GOP primary candidate says opponent faked endorsement

Posted Sept. 16, 2012, at 6:34 a.m.

LACONIA, N.H. — A Manchester attorney has filed an election law complaint against a Laconia candidate for the newly created State Senate District 7 seat.

Ed Mosca of Manchester filed the complaint against Republican candidate Josh Youssef, alleging Youssef falsely replicated Mosca’s blog to make it appear Mosca supports Youseff’s candidacy.

Youssef, who claims to own the largest computer repair and upgrade franchise system in New England, Same Day Computer, did not immediately return calls for comment.

Youssef won Tuesday’s primary, narrowly beating Franklin’s Bill Grimm for the Republican nomination. He is now in a November election campaign against Democrat Andrew Hosmer to represent Laconia, Franklin, Belmont, Andover, Boscawen, Canterbury, Gilford, Northfield, Salisbury and Webster in the New Hampshire State Senate.

Mosca is a private practice attorney who represented Youssef’s ex-wife, Bethany, in post-divorce proceedings. One of his other clients is the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives, where he serves as part-time legal counsel.

Assistant Attorney General Matt Mavrogeorge confirmed Thursday that the Department of Justice has received a complaint from Mosca about Youssef, “and we will be reviewing it.”

Mosca filed the complaint alleging Youssef created a false blog, edmoscablog.com, to make it appear Mosca supports the candidacy of Youssef. Mosca runs a blog at edmosca.com.

While edmoscablog.com was unavailable Thursday, a Google search for the blog brings up: “To the editor. My vote’s for Josh Youssef for NH District 7. … Josh is a true conservative.”

Another teaser to the same link, dated seven days ago, reads that Mosca is calling Youssef “the clear choice” in the Republican primary for District 7.

In his filing, Mosca stated that RSA 666:6 makes it a misdemeanor to falsely represent an endorsement of a political candidate. He said the copycat blog appears to have surfaced on Sept. 7; it was taken down Thursday morning.

Youssef has publicly stated that Mosca has been “inappropriate” with blog posts directed at him. He has taken concerns he has about Mosca’s involvement in his divorce legal proceedings to a legislative committee on judicial redress, and said Mosca’s role as part-time legal counsel for the House represents a conflict.

Mosca has scoffed at Youseff’s allegations and notes in his blog that the two jobs are separate.

Youssef won the primary 2,751 to 2,425 over Grimm.

Grimm said Thursday that he would not support Youssef, a fellow Republican, in the general election and while he could not campaign for the Democrat, Andrew Hosmer, “at least he is in it for the right reasons.”

Grimm, a former Franklin School Board chair and founder of the now-defunct Franklin Career Academy, said he was not a sore loser, but is concerned about Youssef “and the way he conducts things.”

On the eve of the election, Franklin Mayor Ken Merrifield said he suspected, but had no proof, that a mailing in support of Youssef signed only “Ken” went out to Franklin voters from the Youssef campaign. Merrifield supported Grimm in the primary.

Youssef told the New Hampshire Union Leader Monday that he had a volunteer on the campaign staff named Ken who may have signed them.

“It’s unfortunate that Mayor Merrifield believes he is the only ‘Ken’ involved in this race,” Youssef said.

(c)2012 The New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.)

Visit The New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.) at www.unionleader.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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