For Immediate Release 17 August 2012
For Additional Information
Contact Kevin Hayes
Shirley Republican Town Committee Denounces Weaver Campaign Deceptive Tactics, Retains Legal Representation. Files both Civil and Criminal complaints.
Shirley-Kevin Hayes, The Chairman of the Shirley Republican Town Committee today released the following statement;
Today we have delivered a letter prepared by our attorney, to Congressional Candidate Tom Weaver and his Media Director, Mr. Ralph Zazula insisting that Weaver Campaign remove the fictitious Shirley Facebook page. We have also suggested that a majority of the 27 fictitious Face Book pages they have created within the Third Congressional District are illegal as pointed out by our attorney. This action is required within 48 hours or we are prepared, through our legal council to proceed to the next level to stop this obvious attempt at voter confusion and misinformation perpetrated by the Weaver Campaign.
The fictitious “Shirley GOP” Face Book page came to Hayes’s attention from a community activist. A cursory review revealed the page was almost entirely dedicated to Weaver and only contained negative comments concerning his GOP primary rival. Further that their existed 27 Face Book pages of the 37 Cities and Towns in the 3rd Congressional District, all identical in content, all indicating or creating the illusion that they were representative of the particular community and the GOP, Republican or Conservatives within that community. Hayes then sent out an email to all chairs or representatives within the affected communities, most expressed outrage and to date Hayes indicated that the only Republican groups that desired to have these sites remain public is Chelmsford, Fitchburg and Boxborough.
Hayes continued, I then contacted Weaver’s Media Director Ralph Zazula, and Tom Weaver, both parties refused to remove the factious page.
The facts as they exist, are as follows;
1. Each of the affected pages under scrutiny were created within the last several months.
2. All of the fictitious pages use the town name, for which permission was not sought or given and each site references either GOP, Republican or Conservative, falsely connecting the fictitious pages with the GOP, Republicans or Conservatives within that community and therefore suggesting that these towns and/or GOP, Republicans or Conservatives within that community tactility endorse or approve of or support Weaver. This suggestion is inferred by the shear amount of pro Weaver publicity contained in these fictitious sites. Additionally there is other inappropriate content on the pages that we object to.
3. Weaver’s Media Director (Ralph Zazula) never contacted any of the affected communities offering to assist GOP, Republican or Conservative entities within that community and offered to construct a Face Book page for them. This was done without community knowledge or permission. Once established Weaver’s Media Director, when contacted never offered administrative access to any of these pages and when the Shirley RTC placed our endorsements onto the fictitious page and then subsequently placed a disclaimer onto the page indicating it was not the actual face book page of the Shirley Town Committee,(GOP)both entries were removed from the page and we were blocked from further entries.
4. Candidate Weavers assertion in an email that he has no control over these pages is in direct conflict with the existing facts. The Clinton RTC Chair when made aware of the fictitious page alluding to be that of the “Clinton GOP” contacted Weaver directly, expressing outrage over the issue and within hours that particular page was removed.
Hayes concluded by saying, “This deliberate attempt to mislead and misinform the electorate using deceptive social media and deliberately purporting the page to be a page of the affected community leaders within the GOP, Republican or Conservative movements in that town, is among the most underhanded ploys I’ve seen in years
of political activism.
I have as of this (17 August 2012) morning filed a formal complaint with the Shirley Police Department alleging identify theft and/or violation of MGL, Chapter 266, S 72 on Mr’s Weaver and Zazula. This reflects directly on the caliber of Mr. Weaver and in our mind disqualifies him from serious contention as a representative of Massachusetts. We are fully prepared to proceed with the next step too include immediate court (civil) action if these page(s) are not removed.
SHELDON LAW ASSOCIATES
491-D MAIN STREET,
P.O. BOX 448, GROTON, MA 01450 TEL. 978-448-8884 FAX 978-448-2202
ATTORNEY PETER B. SHELDON
August 16, 2012
Mr. Tom Weaver
Mr. Ralph Zazula
RE: Illegal & Fake Facebook Page for Shirley Republican Town Committee
Dear Mr. Weaver/Mr. Zazula:
I represent the Shirley Republican Town Committee in connection with an illegal and false Facebook page that has been created in my client’s name effective last month.
My investigation of this matter shows that you both have directly engaged in or conspired to engage in illegally creating that Facebook page in the name of my client for the purpose of misleading voters into thinking that my client is supportive of Mr. Weaver’s congressional campaign.
My information also shows that said page and many other similar fake RTC Facebook pages in the area were created shortly after Mr. Zazula became your media director.
In addition to the creation of the page being fraudulent, you then repeatedly compound that fraud by posting false “Likes” from other fake area RTC Facebook pages that you have created … all of this in a transparent effort to bolster your campaign and disparage your opponent in the primary election.
This activity is illegal on many fronts both civilly and criminally and also highly unethical.
Such activity constitutes:
• Larceny by Trick (if it causes you to receive Weaver campaign donations)
• Criminal Conspiracy
• Criminal Impersonation
• Identity Theft
• Voter Fraud
• Illegal Election Influence
• Trademark Infringement (for the illegal use of the Mass GOP logo)
I have advised my client to exercise all remedies available to it if you do not immediately remove the subject fake Facebook page. These remedies include a criminal complaint application to the Town of Shirley Police Department, a civil lawsuit against you seeking an injunction to stop said illegal activity and an inquiry to the appropriate ethics and election agencies in Massachusetts.
My client has an extensive collection of saved screen shots of the fake Facebook page to use as evidence.
You should also note that if any of your campaign literature sent out via the United States Postal Service refers to these fake Facebook pages that would constitute a federal
crime warranting an investigation by the FBI and/or the postal service.
I will leave it to others to comment on what such activity says about you as a congressional candidate and as a media advisor to a congressional candidate.
My focus is on the illegal nature of your actions and the criminal and civil remedies my client will pursue if you do not immediately cease and desist in these actions including,
again, taking the fake Shirley RTC Facebook page down immediately.
I understand, Mr. Weaver, that within hours of a recent complaint directly to you by the chairman of the Clinton RTC about a similar fake Facebook page in its name, the fake Clinton pages was taken down. You would be well advised to do the same regarding my client’s fake Facebook page.
Finally, please note that I have advised my client to share this letter with the many other area RTCs that have had fake Facebook pages created by you in their names.
Very truly yours,
Peter B. Sheldon