Ford and Bonilla Sue Rosenthal Over Website Prank

A visit to the website fordandbonilla.com is not as entertaining as it once was. For a few weeks this summer, visitors to the site were redirected to a cell-phone video capturing a heated exchange between San Jose political consultant Ryan Ford and council candidate Aaron Resendez, who was then running against Xavier Campos, the brother of Ford’s then-boss, Nora Campos. (Whew!)

The vid was blurry and the sound was bad, and it would have made no sense to any potential client shopping for services from Ford and his partner, Rolando Bonilla. But local insiders got a kick out of it—that was the point. The redirect was a prank pulled by another political consultant, Jay Rosenthal, who had registered the URL when he found out Ford and Bonilla were launching their enterprise.

Rosenthal swears the whole thing was meant purely as a joke, and says he offered to turn the URL over to its rightful owners back in June. But by then, Ford and Bonilla had already filed an appeal with GoDaddy, the domain-registration service, and the account had been frozen.

Rosenthal couldn’t take down the redirect, and Ford and Bonilla couldn’t put up a site of their own. It only took GoDaddy a month or so to settle the matter in favor of the fledgling consultancy; Ford and Bonilla finally got around to launching a legitimate (unfunny) site last month. And earlier this week the two served Rosenthal with a notice that they are suing him for almost $5,000.

While Rosenthal sounds vaguely contrite if not embarrassed by the whole thing, he says he will “vigorously” fight the small-claims suit, which he labels a “shakedown.”

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

4 Comments

  1. If Rosenthal was the one who registered the URL with godaddy then he was the “rightful owner” was he not?  If the braintrust of Ford & Bonilla couldn’t be on top of it to register their own site then why would anyone want to trust them to be the brains of their operation? 

    Entitlement, entitlement, entitlement.  They’re such crybabies and poor sports.  I hope Rosenthal wins because that whole lot of bullies who think they own SJ city politics then whine and cry regardless if they win or lose is so last year.  Wah, Wah, Wah.

    Ford should be embarrassed by his actions in public against Mr Resendez.

  2. Resendez and Ford – YouTube video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sZQmTa_ITY

    Ford and Bonilla web site

    http://www.fordandbonilla.com

    Would you hire these 2 ? – Thought not

    More in very very long line of former San Jose Mayors, Council, political staffers, City Managers, Department Heads and Senior staff lobbying and consulting firms that

    – want part of millions each year in city consulting contracts
    – will tell you they can help you ( developers, corporations, property owners, new businesses etc ) get access, approvals, faster processing, tax subsidies or contracts if you hire them

    a year from now no one will remember them or know where they are