For months now, Marco Island citizens have been inundated with vicious and negative email attacks upon two of the city council candidates.
In addition to email attacks on these two candidates, an anonymous political website was created. As a means of identification, the website stated, “We are a group of Marco Island citizen watchdogs committed to anonymity, because we have seen vocal citizens on all sides of issues get crushed and retaliated against by government officials, code enforcement, the political elite and the establishment (MICA, the Chamber and the Realtors).”
Because the site republished copyrighted materials without permission, Coastal Breeze News logged an official complaint with Domain by Proxy, the website host.
When Domain by Proxy provided Coastal Breeze News with name of the website’s owner they learned that it was Larry Honig, a sitting Marco Island City Councilor.
Also confirming this discovery, documents on the website, when downloaded and document elements reviewed, stated that the document’s author was Larry Honig.
Honig’s Marco Politics website contained attacks on his fellow Councilors Howard Reed (referred to as “a liar and a fraud”), Joe Batte (called an “Angry, fake cop”), and Bob Brown, mainly in relation to their independent opinions on council matters that differed from Honig’s. Attacks on private citizens, such as Ray Seward who spoke before the council, were also present on the website. Seward was referred to as a “crusty, nasty ‘citizen’.” The website criticized Dr. Kathleen Reynolds, a well-respected resident who questioned the validity and purpose of a complaint against candidate Swiacki, filed conveniently before the election.
Criticism of Coastal Breeze News (called “Fake News” and “Coastal Bullsh*t Snooze”), its owner and employees also appeared prominently on Honig’s website.
Hiding behind the anonymous website, Honig has also attacked Police Chief Al Schettino and the Marco Island Police Department.
Most recently, Honig’s website was used to support three candidates for city council, to attack fellow city councilors, and to malign city employees.
Direct attacks on candidates Dr. Jerry Swiacki and Jim Richards were made in a clear effort to elect the other three candidates that are supported by the clandestine Honig website.
Political websites may not be anonymous, according to Collier County Supervisor of Elections. Potential violations of Florida Election Commission codes appear numerous, including failure to provide disclosures.
Marco Island residents have consistently called for a return to a more civil discourse from its elected officials, so the news of Honig’s involvement and ownership of the website is a disappointment to many.
The Marco Politics website was taken down, presumably once Honig discovered that his identity as the owner had been revealed. Several screen shots of the website are included for our readers to view.
Contrary to denials, Marco Island City Councilor Larry Honig appears to be responsible for some of the content of the anonymous website Marco Politics, which was taken down after allegations of copyright infringement were made by Coastal Breeze News. Larry Honig’s name was revealed as the website’s owner by Domains by Proxy. The anonymous political website contained insults of other sitting councilors and private citizens.
According to a report, Honig does not deny owning the domain name, but has denied contributing to the insulting, and often vicious, content. However, documents appearing on the website indicate the author of said documents are Larry Honig.
Coastal Breeze News is sharing the actual document downloaded from the website as well as screenshots of the website, for transparency of the author.
Check back to coastalbreezenews.com for updates to this story.