Saturday, December 20, 2008

Party of/in Gummint Strikes Again

Wonder no more about the domain name "", used by Obama's transition. Malkin got the story, and history begins to loom...

You’ll recall last month that I blogged several questions about the propriety of allowing the perpetual Obama campaign to use a .gov domain name for what appeared to be a fund-raising front. Readers and industry observers noted that the decision appeared to violate General Services Administration rules governing government domains.

Guess what? They were right. The FOIA documents sent to Lance O., which he forwarded to me, reveal that the GSA initially rejected Obama’s application for “” On Oct. 21, Peter Alterman, Deputy Associate Administrator of Technology Strategy at the GSA, denied the Obama campaign’s request for a government domain because:

1) It would be a a violation of the government’s naming conventions (too generic); and

2) using ‘change’ in the domain name would be political, since it was the trademark slogan of the Obama campaign.

The day after the election, on Nov. 5, GSA Chief Information Officer Casey Coleman overruled Alterman after apparently receiving a waiver from Chris Lu, Executive Director of Obama’s Transition Project. As reader Lance discovered through his FOIA request, Ms. Coleman did not elaborate on the granting of this waiver except to say that she had “determined that it is in the best interest of the Federal Government to register the subject domain name.”

Recall that for mnemonic purposes, "Party OF Gummint" is also "Party IN Gummint" or PIG for short.

This vignette is symptomatic.

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