me that candidates should not do this because it is an element of deception.”

In addition, according to the Desert Sun, another National media expert, Brian Steffens, Executive Director of the National Newspaper Association, established in 1885 and based in Columbia, MO, indicated that as more and more newspapers expand their online efforts and allow the public to post blogs, stories and comments, the media is going to have to be more diligent about staying on top of anonymous posts.

“If it’s a public servant, I would think they ought to be held accountable.”

Yet another National media expert, Steve Carpinelli, spokesman for the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., said anonymous citations from Candidates could become the new wave of disinformation and deception.

“It would become more common as campaigns go online.”

It is clear that although deceptive campaign practices have always been present (remember the Republican efforts to disenfranchise the African-American electorate in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004, to overwhelm the phone banks in New Hampshire in 2004, and to ‘Swiftboat’ Sen. John Kerry in 2004?), deception will become the electronic wave of the future.  We progressive Democrats need to be vigilant and we need volunteers to scout the blogs to ferret out the deception of the oppositon party in Campaign 2008.

Palm Springs City Council – Roxann Ploss Deceives Desert Sun Blog Readers

The online edition of the Desert Sun at mydesert.com reported today that one of the Candidates for Palm Springs City Council has been attempting to deceive the public for at least two months by setting up an account under a fictitious name for the purpose of undermining the candidacies of her opponents.  This will clearly be a focus of the Republican dirty tricks in the current election cycle.

Roxann Ploss, by her own admission once a Republican but now a Decline to State, has apparently been posing as a 70-year-old man named John Morris for two months on mydesert.com.  Under the alias, Ploss attempted to denigrate the candidacy of John Williams as well as others.  (Truth be told, BlueBeaumontBoyz is a financial supporter to the Williams’ campaign.)

Ploss denies that she meant to be “deceptive.”  But she posted over two dozen times as Morris just what did she intend by hiding behind a pen name and slinging mud about her Democratic opponents?  She must have had Blogging Tourette’s Syndrome!  This is too ridiculous.  One only has to Hahahahahahahahlolololol.

The Desert Sun will have details on the deceptive campaign practices in their Sunday edition.

Although the mydesert.com site indicates that ‘National media and public policy experts’ term the use of nom de plumes for such a purpose “deceptive,” the so-called newspaper does not identify those “experts.”  Given the standing of the Desert Sun in the Coachella Valley, the lack of journalistic expertise (i.e., answer the questions “Who?” “What?” “Where?” “When?” “Why?” and “How?” in the narative.  I learned that as the Fourth Page Editor of my high school newspaper in Altoona, PA!