Fake Web sites newest weapon

Washington State Democrats, borrowing a page from national party strategists, have created a faux “Rob McKenna for Governor” Web site to “out” the mild-mannered Republican state attorney general over his reputed political ambitions.

“McKenna is a very slick politician who’s been conducting an 18-year campaign for governor, trying to hide his conservative ideology while rewarding his right wing friends,” the Dems claim in a statement.

Their ire was raised by McKenna’s surprise announcement, hours after President Barack Obama signed the health care reform bill, that Washington would join more than a dozen other states in challenging the law’s constitutionality. Gov. Chris Gregoire was so incensed she is seeking separate legal counsel to fight the lawsuit. Every member of the House Republican Caucus has endorsed McKenna’s move.

This business of creating fake Web sites didn’t turn out so well for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which created a similar site attacking Republican Dino Rossi for alleged shady business practices earlier this month. The preemptive action was designed to dissuade Rossi from entering the race to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

Rossi, a two-time gubernatorial candidate, has not announced his political plans. But the attack elicited an angry response from a former staffer, who called it “defamatory” and demanded that Murray order the site taken down.

Murray’s campaign has denied any responsibility for the attack.

Kathie Durbin

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