The race to represent parts of South L.A. and Koreatown on the Los Angeles City Council is turning acrimonious following the launch of an attack website and accusations of cybersquatting.
Grace Yoo, a candidate for the Council District 10 seat, last week launched MarkRidleyThomas.com, which criticizes Yoo’s rival in the race, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. The site includes news coverage of the supervisor, including a Times story about a probe involving his son and donations to USC. The site also attacks the supervisor for not ruling out a potential run for mayor in 2022.
Ridley-Thomas’s team responded by sending Yoo a cease-and-desist letter that accuses her of “cybserquatting” and defaming him with the website.
“You have intentionally prevented our client from registering a website domain name in his own personal name,” wrote Stephen J. Kaufman, attorney for Ridley-Thomas, in an Oct. 9 letter.
“And, by illegally setting up this website, you have confused and lured unsuspecting members of the public who were seeking to access online information from our client to your own fraudulent website in order to assault them with false and defamatory statements about Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.”
Ridley-Thomas and Yoo were the top vote-getters in the March election, pushing them into a November runoff for the 10th District, which stretches from Koreatown to the Crenshaw Corridor and takes in such neighborhoods as West Adams and Mid-City.
The race is turning out to be an insider vs. outside face-off, with Ridley-Thomas highlighting his decades-long experience in political office and Yoo casting herself as a fighter for regular citizens.
Reached Tuesday, Yoo