Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tom Sherwood on the Cleveleland Park Poll

Ward 3 Poll Scam?

When the members of the Cleveland Park listserv were asked to take part in an informal poll of mayoral candidates, things were pretty normal at first.
But then suddenly two things happened, almost simultaneously, according to the listserv managers. A bunch of new people started signing up and started casting their votes for candidate Paul Strauss, who took over the lead. However, the new listserv members were in many cases nonsensical addresses. That is, someone or some people were making them up and then casting votes for Strauss.
Strauss, who's already gotten some conflict-of-interest grief over continuing to chair a panel that rules on property tax breaks while he's running for the council, said his campaign had nothing to do with the manipulation even though he initially benefited from it.
Listserv manager Bill Adler says he's not pointing any fingers, but he started the poll over. And he warned everyone that any new attempt to distort the poll would result in the "outing" of those identified with the phony addresses.
That's the trouble when someone tries to manipulate online lists -- there's too much of a footprint.

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