Under the Dome

NC legislator lets website expire, opposition group buys it

Here’s some advice to politicians: If you let your website domain name expire, don’t be surprised if your opposition buys it.

That’s what happened to N.C. Rep. Mike Stone this week. The Republican from Sanford is in a competitive reelection bid against Democrat Brad Salmon. But he allowed his campaign website, mikestonenc.com, to expire.

The liberal advocacy group Progress North Carolina Action caught his mistake and decided to make a website for Stone. The site isn’t affiliated with the Salmon campaign.

“I was trying to do some research on some of his political positions and saw that he had a website listed on his Twitter bio,” said Logan Smith, the group’s communications director. “I clicked on the link and saw that it was broken. Sure enough, the URL was available for purchase.”

Now Stone’s site bears a new slogan: “Putting special interests above the people’s interests.” It offers a detailed critique of the legislator’s record.

Stone was not happy. “Unfortunately the Liberal Hate Group @ProgressNow_NC hijacked our website for Brad Salmon. They’re doing his #dirtywork,” he posted on Twitter.

Progress NC has a similar website for N.C. Rep. Michele Presnell of Burnsville. Smith said the web address, michelepresnell.com, was never registered to her campaign.

“I’m of the opinion that if you’re a politician running for office, getting your domain name locked down is a really basic step,” Smith said.