Wednesday, November 07, 2007


The internet allows all kinds of inappropriate behavior. Creating phony candidate web sites to subvert candidates is sophmoric and unfair. There are spoof sites that are clearly send-ups, and there are sites that can pass themselves off as the real thing. There is nothing wrong with a spoof site because it declares its intention. There is plenty wrong with a site that tries to pass itself off. Both kinds of sites are allowable under Free Speech, but there ought to be a ruling that sites clearly identify where they are from and who is running them. Hiding behind anonymity is a path to criminal behavior.

One learns to expect all kinds of behavior in elections. PR principles are thrown out the window in an effort to do anything and everything to get a candidate into office. It has been that way since the beginning of the country. However, if there is one benefit that the internet should bring to campaigns, it is transparency. That has been achieved with campaign donations, but phony web sites are a setback. If the trend continues, the Federal Election Commission should step in.


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