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Monday, February 26, 2024
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City CouncilCouncilmember Phan buys domain of Vice Mayor Montano's name, redirects it to...

Councilmember Phan buys domain of Vice Mayor Montano’s name, redirects it to his fundraising site

Last summer, Vice Mayor Carmen Montano announced that she would be running for Mayor of Milpitas in 2022. 

As of late, no one else has thrown their hat into the ring for this year’s mayoral race. 

However, several community members have reached out to The Beat after noticing that the URL carmenmontano.com redirected to the website standwithphan.com, Councilmember Anthony Phan’s campaign donation site, registered in August 2020. 

“I was recently informed by several residents that Milpitas Councilmember Anthony Phan has ‘purchased’ a domain under my name ‘carmenmontano.com’ to deceive the public,” wrote Vice Mayor Montano in a Letter to the Editor to The Beat. “When the public does a public search to reach out to me, it goes directly to Anthony Phan’s website instead of carmenmontano4mayor.com.

“This behavior is unethical, intrusive, and evasive. There is no ‘reasonable’ purpose for this ‘Identity Theft.’ My name is my identity! My person! My being!”

Both the camenmontano.com and standwithphan.com sites are registered to the same web hosting company, IONOS SE.   

The Beat looked into the URL in question and confirmed that carmenmontano.com did lead to a fundraising page for Councilmember Anthony Phan.

 

 

As of press time, however, the fundraising page appears to have been vacated, leaving an empty website in its place. 

When The Beat caught up with Anthony Phan by text to address the matter, he wrote, “Quite frankly I’m surprised that a mayoral candidate running to represent Silicon Valley would fail to register a domain name of all things. It’s basic digital competency.”

Although Vice Mayor Montano never registered the domain of her own name, she does currently have a website up for her mayoral campaign, which is located at carmenmontano4mayor.com

In regard to whether or not Phan himself plans on running for Mayor this year, he replied, “Dozens of community members have urged me to run for Mayor. And while I am strongly considering it, I have no announcement to make at this time.”

Montano’s full Letter to the Editor can be found here.

 

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Rhoda Shapiro & Eric Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro & Eric Shapiro
Rhoda and Eric Shapiro are the editors of The Milpitas Beat.

5 COMMENTS

  1. He thinks she’s at fault for not being tech savvy enough to prevent this? What kind of unethical people are running our city?!

  2. If Vice Mayor Montano contacted Council member Phan prior to writing to the Beat, how he responded would say a lot about him.
    .
    If Vice Mayor Montano did not contact Council member Phan prior to writing to the Beat, that would say a lot about her.
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    Since we will be voting for 1 or both in November, knowing more about what happened would be most helpful.

  3. As someone who understands the value of internet domains as a marketing tool, I agree, in principle, that Vice Mayor Montano should have registered domain names similar to those she is using. A mentor told me long ago: “Just because you can, does not mean you should.” This is an ethical standard our public servants should strive for. Councilmember Phan should not have used the domains to redirect visitors to his campaign website.

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