As we tell all our clients, obtaining their personal name domain name is critical to any campaign. It doesn’t matter if you are running for President of the United States, or for Dog Catcher of Bird Creek, Wyoming.
As many candidates and politicians have found out the hard way, you must make sure that YOU, the candidate, control your message, not the opposition or a political organization who does not like you or your positions.
If your name is Jane Doe and you are running for office, make sure you own JaneDoe.com or it can cause immeasurable harm to your candidacy. If your name is Jane Doe and you are already in office, the damage can be much worse if you do not have control of your domain name.
The initial $30.00+ to buy all three domain extensions (.com/.net/.org) can prevent a catastrophic outcome. But quite often, inexperienced, unknowledgable or even arrogant campaign consultants make this mistake – and it costs their clients dearly, not to mention what it can do to their own reputations as consultants.
The .com version of a domain name is the most valuable, since it is the default name that everyone will look for when they are researching you, but if you have the opportunity, buy all three. It’s a wise investment. Do not make the often-made mistake of only buying the .org name, no one will look for your campaign under a .org, they always search for the .com as Senator Ted Cruz, recently found out when it was discovered that an anti-Cruz organization bought TedCruz.com which, as you can see, carries a pro-Obama message and has caused Ted Cruz a great deal of embarrassment.
Domain names are regulated through an international arbitration service and no one has any legal or implied ownership rights to any domain name that they do not own.
Only on rare occasions will the international arbitration service rule in favor of a non-owner who wants their name and doesn’t have it. Typically, successful cases are only when a registered trademark is involved, but even then, there is little guarantee, as Nissan (the car manufacturer) found out when a gentleman with the last name of Nissan bought Nissan.com back in 1994.
Despite the fact that Nissan owns the registered trademark, the arbitrators found that the failure was Nissan’s own, by not being the first one to buy it.
Back then, before the internet was really THE internet, this was viewed as an honest mistake by Nissan. But now, with the internet being a prominently used service for more than 20 years, there is simply no excuse or reason that someone should be able to beat you to buying your own name.
Nissan Motors tried for more than twenty years to get control of Nissan.com but in the end, the courts ended up ruling in favor of Mr. Nissan, even awarding him costs. Mr. Nissan still owns the name to this very day.
In May of 2015, Senator Rand Paul, a candidate for President of the United States, paid $100,000.00 for RandPaul.com from someone who bought it while it was available, because Rand Paul’s staff never thought of it. That is an expensive lesson to learn, but in that situation, it was well worth it because the potential for damages was very high if the name was developed with an anti-Rand Paul message, which has happened many times before in elections.
Rand Paul got lucky. Not all owners of these types of domains are interested in selling the name to the candidate, usually they can get more money from the competition, who can’t wait to make a website with all the unflattering photos and stories they can find. They will use it not only to embarrass the candidate, but since even supporters will naturally go to the .com as well, supporters will probably find out things about the candidate that the candidate did not want them to know. Once that happens, the negative press is sure to follow.
The Jeb Bush campaign suffered major embarrassment over the name www.JebBush.com which, unfortunately was not registered by anyone on his staff. How do these people find work on political campaigns when they are this negligent? Click on that link to see what happens!
In 2013, supporters of the Scott Walker for Governor (Wisconsin) campaign bought the name of his main competitor, Mary Burke. They put up a website at www.MaryBurke.com which not only controlled her message, but made her look very incompetent for ever allowing it to happen. You can view what they did to her, here, on an internet archive website.
Needless to say, the media had a field day over it, as you can see here.
Even though the election was over in 2014, the Wisconsin Republican Party STILL controls the name and it now points to a page on the Wisconsin GOP website as a reminder of Burke’s failure. This is the gift that keeps on giving… for the GOP.
Also in the news is Carly Fiorina, who failed to buy the .org version of her name and now someone is capitalizing on that – as well as the media, who seems mystified at why someone who was the head of a major technology company did not have the foresight to buy her own domain name.
When you hire Conservative Campaign Consulting, one of the first things we do is whatever we can to acquire your domain name if you don’t currently have control over it. We also work to buy up all the domains of your competition. We have worked in the internet/domain industry since 1998 and have been fortunate enough to have obtained domain names for every one of our clients.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see what we can do for you today!