August 29, 2008

Who Bought the Obama-Biden Domain Names? Two Stories Come Together

Back on August 23, I noted the following:

    Look at the Obama-Biden Domain Names on Sale at eBay

    16 Domain names for a starting bid of $100,000. (Update: Here's registrant info for this guy.) But ObamaBiden.com is owned by someone else.

    This should be interesting.


I had been checking the bidding on these domain names and had not seen any bidders. But something interesting happened. Whether the organization paid anything or not I don't know, but Obama-Biden.org now redirects to the American Issues Project. Yes, that American Issues Project---the one whose campaign finance issues I recently blogged about. And while Obama-Biden.com also goes to AIP, ObamaBiden.com has been bought (or given) to the Obama campaign, as it now redirects to the campaign's official website.

I had corresponded with someone after my initial post who had been very involved on the internet side of earlier campaigns. The person made the point that campaigns are trying to build a brand and don't need these other names. My response was that buying the names would keep them out of the hands of the opposition, which happened here.

On AIP itself, in today's Wall Street Journal I'm quoted as saying that on the campaign finance/political committee question, "It really comes down to whether this organization has a major purpose of influencing federal elections...So far, it looks like that's the only purpose of this group." I see that most of the website is devoted to the anti-Obama ad. But the website does mention a number of other issues that the group at least purports to be advancing. We'll see if they put their money behind those other issues.

UPDATE: One more for today. McCainPalin.com takes you to a page (owned anonymously) that praises Sen. McCain's choice of running mate. The site takes advertising, though, and the banner ad when I went on the site was for Moveon.org's promise of a free Obama 08 button to those who click on the ad.

Posted by Rick Hasen at August 29, 2008 01:30 PM