This past week a domain name dispute of sorts involving Representative Cleon Turner and his opponent Patrick Foran showed up in the Yarmouth Register and on Cape Cod Today whose parent company is also coincidentally Mr. Turner’s web design firm.
Apparently Turner had let his domain name (cleonturner.com) expire and Foran picked it at some point a few months ago according to reports.
I have been involved in domain names for over a decade, so I couldn’t leave this story alone.
Both politicians got what I would consider an equal beating according to the public comments that were left on the various blogs. They both had to eat a bowl of blog chowder on this one.
This should also turn out to be a good lesson in online reputation management for both the politicians and whoever may be reading this.
I am not going to get into the ethics of this incident, because this is politics, and unfortunately ethics aren’t really an issue in politics. Plus, I don’t really care and actually find the whole thing including the interests and “wordplay” of some of the “news” outlets rather comical.
Here’s why this was an epic fail on the part of both politicians
Letting your domain name expire in an election year is a massive fail on your part. It basically means that you do not have your sh1t together and does not portray you as an “on the ball” 21st century politician.
You are actually lucky that Foran picked up the name and not some russian p0rn spammer, so you may want to thank him for that…
I don’t think you did anything illegal as was alleged and you apparently transferred the name back to Turner without incident, but at any rate here are a few tips for next time:
Apparently you used private registration which was kinda smart, but you were supposedly backtracked by your email address via a phone call to the registrar.
Next time get an anonymous email address (email@example.com) and make it look foreign, really foreign.
Something like (firstname.lastname@example.org) should suffice.
You could also save yourself the $8 for private registration by using an address and a phone number in a foreign country, like Thailand or Russia for instance. You could use the address and phone number for a hotel in one of these countries which could be had in 2 seconds via a Google search.
The whois info would be false and would likely lead to you not being able to renew the domain, but who cares, at least it would screw up your opponent for quite some time while they chase the boogieman in some foreign country.
Also buy the domain on a prepaid credit card for a one off transaction on a brand new Godaddy account just for this purchase. This way you could effectively give the domain away to whoever. Like maybe post the whole Godaddy account login info on Craigslist or some foreign equivalent with the title “Free Domain Name”.
If you are really paranoid, you could even use an open wifi connection at one of the local libraries, or a coffee shop to register the name via a proxy, that way it could not be traced back to you by an IP address.
All is fair in love and politics… lol