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GW Bush parody Web site escapes FEC axe

Far too trifling a matter for the Commission's attention

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The US Federal Elections Commission (FEC) has declined to act on a complaint from election team-mates of Texas Governor and White House hopeful George W. Bush which claimed that the operator of a parody Web site called gwbush.com was in fact campaigning and should therefore be subject to the Commission's plethora of bureaucratic obstacles and interference just as they are. The Commission rejected the complaint Friday on grounds that the matter was too unimportant to warrant its attention. Perhaps the Commissioners, like most Americans, were glued to CNN Market Watch on Friday, preoccupied with graver thoughts such as murdering their brokers. The Bush complaint argued that Webmaster Zack Exley was campaigning and should be brought to heel in compliance with election regulations. Team Bush thought Exley should be required to post a disclaimer identifying the site's origin, to file with the FEC as a political action committee, and to disclose the amount of money spent maintaining the site. Campaign spokesman Scott McClellan said Team Bush had not condescended to pay further attention to Exley or his site since filing the complaint last May. "We just hope people will use good judgment and common sense," McClellan said. "If you look at all the Web sites, you'll see that free speech is alive and well in America, and Governor Bush has a very thick skin." That's odd; we always thought he was a peevish, puling, vindictive political parasite, but perhaps now with the defeat of opponent John McCain, the distinction between a hero and patriot who patiently endured years of torture in a North Vietnamese gaol and a smirking overgrown boy has grown somewhat less apparent. Indeed, Team Bush originally cried foul so loudly over the parody site that they were single-handedly responsible for publicising it to the rude masses, who now, with delicious irony, visit in droves. ®

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