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Democratic Super PAC Buys Newtgingrich.com 630

Posted by samzenpus
from the dirty-domain-tricks dept.
netbuzz writes "The purchase of newtgingrich.com by a Democratic Super PAC — and the use of it to highlight Newt Gingrich's political weaknesses — is either amusing or a dirty trick, depending on your politics and your view of the Republican presidential hopeful. In either case, however, it is a cautionary tale about the importance of controlling your brand online, a task that is about to get more difficult for everyone thanks to the impending expansion of generic top-level domains."
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Democratic Super PAC Buys Newtgingrich.com

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  • Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crdotson (224356) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:51AM (#38458688)

    I think it's a bit of a dirty trick regardless of your politics.

    • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SJHillman (1966756) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:55AM (#38458718)
      I'd have to agree. If you go to Walmart.com, you expect it to be Walmart's site. Same with Microsoft.com, Sears.com or Chrysler.com. If a site is against it, you'd expect something more like walmartsucks.com or antiwalmart.com. It'd be sort of like finding some kind of trademark loophole where you could build a store, put Walmart's logo out front but then have the inside be expressly anti-walmart. If nothing else, it's deceptive.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:00AM (#38458778)

        When a politician says he intends to pass Bill X, you expect him to pass Bill X. And yet these scumbags never do what they say.

        Why should anyone be in the least bit shocked that politicians are being dishonest?

        Have we really still not learned that as long as we maintain representative democracy, we will maintain corruption?

        Is nobody yet ready for trying something new?

        • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:11AM (#38458880)
          Because real life has to compromise. In that though you should be a big supporter of those Tea Party Republicans who will vote down any tax raises. They are standing by their guns and sticking to their promises even though they are obviously bad for the United States.

          For the most part politicization have a list of things they really want, a list of nice to get, and a list they can take it or leave it.
          When they are compromising for a bill they will try to put it all out in the table (both sides) then they will slowly take out the lower priority items as the other side does the same, until you get a bill that both sides doesn't really want but it is better then nothing.

          The US Government isn't designed to run fast, it is designed to be slow and offer small solutions.
          • the US Government (Score:5, Insightful)

            by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:57PM (#38460692)

            The US Government isn't designed to run fast, it is designed to be slow and offer small solutions.

            No, its not. The U.S. Government isn't the product of a design effort with a coherent objective. Its the product of centuries of individual compromises on specific issues between not merely diverse but -- from the outset -- radically opposed priorities.

            It was designed at the outset (of the Constitutional system) both to run fast and have strong central power (one of the main motives for revising the Articles of Confederation to produce the Constitution) and to be hamstrung and dependent on the States. There are features -- in the text of the Constitution (original and in amendments), in the statute law, in the case law, in the bodies of federal regulations and other binding executive acts -- that represent far extremes and every conceivable point in between, implemented on narrow issues over the whole history of the Republic, with little in the way of rationalization over time.

            To say that the US government is designed to do any one particular thing (other than be the US government) or to implement any one particular philosophy of the role, scale, or model of government is, well, fundamentally wrong and more misleading than useful.

        • And what do you have in mind that is less evil than what we already have? Wait a second! Is that you Karl? Doh! Dirty trickster! You keep showing up in the strangest places!
        • Representative democracy can be done right. The way the US is currently operating... isn't it. The problem is corruption, not the system. The system simply needs more checks to prevent the corruption in the first place.

          Start with making campaign finance taxpayer-funded and make campaign donations illegal. That alone would cause a shift in the sort of people who want to be politicians because it would remove a lot of the profit motive.

          The real problem is that in order to put these checks into place, we'd need our current, mostly corrupt politicians to agree to them.

      • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

        by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:02AM (#38458800)

        I'd have to agree. If you go to Walmart.com, you expect it to be Walmart's site. Same with Microsoft.com, Sears.com or Chrysler.com. If a site is against it, you'd expect something more like walmartsucks.com or antiwalmart.com.

        Dick's Sporting Goods is not at dicks.com ;-)

        It'd be sort of like finding some kind of trademark loophole where you could build a store, put Walmart's logo out front but then have the inside be expressly anti-walmart. If nothing else, it's deceptive.

