Looking for a Web site for likely U.S. Senate candidate and current Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine?
Don’t go looking for it at www.timkaine.com.
That site currently redirects viewers to a Web site for the political operation of conservative Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli — www.cuccinelli.com.
The Web site hijinks is a good indication of how certain everyone in the political world now is that Kaine is running for a seat that will be vacated in 2012 with the retirement of U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (R).
Cuccinelli’s political director was amused when he was informed of the redirect, but says the attorney general’s team is not behind it.
“We don’t buy the sites of opponents or Democrats,” said Cuccinelli political director Noah Wall. “I don’t know if it would even help us — to drive Democrats to our Web site. But it’s not us.”
In fact, www.timkaine.com was registered in 2001 by Matt Chancey, who The Post reported then was a self-described conservative Christian activist from Harrisonburg. Kaine had to launch his first campaign for governor on the clunky site http://www.kaine2005.org/home.php because of Chancey’s purchase.
Though Kaine officials in 2005 feared that he might use the site to cause mischief, Chancey instead redirected viewers to Kaine’s lieutenant governor site. When Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) took office in 2006, the site sent readers there instead.
In an e-mail, Chancey said he’s owned the site since he was offered it by a friend years ago. He said he chose to redirect readers to Cuccinelli’s site now because he’s a “big fan” of the attorney general.
“If it drives more people to Ken’s site and angers liberal Democrats, I am in favor of it,” Chancey wrote.
Mo Elleithee, a Democratic strategist who worked on Kaine’s 2005 campaign, had a slightly different take.
“Hey, the Tim Kaine brand is popular in Virginia,” Elleithee said. “He was a fiscally responsible governor who presided over the best-managed state in the nation. I can understand why someone would want to link themselves to that.”
(Spin from old friends? Another good sign of the impending Kaine campaign.)
Wall says Cuccinelli buys various versions of his own name, like many politicians do, to try to prevent just this sort of thing happening to him. He hasn’t been totally successful: www.kencuccinelli.com is an anti-Cuccinelli site set up during the campaign that questions whether he was fit for the office.
This post has been updated since it was first published.