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Rick Perry Has a Domain-Name Problem Rick Perry Has a Domain-Name Problem

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Rick Perry Has a Domain-Name Problem

Republican presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speak during a Republican presidential debate in November.(PAUL SANCYA/AP)

photo of Ethan Klapper
December 7, 2011

Looking for Rick Perry's campaign website?

Make sure you get the URL right: RickPerry.org. If you instead type in RickPerry.com, you'll be sent to a page of advertising as of Wednesday evening.

If you typed in that domain earlier the same day, you would have been sent to the website of a fellow Texan, Rep. Ron Paul.

 

The Paul campaign says this wasn't their work.

"The Paul campaign does not have anything to do with this and does not appreciate this sort of thing," campaign spokesman Gary Howard told National Journal. "We are working now to resolve the issue."

Indeed, a search of domain-name records shows that Paul's real domain name is hosted at the popular registry GoDaddy and RickPerry.com is hosted by fabulous.com. Interestingly, domain-name records show RickPerry.com was originally registered in 1998, according to the records, when Perry was Texas agriculture commissioner.

It is common for brands to buy multiple URLs similar to their actual URL. It ensures that people will find the site they're looking for if they mistype, and helps prevent foul play.

In fact, it seems as if Perry—or a supporter—did own that domain at one point. According to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, which crawls websites and archives them, RickPerry.com redirected to RickPerry.org as recently as 2009.

But it seems Perry is not the only one in the Republican field that didn't snatch up similar domain names. Newt Gingrich's website is newt.org, but if you go to newtgingrich.com, a banner says that the domain is for sale. Heading to michelebachmann.org or michellebachmann.com (a common misspelling) likewise does not take you to the site of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, michelebachmann.com.

Perry is not the first person (or trademark) for this to happen to, and an elaborate policy exists that provides for a resolution to this.

More The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field
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