        Putting up a store under the walmart.com domain would probably be construed as trademark infringement. Putting up a reasons-not-to-shop-at-walmart site at walmart.com would just get Walmart's legal team to try to crush you like a bug. Putting up a factual page about Newt Gingrich at newtginggrich.com won't make Mr Gingrich happy, but legally they should be OK. As far as the deceptive nature of it, nothing in politics is transparent or honest anymore. It's not a surprise that either side would try something like this.

      • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mischi_amnesiac (837989) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:11AM (#38458872) Homepage
        Yeah, and I really expected to find information regarding the white house when I went to whitehouse.com.
      • Re:Dirty trick (Score:4, Interesting)

        by aplusjimages (939458) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:14AM (#38458926) Journal
        In all fairness this is politics. Also this is Newt Gingrich, how many people are going to type in that domain name and get the spelling correct? If anything people will put his name (misspelled or not) into a search engine, which will then pull up the correct site. That may change with the /. effect bringing traffic to that domain with his name in the content. Newts people definitely need to obtain this domain even if they lose and they need to purchase all known misspellings of the domain as well.
      • by jitterman (987991) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:32AM (#38459120)
        I agree, but you must admit, it was pretty funny several years ago to go to peta.com and get People Eating Tasty Animals.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why didn't the guy who got paid millions from many companies because of his status as a public figure, not purchase it himself? Dirty, maybe... but again, Newt is the dumb one for not already purchasing this domain.

      We need our congressmen to be put to the test on all these issues, so they can make a good call when it comes time to vote about them.

    • It's both (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hellfire (86129) <deviladv AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:59AM (#38458766) Homepage

      It's sad what we have come to expect from politicians. On one hand, this is a dirty low down trick. On the other hand, Newt is a lying, cheating ass, so it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. But so are all the other Washington politicians, lobbyists and PAC executives, on both sides of the aisle. So on some primal level I get entertained when it happens to someone I don't like a lot, like when I'm watching professional wrestling or a soap opera. And this is where our government has degenerated to.

      • by rmstar (114746)

        Newt is a lying, cheating ass, so it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. But so are all the other Washington politicians, lobbyists and PAC executives, on both sides of the aisle.

        There is an issue of degree here, and that should not be ignored. It is true that none of them is a saint, but they fail at being a saint for different reasons and at different levels. Burying your head in the sand won't help. You have to judge wisely, make choices and vote accordingly, otherwise things will only change for the worse.

    • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DataDiddler (1994180) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:00AM (#38458776)

      The purchase of newtgingrich.com by a Democratic Super PAC — and the use of it to highlight Newt Gingrich's political weaknesses — is either amusing or a dirty trick

      Can't it be both?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bws111 (1216812)

      I think it makes the Democrats look scared. They have gone beyond pleading their own case (effective if you have a case worth pleading) and smearing the opposition (reviled, but effective), to actively trying to stop the opposition from getting their message out. Seems like this will make some excellent 'what are they so afraid of' campaign material.

      Furthermore, it seems utterly pointless. Who do they think is going to be positively (for them) swayed by this? Someone going to that site is either going t

      • I think it makes the Democrats look scared. They have gone beyond pleading their own case (effective if you have a case worth pleading) and smearing the opposition (reviled, but effective), to actively trying to stop the opposition from getting their message out. Seems like this will make some excellent 'what are they so afraid of' campaign material.

        How are they "actively trying to stop the opposition from getting their message out"? The Newt campaign obviously do not need the domain, or they would have bought it already. The Democrats have not taken down his real website. If someone wants to find the real website, they should have no problem finding it on google. They are just taking advantage of a previously unused site to get their message out.

        As for your accusations of smearing, all I have seen is them bringing up his past actions in a less tha

    • by halo1982 (679554) *
      Personally I'm waiting for NewtGingrich.xxx

      Ewwwwww.

  • Protect Your Name (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:55AM (#38458720)
    In this day and age it is the responsibility of a public person (or a company) to protect their name, which includes domain names. The fact that Mr Gingrich has been in politics for a long time and didn't bother to purchase the domain says a lot about his understanding of how some things work in this day and age.
  • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:55AM (#38458724)
    Then why the fuck should I vote for you?
    • Then why the fuck should I vote for you?

      Our form of government is intentionally set up to display adversarial behaviour. Unlike a monarchy where there is a single voice and perhaps no free press. In the US we set up a system where opposing parties could say whatg was wrong with the other team. Newspapers could shine sunlight and free speech assured no one could supress these opposition messages. It helps keep politicians honest and the people informed when they are not up holding the ideals they promote.

