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GOP Vendor Has Past Soft Porn Client

Should Republican candidates be accountable for vendor's past clients?

A vendor, which has helped to build many GOP candidate websites in the Summerville area, has deleted links showing it aided in website work for a soft pornography website. 

Summerville Media Group, a local web and graphic design company, came under scrutiny Sunday with a blog posting by liberal blogger Rob Groce, who claimed the Republican party's "clean" message might be tarnished by using a vendor with less-than-clean clients

SMG and its affiliated company, 106 Designs, works on sites for Rep. Chris Murphy, District 97 candidate Ed Carter and others in the Summerville area.

While Groce claims the company touted work on Sexy Skin Magazine as late as Sunday, SMG owner Jamie Lucarelli said the work was old and links to the work were taken down before the blog posting.

"I did some graphic work on it years ago and I wanted to post writing about some of the graphic work I did," said Lucarelli, who said he also pulled down some mayoral race websites and that Sexy Skin is no longer in operation.

Google Cache still shows SMG's link with Sexy Skin here (caution: suggestive photos visible).

SMG writes on the site:

We do a lot of graphic design, SEO, and Social Networking for Sexy Skin MAgazine. I do a lot of the Photo Edits of the girls and we offer Photoshop lessons to the editing staff behind Sexy Skin Magazine. We also design the magazine covers for all the issues. The site is a high class forum style like Maxum. Lots of good articles and celeberity info. Check it out!!

Carter said he did not research who the vendor has served in the past. He said he got the recommendation from Murphy's office.

"I had no idea about that; it was strictly business," Carter said. "But I don't see why that's a problem. It's not like he owns (the soft porn site)."

But Dorchester County Republican Chair Carroll Duncan said the link to soft porn might warrant candidates switching businesses.

"I trust (our candidates) to find the best vendor to suit their needs and their financial picture, but I would think if they found out something like that, if it were to be true, they wouldn't use them," Duncan said. "We don't tell them who and what to use. My guess is they didn't have that information."

Murphy and Carter said they're sticking with Lucarelli. 

"I'm not going to stop using him because of another vendor — including if he's doing work for a competitor," Murphy said. "I'm going to continue to use the guy."

Murphy likened holding a candidate responsible for a vendor's client list to an investor being responsible for every company a mutual fund invests in. He added Lucarelli offers reasonable prices and nice work.

Lucarelli is being a good sport about the spotlight on his company, however.

"I was like, 'Wow really?'" he said. "In a sense, it's good publicity of sorts."

Like all of Groce's postings, Sunday's had an agenda — supporting Democratic candidates. If Carter wins the June 12 primary against Jordan Bryngelson, he will face incumbent Democrat Rep. Patsy Knight, supported by Groce. Groce also supports Democratic challenger Miriam Birdsong, gunning for incumbent Republican Dorchester County Councilman Bill Hearn's seat. Hearn is also a client of SMG. 

Groce wrote: "This soft-porn affiliation isn’t extended to the Democratic opponents ... its long portfolio not a single site that a kid couldn’t see."

In his previous post, Groce goes after Carter and Bryngelson as two individuals wrong for District 97. During the GOP Presidential Primary in this state, Groce demonstrated outside some of the debates held, — seeking to run with presidential contender Mitt Romney.

"I don't really care that Rob Groce puts it out there. I don't think it's worth the paper it's written on or the keyboard it's written on," Murphy said. "He's trying to stir up issues because he's got a couple of losing candidates."

Jeff Franklin May 15, 2012 at 05:31 PM
This really seems like Rob is grasping at straws for this one. I guess when you're supporting an ineffective legislator that is nicknamed "Sleepy" you have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for attacks.
SDR May 15, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I feel like a shower after reading this.
Rob Groce May 15, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I have to contest Mr. Lucarelli's statement that "links to the work were taken down before the blog posting." The images obtained from the site are recorded with time and date; they were only removed after my posting went public, and Mr. Lucarelli found out. As I said in my blog entry: There are no accusations of reading dirty magazines or visting porn shops cast upon either of these Republican candidates, but if Hearn says he will “lead by example,” and if Carter claims “personal responsibility” as an attribute, then perhaps both should live up to those claims by answering to the affiliation their political campaigns now carry.
Rob Groce May 15, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Also, Sexy Skin still operates a myspace account and twitter account, too, that has recent entries. (Interesting find: a twitter follower of Sexy Skin is Bush chief of staff Karl Rove!)
Rob Groce May 15, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Another opportunity to correct: "SMG owner Jamie Lucarelli said the work was old and links to the work were taken down before the blog posting." See the cache link? www.summervillemediagroup.com/2012/03/sexy-skin-magazine-website/ See that "2012/03"? The "Sexy Skin" posting on SMG's site was only put up there two months ago.
Henry Turner May 15, 2012 at 09:09 PM
As a porn connoisseur, I know what porn is and trust me, that site doesn't even come close to rising to the level of soft core porn.
Anastasia Steele May 15, 2012 at 09:20 PM
First, I'd like to challenge Robservations to get a life and real job. Secondly, I find it incredibly sad that Summerville Patch would actually waste their time riding the coattails of Rob Groce by running this story. Has Summerville Patch succumb to being Rob Groce's sloppy seconds?
Rob Groce May 15, 2012 at 09:55 PM
why, thank you! I, however, challenge the Republican candidates to uphold their platforms. Bill Hearn has made a point of mentioning his faith and his dedication to it, even when addressing the public at County Council meetings. And as every politician knows, it's not wise to have public affiliation with any person or thing that could in any way contrast with declared platform levels. (btw - research *is* my real job; that's how I found this out)
Ann May 16, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Is this where we are now? Do we not have enough real issues for discussion? Wonder how many layers this digging had to go through. Seems to me if you have to dig this deep, then the targets of this junk must be pretty clean. Can we get back to what's important to folks, like school choice, taxes, jobs, economy, faith, and etc etc.
JustSayin May 16, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Oh my! This is disgusting! As a fellow Republican and Christian...I think that it is distasteful for the candidates to continue to back these people. You say to get back to discussing the real matters, such as faith...how can you take anything that these candidates (who clearly support porn sites) say regarding faith seriously?!! This truly says a lot about the character of these candidates! Its one thing to make a mistake but its another to continue to justify the mistake....just sayin!

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