Rogue website launches hoax ‘Ken Weinstein For Mayor’ campaign

 A screenshot of the Weinstein for Mayor website. (Courtesy of Weinsteinfor2015.org)

A screenshot of the Weinstein for Mayor website. (Courtesy of Weinsteinfor2015.org)

No, Mt. Airy developer Ken Weinstein isn’t running to replace Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter next year. A tidy, mystery website sure makes it seem like he is, though.

Weinsteinfor2015.org, seemingly created over the summer, is complete with campaign-style photos, position papers on job growth and education, and, of course, a form to volunteer.

“After spending countless years serving the Philadelphia population as it’s [sic] biggest developer, Ken Weinstein has earned a reputation for bringing innovation and life to communities that desperately needed it,” reads part of the home page. “Now Weinstein has seen that he can make the biggest positive impact on the city as Mayor and he is confident he can do so.”

A personal denial

Weinstein told NewsWorks late last week that he’s “flattered” and “amused” someone created the glowing website.

“It’s well done,” he said. “The position papers stated on the website are interesting and creative, but they’re not necessarily my ideas.”

It remains unclear who created the multi-page site.

Weinstein said he tried figuring that out — even enlisting his tech-savvy son — but came up empty-handed.

“Nobody has owned up to it,” he said.

Asked if he’d ever consider running, Weinstein said he thought about public office a couple decades ago, but wouldn’t dream of campaigning now.

“It’s a full-contact sport in Philadelphia and that doesn’t interest me. I believe I can get more done outside of the political arena,” he said.

The real candidates

While Weinstein won’t be throwing his hat in the ring, a couple of real hopefuls have and more are expected to do the same.

Democrats Terry Gillen, a former top aide to Nutter, and attorney Ken Trujillo, former city solicitor, have formally launched campaigns to fill the open seat.

State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and former District Attorney Lynne Abraham are expected to do the same later this week.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz and City Councilman Jim Kenny are among those rumored to also be interested in the post.

The Democratic primary is May 19.

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