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BALLSTON: GOP protests political posters

Southworth said the elephant logo on some of the signs does not replicate the copyrighted Republican symbol, and that the signs weren't printed or placed by Democratic committee members.

"It's a totally different graphic, and the signs are on the property of registered Republicans," said Southworth. "Last year, there were Democratic signs supporting (town council member and Republican) Mary Beth Hynes out around town, but we let it go and didn't complain because it was basically a petty issue."

As for the complaint about signs placed too early, Southworth said the sign in question is a billboard on Route 50, which falls outside the town code for placing lawn campaign signs.

"We've already spoken with the town attorney weeks ago, and we were told we hadn't violated any ordinances because it's a permanent billboard," said Southworth.

The Web domain "ballstongop" is a site owned by David Stern, who is the Web administrator for the Democratic Party, as well as other clients, including some Saratoga County Republican parties. Stern said he has owned the site since 2005.

"This site was established long ago, and no one took issue with it until now," said Stern, a computer consultant whose company is called A Little Help Computer Services. "If they had any objection, they could have brought it up anytime."

Stern, who has run for town positions in the past, said he supports the Democratic candidates, but besides updating their Web site, he has nothing to do with the campaign.

"I'm an independent person, and I'm allowed to own the Web name, just like I own dozens of domains," said Stern. "I think the Republicans are nervous, and I was treated badly in 2005 when I ran, so this doesn't surprise me at all."

Stern said he disengaged the Web site link the same day, he heard of the complaints after being contacted by a newspaper reporter rather than the Republican committee members.

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