Tom Allison, a senior adviser to Attorney General Michael Bryant and Ignatieff’s incoming Ontario campaign chair, quietly registered the website domain www.guygiorno.com four years ago.
The move outraged Guy Giorno, one-time chief of staff to former Progressive Conservative premier Mike Harris, who complained in writing Thursday to Bryant’s executive assistant Adam Dodek.
“It is extremely disturbing that a senior member of the attorney general’s staff would engage in squatting on the domain name of a barrister and solicitor who formerly served as legal counsel in the Office of the Premier and is well-known to be a Conservative,” Giorno wrote.
“Neither the attorney general nor Mr. Allison has any legitimate claim to that domain name. It is improper for a senior member of the attorney general’s personal staff to be involved in what are commonly referred to as political `dirty tricks.’”
Giorno, who also advised former premier Ernie Eves and worked briefly as a Toronto Star columnist, has already registered another website in his name.
“I expect the attorney general to instruct his employee to end his cyber-squatting immediately. Not that it is anyone’s business, but I wish to make professional use of the domain name www.guygiorno.com. See www.guygiorno.ca,” he wrote.
While Allison could not be reached for comment, Giorno’s plea to Bryant’s office was successful.
“The attorney general had no knowledge of this until today. Tom had forgotten that he owned the address. Tom has no need or use for the address and he’s already made arrangements to turn it over to Guy Giorno,” said Bryant aide Greg Crone.
“(Bryant) is hopeful Guy Giorno has not been inconvenienced in any way and wishes him well with his enterprise,” said Crone, adding Allison owns many domain names from when he worked on a possible stillborn leadership bid of former federal minister Allan Rock.
The debacle recalls another bit of Liberal skulduggery from 1999 when party operatives registered the domain name www.mikeharris.com, forcing the embarrassed Tories to make the less obvious www.mikeharrispc.com as their election homepage.
At the time, those who went to the former site were treated to an unflattering photo of then premier Harris and a logo that read: “Ontario’s off-track.”