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    Did They Get Your Email Address, And If So, From Where?

    (Feb. 15, 2007, with update below) -- Two gentlemen we respect, a former aide to former Councilman/former Mayoral candidate Frank Colonna and another fellow who directed the Colonna campaign's webmastering, recently launched a new internet venture.

    In announcing their venture, they offered some nice words about and linked to one of our stories (with stories by other LB news outlets) but we remain puzzled by some things.

    The co-publishers' wesbite self-descriptions didn't mention their roles in the 2006 Colonna for Mayor campaign. To us, that information was conspicuous by its absence. In our opinion, consumers deserve to know when two former political operatives launch a website that among other things repackages their former candidate among its featured columnists.

    Yes, former Councilman Les Robbins writes a column for the Beachcomber but he left office in mid-1998, his publisher isn't his former subordinate and columnist Robbins isn't brewing up a run for higher office. Is the latter true of columnist Colonna?

    It also got our attention when some of our readers reported being targeted by a promotional email hyping the new venture. They wondered from where the website operators got their personal email addresses...and wanted to know if we'd given out them out. No, we didn't.

    Some said they asked the new venture's operators about this by email but hadn't received a response by day's end (Feb. 14). We also emailed about this and haven't heard back.

    [Update 7:37 a.m.: We just got an email from Robert Garcia, one of the co-publishers. He's out of town and indicates he'll respond later today. Revisit us for updated info.]

    In our opinion, news consumers deserve to know such things when an outfit announces itself and indicates plans to, among other things, influence LB public opinion, If the new venture's operators disagree, they show some distance between their views and ours on how to treat LB news consumers.

    And that's OK. will work to get the rest of this story...and we'll report it as newsworthy.

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