The News-Messenger, Jan. 22, 2003
COLUMBUS — The names of nine Republican state senators — including the senators who represent Sandusky and Ottawa counties — have been linked on the Internet to a white supremacist group, without their knowledge or permission.
The Web page of the National Association for the Advancement of White People pops up when Internet users go to sites that use the senators’ names as the domain.
Internet records show that the Seattle-based Council on Political Accountability bought the rights to domains for the senators’ names and then redirected them to the association’s Web page. The site recruits members and sells flags, jewelry, bumper stickers and clothing such as “Caucasian jeans.”
“I’m outraged,” said one of the senators, Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green. “I hope there’s some legal recourse for us to be disassociated with it.”
The domains are for sale on the eBay auction site, which several senators said amounts to extortion.
“These people are either using it for that, or it’s some left-wing group trying to make us look bad,” said Senator Larry Mumper, R-Marion. “I’m going to take the high road and say that it’s just someone trying to generate some dollars out of us, but some people will try to use any means they can to try and lessen someone’s reputation.
A message seeking comment was left Tuesday with Jeremy Stamper, listed as the administrative contact for the council in Seattle.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups, lists the National Association for the Advancement of White People as a white supremacist group. The group was founded by David Duke, a former KKK grand wizard who ran for U.S. Senate and governor from Louisiana in the 1990s.
“Aren’t you sick of reverse discrimination, busing, minority welfare rip-offs, massive immigration, gun control, anti-white movies and TV shows?” says the group’s statement of beliefs. “Do you want to see America become like Mexico or South Africa or Uganda?”
Messages seeking comment that were left Tuesday are the telephone numbers listed on the group’s news releases on its Web site.
“The stuff on that Web site is just atrocious, just ludicrous,” Mumper said. “And the worst part of this is that it shows up on Martin Luther King Day.”
Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro sent an e-mail to Stamper on Tuesday, demanding that he immediately transfer the domain names to the senators and stop attempting to sell them. He told Stamper that the federal Anti-Cyber Squatting Protection Act requires permission before registering or selling a person’s name as a Web site domain.
Petro gave Stamper one day to agree to the demand.
Besides Mumper and Gardner, the other senators are Scott Nein of Middletown, Jay Hottinger of Newark, Lynn Wachtmann of Napoleon, Jeff Jacobson of Brookville, Louis Blessing of Cincinnati, Ron Amstutz of Wooster and Kirk Schuring of Canton.