Yesterday I decided to do a web search using the word "Nader," just to see what our former presidential candidate has been up to lately. I performed this search from www.metacrawler.com, and I got a couple of very interesting results. Two Nader-related websites popped up that I’ve never seen before, www.nader-laduke-election.com, and www.nader-president-2000.com. When I clicked on the links to these sites, my browser did not go to some new, fresh Nader-ly website, but instead got rerouted to www.whitehouse.gov. A waft of political trickery blew through the room and I almost gagged.
When I recovered my senses, I decided it was time to act. I fired off a missive to friends in the progressive activist community. One of them, a particularly resourceful fellow named Steve Loebs, did a "WHOIS" lookup to discover the owner(s) of these sites. Steve found that www.nader-laduke-election.com belongs, according to register.com, to a Charlene Chelbda, 1500 Convention Center Drive, Washington DC 20037-1408. A phone number was listed, (202)429-2400. Well I called that number. That’s the number of the Monarch Hotel in DC, which, by the way, is not at that address. They have no idea who Charlene Chelbda is. It may well be that she doesn't exist. Another friend of mine did a nationwide lookup for Charlene Chelbda, and to the best of her knowledge, no one in these United States goes by that name.
The other address, www.nader-president-2000.com, belongs to a Larry Mullens, who resides at 3600 S. Dixie Rd, Pitman, NJ 08071-0056. This "Larry," whom I suppose is not the basist for U2, has a phone number too, (856)256-2300. I called that number as well. Turns out that’s the number of Anthony Jannetti Incorporated, a publishing company in Pitman. I talked to their web guy, a guy named Todd. Todd said they’ve never heard of this Larry Mullens, nor do they own this website. Their sites are all registered through interNIC, not register.com, through which these bogus sites were registered. Furthermore, Todd said, there is no "Dixie St." in Pitman that he’s aware of, and I gather that Pitman ain’t too big. Todd said that he'd try to figure out who registered these domains, and he said he would get back to me about that.
Todd called me back a few hours later with another piece of the puzzle. Apparently the "redirect" from these sites to whitehouse.gov is being performed by Rawhide Internet Services Inc., 3103 Executive Parkway #502, Toledo, OH 43606. I have not called them yet, but they can be reached at (419)380-8100. Todd was unfortunately unable to discover anything further.
I have passed the above information along to a reporter for the LA Weekly -- hopefully he won't be irked that I've passed the scoop on to this site -- and to the Nader campaign office in DC. I imagine they can take it from here, and I can get back to what they pay me to do here at my job. It's hard to know how to react to shenanigans this infantile. On the one hand, it's deceitful and treacherous; but on the other, it's just so damn stupid as to be laughable. I leave it to you to decide how to react.