AG determines Youssef violated state election law

CONCORD — The state Attorney General's Office has determined that unsuccessful state Senate Republican candidate Josh Youssef of Laconia violated the Provisions for the Purity of Elections during his campaign last year by creating a blog under the name of his ex-wife's attorney.

Stephen LaBonte from the Civil Bureau of the A.G.'s Office ordered Youssef to cease and desist operating the or face possible criminal charges.

"Given the similar website design and layout it appears as though if someone had read "''" they could have reasonably thought the blog was written by Ed Mosca.

"The deceptive nature of your blog could have easily misled viewers, in violation of RSA 666.6," LaBonte wrote.

Mosca represented Youssef's wife during their acrimonious divorce — parts of which played out in public after Youssef announced his candidacy for the seat in the newly redistricted Senate District 7. At the time, Mosca was also an attorney who was representing former House Speaker Bill O'Brien.

Youssef, of Laconia, won in a primary race against Bill Grimm, of Franklin, but lost in the general election to Democrat Andrew Hosmer, also of Laconia.

In a ruling issued Aug. 6, LaBonte said investigators determined the fake blog was purchased from GoDaddy and had the same billing address as Same Day Computer – Youssef's business. The investigator reported to LaBonte that when he called the telephone number listed on the GoDaddy purchase he was able to reach Youssef. Mosca filed his complaint in February, 2012 — three months after Hosmer beat Youssef 15,573 to 10,768.

Investigators said the website was created on Sept. 6, 2012 and expires on Sept. 6, 2013.

RSA 666.6 is a section in election law statutes that refers to illegal influence in elections and prohibits falsely representing someone else for the purpose of influencing an election.