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Columbia Missourian

McDavid campaign site redirected to Keep Columbia Free

By Hannah Cushman
January 14, 2013 | 7:07 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Mayor Bob McDavid's 2010 campaign website might not be the place to research the incumbent's policy stances as he campaigns for election to a second three-year term.

Several months ahead of the April 2 municipal election, the web address, which is listed on the McDavid campaign's Facebook page, now redirects to the homepage of local advocacy group Keep Columbia Free.

Its president, Mark Flakne, posted a link on the organization's Facebook timeline Saturday evening.

"Y'all wanna see something cool?" Flakne wrote. "Go to Bob McDavid's facebook page and find his website... #hijacked."

Domain registration records, though, suggest the swap was less the product of hacking than one of buying. The lease on McDavid's former web address, which expired in January 2012, was renewed Jan. 12, the same day as Flakne's post.

Flakne declined to comment on who orchestrated the redirect but offered his perspective Monday in an email.

"Of course the left dislikes Bob McDavid, but there are many liberty-minded or 'real' Conservatives who are upset that he has the nerve to portray himself as a conservative while he launches and supports hair-brained schemes like the EEZ corporate welfare plan, the lodging tax hike to build an airport terminal, the corporate welfare for American Airlines that chased Delta away, and all while empty FastCat busses drive circles around downtown burning our tax dollars," Flakne wrote.

"... Since Keep Columbia Free represents one of the only true liberty organizations in town," Flakne continued, "it seems fitting that McDavid's hijacked campaign website should direct its traffic to our site."

McDavid said in an email that the site had been abandoned at the conclusion of his 2010 campaign. As evidenced by the domain's expiration last year, "(it) has not been maintained since."

An alternative site for McDavid's re-election campaign has not been organized yet. The incumbent mayor is running against Sid Sullivan and Sam Allison for a three-year term as mayor.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.