Presidential hopes mix with Va. governor’s race

February 16, 2013

RICHMOND — If Virginians want their next governor to be someone who thinks big, White House gate crasher Tareq Salahi might be their guy.

Salahi, who say he is running for governor as an independent, registered salahiforpresident.com in June, according to registration records.

There’s also a presidential domain name for the presumptive Republican nominee, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II: kencuccinelliforpresident.com was reserved two years ago.

BuzzFeed reported this week that a fund-raising consultant to Cuccinelli, Lauren Patten of American Target Advertising, registered the name. American Target Advertising has provided in-kind mail and e-mail services to Cuccinelli, according to Virginia Public Access Project records.

But Cuccinelli’s campaign said Saturday that Patten had no affiliation with the campaign and did not reserve the domain name on his behalf.

Sometimes speculators claim domain names with hopes of selling them to a future campaign. Patten did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Two other people are either in the race for governor or exploring a bid: former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), who is considering a run as an independent. If either one sees a future president in the mirror, you can’t tell it by domain names. Both mcauliffeforpresident.com and bollingforpresident.com are available.

For the record, bobmcdonnellforpresident.com has been registered. Ditto for names associated with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who like McDonnell, seems intent on seeking the White House in 2016: martinomalleyforpresident.com and omalleyforpresident.com.

Somebody named Gregory Karasik of Bellevue, Ohio registered bobmcdonnellforpresident.com on Jan. 27, 2010. Karasik did not respond to messages seeking comment. McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said he’d never heard of Karasik, but noted that he registered the name on the very day that McDonnell gave a nationally televised speech.

“Looks like somebody liked the Governor’s response to the State of the Union,” Martin said via e-mail.

O’Malley had nothing to do with registering martinomalleyforpresident.com, which was claimed by a speculator.

“I have a couple of governors,” said Marc Peyser, a chiropractor from Stamford, Conn., who said he started dabbling in domain names a few years ago. “I’ve got the lady running against [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie. I’m thinking of [Connecticut Gov. Dannel P.] Malloy.”

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.
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