- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 6, 2001

One of the biggest donors to Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark L. Earleys campaign operates a business that markets specifically to the online pornography industry.
Bruce Waldack, who had given $47,000 to Mr. Earley through March, is founder and chief executive of Thruport Technologies, an Alexandria-based company that developed and sells software to manage ads on Web sites. The company markets specifically to pornography sites, and in the last year has held exhibits at two trade shows for Internet companies that provide pornography.
A spokesman said Mr. Earley said he had no idea about the companys business with the pornography industry. He also said they hadnt decided what to do about the campaign contributions.
"Bruce Waldack is a philanthropic leader in Northern Virginia and provides software applications of various sorts for a company that was showcased in the Washington Post and held up to be a hero of the new economy," said David Botkins, Mr. Earleys campaign spokesman. "Did we know who some of the clients of Thruport Technologies were? No, we did not. But we will conduct our own investigation and review and make a determination about the next step.
"The attorney general made the point today that the Internet was much like the wild, wild West that with it, you get the good, the bad and the ugly," Mr. Botkins said.
Mr. Earley was at Thruports headquarters in Alexandria yesterday to receive the endorsement of Mr. Waldack and other Northern Virginia business leaders.
Mr. Waldack didnt return a message left with his assistant seeking comment, but in a statement released yesterday, company officials said they market to everyone.
"Thruport strongly encourages and believes that the Internet should remain a free environment, not inhibited by censorship and overregulation. Thruport Technologies policy is to make its products available to all customers and does not discriminate or distinguish among its customers nor the content they provide."
One of Thruports products is Adjuggler, which helps Web sites post and monitor the ads they run.
An Internet search showed that in July, the company exhibited on the "adult" floor at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2000, which listed companies like Pornication and Digital Sin as sponsors. And at the January 2001 Internext Expo, which bills itself as the "world's largest adult Internet-Audiotext trade show," Thruport shared the exhibit floor with companies like Erotic Shots.
Mr. Waldack has given $87,500 to Republicans in the current campaign cycle, including $5,000 to the Republican Party of Virginia and $6,000 to Lt. Gov. John H. Hager, whom Mr. Earley defeated last weekend at a convention to win the Republican nomination for governor. Mr. Earley will face Mark R. Warner, an Alexandria businessman who is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination, in Novembers election.
During his tenure as Virginia attorney general, a position he resigned from on Monday to focus on the campaign, Mr. Earley touted indictments of online child pornographers and appealed and won a case in federal court upholding a law that prohibited state employees from looking at sexually explicit material on state computers. College professors had said the law could hinder research.
At yesterdays event, Mr. Earleys campaign released a list of high-profile business leaders who are supporting him.
Todd Stottlemyer, former chairman of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, said hes excited about an Earley candidacy.
"Mark Earleys never lost a race. He served 10 years in the state Senate and he was chief sponsor of most of the major legislation in the 1990s," he said, pointing to the Public-Private Transportation Act, which he said will be critical to any future big-ticket transportation improvements in Northern Virginia. He also praised Mr. Earley for having gone through Virginia public schools and universities and for sending his children to public schools.

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