      Your implied condemnation is not quite

      • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:24AM (#38459020)
        You can point out whatever you like about a candidate, but don't try and deceive the voters by registering a domain name of your opponents name. That's a dirty trick, it should be called out for what it is, not spun away like this is politics as usual. And that's what everyone should be upset about: This is an attempt to deceive voters or at the very least prevent Newt from registering the domain he in any fairness has a right to.

        I would say the same thing if a Republican tried this. It's low down and dirty and is on the same level as having your opponents removed from the ballot on a technicality. If you can't stand without perpetrating fraud against voters then how honest can I expect you to be when you're elected and actually have a bit of power?
    • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @11:15AM (#38459570)
      It's very important that you understand that a PAC or this SuperPAC is not the same thing as the Democratic Party. In fact, they are legally barred from coordinating their activities. So even if you think this is a dirty move, it's not fair to blame the Democratic Party or any of its candidates for this. In fact, they can't even legally tell this SuperPAC to knock it off - that would be coordination, and it's not allowed. No, I think this is a stunt by some misguided well-wishers. Sadly, both parties seem to have more than their fair share of these. (BTW, every Democratic partisan I've ever met or heard of is praying to Santa Claus that Newt gets nominated. Something stinks about this whole story.),
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:57AM (#38458738)
    "amusing or a dirty trick, depending on your politics??"

    I am not a fan for Newt Gingrich but this is a dirty trick.

    People who want to learn about the candidate will want to go to their web site to see their official stance on things. This is an attempt to keep the public misinformed by the opposition.

    Mr. Gingrich has a sorted political past, and if you go to the others web sites they will tell all about it. You really need to hear his side too for people to get a full picture of who you should be voting for.

    Lets all complain how stupid the voters are and they don't do their research, then in the same breath we reward and pat on the back members of your political beliefs their attempt to misdirect the public to only see their views.
  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:03AM (#38458806) Homepage Journal

    There is already a law in place to deal with this.
    Newt can own this domain by the end of the week, once he brings in a good lawyer.

    LK

  • How about both (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:08AM (#38458846) Homepage
    How about it is an amusing dirty trick. I like the political horse race and I guess it is my spectator sport, but this is pretty dirty, but at the same time I find it amusing as hell. Gingrich isn't my candidate but tactics like this just distract from the real issues, but unfortunatly the 2 most important factors in an election tend to be BS and wedge issues to get your base out.
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:11AM (#38458882) Homepage Journal

    Shortly before a San Francisco Mayoral election a friend by the name of Andy Hasse registered the .coms of all of the expected candidates. One such candidate, upon finding that his domain was cyberly squatted upon, asked what he could do about it. Andy pitched his web consulting services then was hired by that candidate to do his site.

    Andy was at the time a recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz and was living the Bohemian lifestyle in The Mission District. He was just starting out. Imagine his great surprise - and mine as well - when Andy made the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle when the Willie Brown campaign discovered that willybrown.com was owned by one of the staff for a competing campaign.

    That was a long time ago; I'm not sure that the article would still be online. Let me check... Ah! Here We Go! [sfgate.com]

    Willie Brown is to San Frasncisco politics as the Kennedys were once to American politics. While Willie has many supporters in San Francisco, it's quite definitely old-skool big-city machine politices.

    I suggested that Andy take advantage of his fifteen minutes by offering him some free hosting. The Willie Brown website [williebrown.com] is no longer online, with the registrant being hidden by a private registration service. But based on the creation date, that domain just has to still owned by Andy.

    Let's ask The Wayback Machine... Service With A Smile. [archive.org]

    Sometime later an incredibly right-wing guy by the name of Dan Lungren was running for California State Attorney General. "Did you register Dan Lundgren's domain?" I asked Andy.

    "Yup," he replied. "Com, Net and Org."

  • by assertation (1255714) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:19AM (#38458966)

    welcome Newt Gingrich's popularity in the GOP primaries.

    It will make it a whole lot easier to reelect President Obama. The only down side is that it will make his campaign staff fat and lazy, as they will not have to work to find baggage to pull up on Gingrich.

  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:30AM (#38459094)
    I see it as amusingly dirty.
  • by clickety6 (141178) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:44AM (#38459238)
    Gingrich - isn't he the one that stole Christmas?

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