Political news publication, Politico, is reporting that Jack Abramoff, a Republican lobbyist and person who was involved in a major political scandal, has unsuccessfully tried to get the JackAbramoff.com domain name from its owners. Making this more of an interesting situation is the current owner of the domain name.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has owned JackAbramoff.com since at least February of 2008. The domain name was registered to someone from Louisville, Kentucky back in 2006, although I don’t know if that person had a relationship with the DCCC or Abramoff.
At the present time, JackAbramoff.com forwards to a page within the DCCC website, which does not paint Mr. Abramoff in a good light. The landing page has a file visitors can play with a voicemail from Mr. Abramoff asking about the domain name and how he can get it “amicably.” Based on the landing page, it seems doubtful an amicable solution will be possible.
Mr. Abramoff may file a UDRP for the domain name, and he could also file litigation to get possession of the domain name. I am not a lawyer, and I won’t speculate about his chances for success on either front, especially because I’ve been surprised when reading some UDRP decisions in similar scenarios.
One thing I will say is that we often hear about this type of thing occurring in elections at all levels throughout the US – from small local elections to national elections. I guess I shouldn’t ever be surprised when I hear about a local politician owning the name of another candidate when the DCCC owns the exact match domain name of a well known and controversial member of the GOP.