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Youssef inists he didn't break election law

LACONIA — Former District 7 Senate candidate Joshua Youssef said yesterday that he did not violate any state election laws when he created a blog that mirrored that of his ex-wife's attorney Ed Mosca.

He said his blog, www.edmoscablog.com, had a disclaimers throughout, saying Mosca was not responsible for its content and it was not affiliated with Mosca.

Youssef, a Laconia Republican, lost his bid for the District 7 Senate seat in 2012 to Democrat Andrew Hosmer, also of Laconia.

Youssef said he was very concerned that the Office of the State Attorney would continue to spend the time and resources of the taxpayers to investigate an alleged election law violation months after the complaint was no longer relevant.

Youssef, who said he will likely run again for the Senate District 7 seat in 2014, said the investigation into www.edmoscablog.com was "beyond irresponsible" and is emblematic of the waste of government resources he believes is one of the biggest problem facing the state.

On Aug. 6, the civil division of the AG's Office told him to "cease and desist" using www.edmoscablog.com or face possible criminal charges.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen G. LaBonte said Youssef violated the provision of RSA 666:6 by creating the blog he said was close enough to Mosca's blog that people could misconstrue who wrote it. The investigation was triggered by a complaint filed in February.

"This is state agencies wielding power they don't have," Youssef said yesterday, adding only a court of law has the legal right to "order" him to do stop using the blog.

"No (criminal) charges have ever been filed," Youssef said, noting only a judge or jury could order a "cease and desist."

"Some believe RSA 666:6 is not constitutional and would be struck down if challenged to the Supreme Court," he said, classifying his use of the blog as "free speech" and saying the courts have traditionally given "broad latitude" to political speech.

He said the investigation into www.edmoscablog.com was politically motivated by a Democratic Party-led executive branch.

"Now I'm more politically motivated than I ever have been, " Youssef said. "Government is a customer service industry and the people of New Hampshire have lost faith in their government."

He said he would work to restore that faith.

District 7 is comprised of Laconia, Franklin, Belmont, Gilford, Northfield, Webster, Canterbury, Andover and Salisbury.

 
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