Gingrich's Web Problem
CORRECTION: The original version of this report gave the incorrect title for Kombiz Lavasany. He worked in online communications at the DNC.
Less than 24 hours after unveiling a website for his exploratory committee Thursday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) is already under attack online.
Gingrich launched NewtExplore2012.com yesterday, and ExploreNewt2012.com -- a slightly more intuitive name -- now redirects to former La. Gov. Buddy Roemer's (R) website, BuddyRoemer.com. "We had nothing to do with that. Please, I assure you," Roemer said in an interview today. He added that his and Gingrich's team spoke about the website issue this morning. Gingrich's team, Roemer said, believes that the domain name was purchased by someone in Arizona.
Gingrich's team is unconcerned about the redirect. "Yes, and Roemer spelled backward is the first-person singular present passive indicative of the Latin remeō," Gingrich spokesperson Rick Tyler said. "But I don't think that is going help him either."
But Gingrich's online troubles don't end there. Former DNC online communications staffer Kombiz Lavasany, who worked on the Democrats' 2008 presidential campaign strategy, purchased ExploreNewt.com and now has it redirecting to a May, 2009 Media Matters article about Gingrich that enumerates "his frequent, and often egregious, falsehoods."
"The problem with the Republican primary is that it's still run by not very smart general consultants who don't think about new media," Lavasany said. "And so when they set up these campaigns they don't think about how people search and find things online."