City Council District C candidate Brian Cweren spent a little money on various domain names and bought himself a pile of publicity.
Cweren's twist — directing people who type those addresses to his own site — is more unusual, his campaign acknowledges .
Go to some sites containing all or part of the names of Cweren opponents Anne Clutterbuck, George Hittner, Ray Jones, Mark Lee or Herman Litt, and you'll get this message:
"I realize you were looking for someone else, but I would be honored if you would visit my website." It helpfully provides a link to Cweren's site.
Cweren's campaign purchased 29 sites including variations on his name or the others.
"It was a strategy designed by our Web designer. We thought, 'Why the hell not?' It's not anything malicious. I thought we were being smart," said Don Hooper, Cweren's political consultant. "It's perfectly legal to do, as long as you aren't using it for nefarious purposes. I don't know why she didn't register AnneClutterbuck.com."
Clutterbuck doesn't know either, saying she regrets it.
"I never imagined that this would be an issue," she said. "I don't even know how to research this. I'm trying to focus on running my campaign and not focus on those shenanigans."
I don't consider this sort of thing to be a dirty trick, whether you sit on the names, use them as attack sites, or simply redirect them to your place. It's a bit tacky, but it's well within the bounds, and again, it's not like it should come as a surprise to anyone any more. And I definitely have to tip my cap to Cweren, who will for sure get way more hits via this story than he ever would by redirecting anneclutterbuck.com. In this environment of no Mayoral race to drive coverage, you gotta do what you gotta do to get attention.Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 21, 2005 to Election 2005 | TrackBack