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Republicans put $1.5m behind internet push

Attacking Kerry's Mormon love is not cheap

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The Republican party's internet ambitions are proving very profitable for a small Tennessee hosting company. The GOP appears to have dolled out $1.5m over the past two years to keep George W. Bush's web site up and running and to send out massive amounts of political spam.

Smartech Corp. has received a steady stream of payments from the Republicans, ranging from $66 for domain registrations on up to $54,000 for "e-mail programming." Over the past year, the company says its good fortunes have led to a doubling in staff size from but 6 to 12 workers with the Bushies accounting for between 25 percent and 35 percent of its total revenue.

Along with www.georgewbush.com, Smartech also manages the ever popular kerrywrongformormons.org and kerrywrongforcatholics.com sites. It also helped the Republicans put up their convention web site.

As best as we can tell, the Democrats are a bit more frugal with their web spending. John Kerry's main web site - www.johnkerry.com - is hosted on a Linux box run by Akamai. The Democrats also appear to have tapped Rackspace from time-to-time. Akamai has been receiving steady payments since Kerry's web site changed from being focused on his Senate achievements to centering on his bid for the White House. (There's an infamous quotation up from early 2003 on the site: "It appears that with the deadline for exile come and gone, Saddam Hussein has chosen to make military force the ultimate weapons inspections enforcement mechanism. If so, the only exit strategy is victory, this is our common mission and the world's cause.") Akamai has received a total of $44,000 with Rackspace also pulling in $2,000. (Rackspace seems to resolve johnkerry.com into www.johnkerry.com.)

What else is of interest about the candidates' sites?

Well, W. is a Windows man with his site locked up until May 2008. Very optimistic.

Kerry appears to have his site booked until July 2011. Here's hoping for one-year extension on that. ®

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