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Recall website mischief denied
Domain-name buyer was campaign chair 'only on paper'
By Doug Snover

April 1, 2006

The Kyrene School District recall election is over, but the finger pointing continues over who used Rae Waters’ own name against her by re-directing several Rae Waters domain names to the website of her opponents.           

Patrick McGill, the Tempe attorney who failed to unseat Waters in the March 14 election, is distancing himself from the issue, from his campaign chairman who purchased the Rae Waters domain names to the Kyrene parents group that started the recall effort.

“I don’t believe in running a campaign that way,” McGill told Wrangler News.

Waters, meanwhile, has purchased several new Internet domain names to protect herself when she seeks re-election later this year.

The domain-name controversy has origins dating back to Dec. 4, 2005, when Chandler businessman Peter Sciacca purchased several “Rae Waters” domain names, including and Domain names cost as little as $8.95 per year from Scottsdale-based Go

The “Rae Waters” domain names were re-directed to the Kyrene Community Leadership website ( that called for the ouster of Waters from the Kyrene Governing Board.

Sciacca is listed as Patrick McGill’s campaign chairman on the Maricopa County Elections Department website.

McGill, however, said this week that Sciacca was chairman “only on paper” and did not run McGill’s campaign to unseat Waters.

McGill described Sciacca as “a very close friend” and “a businessman” with “no knowledge of politics.”

Waters defeated McGill 6,250-5,511 to retain her seat on the Kyrene Governing Board.

A few days after the election, following reports that Waters’ website had been hijacked, the “Rae Waters” domain names were re-directed again, this time to a Sports Illustrated/CNN website covering the Masters Golf Tournament. The Masters site contained the keywords “Rae’s Creek,” which is a landmark of the famous golf course in Augusta, Ga.

Just as the Rae Waters website is now gone, so is the site for Kyrene Community Leadership.

McGill said he was not aware until after the election that the “Rae Waters” domain names were being used to support his campaign against Waters.

He stressed that the “Rae Waters” domain names were re-directed to the Kyrene Community Leadership website, not to his personal website ( and said he had nothing to do with the Kyrene Leadership efforts to oust Waters.

Sciacca declined to comment, except to say that he owns more than 60 domain names and to insist that cornering the market on “Rae Waters” domain names is not “cybersquatting.”

Cybersquatting is the practice of securing rights to unprotected domain names and selling them at a profit to the holders of trademark names. It is a crime under federal law, but the law applies only to trademarked names.

In Waters’ case, it is only a matter of questionable campaign practice.

She said she learned about the domain name game “about a week and a half before the (March 14) election.”

“I think it’s a little bit unfair when you’re talking about somebody’s name,” she said. “I guess it’s how dirty you want to play.”

“At this point, I’m just ready to move on and be a school board member,” Waters said.

A Kyrene Community Leadership spokeswoman also disclaims the domain-name mischief.

When the domain names became an issue after the election, Mckell Keeney, one of the leaders of the recall movement, sent an email to local media saying, “I need to make sure you know that no one associated with the former Kyrene Community Leadership bought domain names with Rae Waters in the domain name.”

Keeney’s email also said that Steve Shelby, a member of Kyrene Community Leadership, was unaware of any domain-name issues.

“I just got off the phone with Steve Shelby, and he did not know until today that those domain names were bought by anyone, or that they ever redirected to the old Kyrene Community Leadership website,” Keeney’s email said.

Stephen Shelby and his wife, Stephanie, are listed in Arizona Secretary of State records as holders of the trade name “Kyrene Community Leadership.”

Waters, herself, apparently has learned from the incident.

A few days after the election, she purchased rights to the domain names, and, using her middle initial to distinguish them from the domain names corralled by Sciacca in December.

















































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