Alleged LA Times E-mail Calls Zurita Campaign Into Question
Friday, June 10, 2011

Source: The Compton Bulletin.

COMPTON—The authenticity of an e-mail allegedly sent by the Los Angeles Times containing an article detailing the city of Compton’s general fund shortfall and which features a political advertisement for District 1 candidate Janna Zurita, is being questioned.

The article, which was displayed with the Los Angeles Times Masthead above it, was e-mailed to The Bulletin on Friday, June 3, and discussed the outcome of the city’s latest budget workshop for 2011-2012.

“Compton is trying to slash its current $58-million budget by one quarter for the year beginning July 1 because of a $25-million general-fund deficit with no reserves,” the article said.

A political advertisement for District 1 candidate Janna Zurita was included with the story.

The e-mail indicates that the sender was the Los Angeles Times. However, the reply email address identifies the sender as Skyy Fisher, a board member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, who refers to himself as the “Mayor of Janna Zurita 4 Compton City Council” on his website

Federal law prohibits the unauthorized use of a trademark like the Los Angeles Times, especially when that use is likely to confuse or deceive,” said attorney Glenn Dickinson

“The format of the email certainly is designed to create the appearance that this is an article from the Times.  An item like this might even come under the anti-counterfeiting provisions of the federal trademark statute, known as the Lanham Act. The act provides enhanced penalties against counterfeiters.” 

Dickinson also said that information purportedly identifying the sender of an email can be forged, to conceal the true identity of the sender.

The Compton Bulletin has forwarded this email to the legal department at the Los Angeles Times and awaits comment about any legal action it intends to pursue.

Emails to the Zurita campaign, Skyy Fisher and Assemblymember Isadore Hall III seeking comment have not been returned.

The runoff election between Janna Zurita and District 1 incumbent Barbara Calhoun is Tuesday, June 7.