Cimperman Gets Nailed By Local Press
Sorry Joe, wasn't trying to get you in trouble or anything. A week ago BSB uncovered the fact that Joe Cimperman, Cleveland City Councilman and OH-10 Democratic candidate, had purchased one of his rival's domain names (North Olmstead Mayor Tom O'Grady). Well, Jill picked it up from us, then the PeeDee, and now the Cleveland Free Times is running it. Speaking of which, the Free Times gives us more details than anyone.
One week into the race, and Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman's team is already playing dirty in the battle for Dennis Kucinich's congressional seat. After a meeting between Cimperman and fellow contender Tom O'Grady, mayor of North Olmsted, at which each reportedly asked the other to get the eff out of the way, a Cimperman for Congress staffer snatched up Internet domain names O'Grady might want to use to promote his campaign. TomOGradyForCongress.com, OGradyForCongress.com, and TomOGrady.com are registered to a phone number belonging to Eric Wobser, a volunteer on Cimperman's campaign.
Wobser, incidentally, is no naïve college kid playing West Wing for a week. He's a Cleveland Executive Fellow who was hired by Ken Silliman, Frank Jackson's chief of staff, to serve as special assistant to the mayor last year. Farming out your staff to the candidates you want to place in power is nothing new for Cleveland mayors - Mike White perfected it in the '90s - but they're supposed to take an unpaid leave of absence. Wobser, however, was still on the payroll when he registered the domain names on Dec. 4. His 90-day leave of absence did not take effect until the 10th.
Wobser referred Free Times' questions to damage-control maven Nancy Lesic. When reached Monday, Lesic stated that she and Cimperman had only learned of the incident after Free Times left messages seeking comment, and that the domain names will be offered to O'Grady without charges or conditions.
Except Cimperman will be allowed the option to shut down O'Grady's website whenever, and however, he pleases. Lol.
"There was a volunteer who was over exuberant," Lesic says. "He's a good worker. He just got carried away."
O'Grady could not be reached for comment, but must be relieved to hear that he doesn't have to resort to tripod.TomOGradyIsTheAwesomestCandidateEverInTheHistoryOfModernPoliticsForCongress.com/twogirlsonecup to promote his campaign. - James Rennerbsence did not take effect until the 10th.
Now, I'm sure everyone is playing friendly now. But trust me, if this blossoms into a legit race..it'll be the dirtiest fight in all of Ohio this cycle.