LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles City Council candidate Grace Yoo said she is resisting attempts to be “bullied and intimidated” into shutting down a website her campaign made bearing the name of her opponent, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
MarkRidleyThomas.com was created to inform voters about “some information his campaign is not talking about,” the website states.
It was not created by Ridley-Thomas, and that’s why he’s pushing back against it as he continues his campaign for Los Angeles City Council District 10.
An attorney for Ridley-Thomas sent a cease and desist letter to Yoo, describing the website as illegal “cybersquatting,” the action of reserving — with ill intent — domain names similar to or identical to trademarked names.
“By setting up (the website), you have intentionally prevented our client from registering a website domain name in his own personal name,” the letter from attorney Stephen Kaufman said. “And, by illegally setting up this website, you have confused and lured unsuspecting members of the public who were seeking to access online information from our client to your own fraudulent website in order to assault them with false and defamatory statements about Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.”
The website states that Ridley-Thomas is planning to run for L.A. Mayor in 2022, which he has not publicly confirmed, and contains several articles about Ridley-Thomas’ alleged scandals, including “misrepresentations, exaggerated claims” and “misuse of government funds” related to the supervisor’s work.
Yoo dismissed attempts to get rid of the website that she registered in May, and described it as a fair part of her campaign.
“As an attorney and community leader/organizer in District 10, I know how vital truth is to our political process. Voters must have access to all the information possible before making their choice. The stakes are too high for uninformed decision-making and ultimately, uninformed voting,” she said. “Our campaign will not be bullied and intimidated by the same establishment that has failed the district repeatedly and has made a business out of blocking out the truth, as they are trying to do now.”
The cease and desist letter from Ridley-Thomas said if Yoo’s campaign doesn’t remove the website immediately, he will seek legal action.