Bad sites

GiibsCNET’s Declan McCullagh and Anne Broache have assembled a list of some of the worst political websites I’ve seen in a while — although I’m pretty sure I’ve stumbled across a few during this cycle that would rival some of the quality entries in this collection. Hat tip: Joaquin (link goes to his neglected blog).

Some of my favorites are the blog for VA Democrat Shawn O’Donnell written by the candidate’s dog Josie, the sorry excuse for a site maintained by the co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus, and the completely goofy Flash animation on Rep. Bob Inglis’s re-election site featuring the congressman dancing across the screen.

But I came across one recently that takes the cake. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs is the Texas Republican lucky enough to be running for former congressman (and future inmate) Tom DeLay in TX-22. She’s got an uphill battle, though, because when DeLay pulled out of the race the courts ruled a replacement could not be added to the ballot — in order to vote for Sekula-Gibbs, voters will have to write her name in. Now she and the GOP are spending bazillions trying to educate the folks in TX-22 about how to write in her name on the ballot come November 7th. They’re attacking this on several fronts, and they’ve even put together a horrific campaign song which has to be heard to be believed.

The NRCC’s contribution to the effort is writeshelley.com, a site with instructions for writing in their candidate’s name in the general election. The site features a Flash animation depicting some sort of monstrosity called an eSlate voting machine — in order to write in a candidate, voters will need to turn a dial to move a cursor across the screen one letter at a time. It’s a lot like adding your name after getting a high score on Donkey Kong, except instead of having to pick three letters you have to spell out the entire name of the candidate. In this case, that’s S-H-E-L-L-E-Y [space] S-E-K-U-L-A [space] G-I-B-B-S. No small task, but probably 10-12 minutes well spent if you’re a diehard Republican who wants to see Shelley carry on DeLay’s legacy of service in the House of Representatives.

Assuming voters can master the technology, their next challenge is to remember how to spell the candidate’s name. Trouble is, the Republicans in Sugar Land, TX, managed to choose someone with a pretty tough name to run as their write-in candidate. And apparently her name is tough enough to stump whoever built the campaign’s website. On every page on the site (except the home page), our pal Shelley’s last name is spelled “Giibs” with two i’s instead of two b’s. See for yourself on the tell-a-friend page, for example.

I guess that’s a long way to go to basically point out that not even Ms. Hyphen’s staff can spell her name, something which seems sort of important when you’re running a write-in campaign. The image is too wide and the post is too long. But it made me laugh when I first saw it and it still does.

Update 10/31: Katie just told me Hyphen’s staff has fixed their “Giibs” mistake. They could at least have left a comment to thank me.

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