Hit and run. The Bogus Sobhani Campaign Website

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Independent Candidate for US Senate, Rob Sobhani

Independent Candidate for US Senate, Rob Sobhani

For the record, the official campaign website for the Rob Sobhani campaign is www.SobhaniFor

Yesterday afternoon, someone who reads my blog made me aware of a website address (for a WordPress blog) that includes the name of Maryland Independent candidate for Senate, Rob Sobhani. The URL makes it seem as if it’s an official campaign website, but it’s not. Instead, it’s a blog that claims to be “vetting” Rob Sobhani and then proceeds to do so it in a sophomoric, dishonest and prejudicial way. I’m not repeating the URL here because I don’t want to give the site traffic it doesn’t deserve, and because the existence of the site isn’t the point of this article.

Some language used by this bogus website is taken from a recent Dan Bongino campaign email. (Dan Bongino is the Republican candidate whose hopes for an upset have been threatened by the recent entry of Rob Sobhani into the race.) Coincidental use of language aside, I hope, and believe without evidence to the contrary, that neither Dan nor his campaign had anything to do with this particular effort to undermine his opponent. Everything is not fair, or acceptable, in love and politics.

After seeing the website, I ran a “Whois” on the URL and found that the owners of the domain are not disclosed, nor was there any confirmation of authorship on the site itself. I subsequently recommended to the Sobhani campaign that it file a formal complaint with ICANN, as recommended by BlueHost through whom the URL was purchased, and consult with an intellectual property attorney.

What troubles me most about this website, other than its intellectually cheap content, is the lack of “ownership.” I write this blog, the one you’re reading now. I have no axe to grind with any particular candidate and do my best to be kind, respectful and to base my opinions on facts and data I can verify. I’m not perfect, but I do my best. My name is on the home page. (I’m also listed as the “Registrant” for my URL.) My name isn’t in the header, because publicity isn’t my objective. Authorship is less important to me than the idea of the Next Contestant.

I’ve got to believe that, if the authors of this bogus website were proud of what they’ve done, if they believed it to be an honest, legitimate effort to criticize a candidate with whose views they disagreed, whose experience and expertise they felt were not sufficient for the office to which that candidate aspires, they would take credit for what they had to say.

We have freedom of speech. That’s not to say that writing something, and taking credit for it, doesn’t have its repercussions, but this person or these people aren’t rebels in some third world country who fear for their safety if their names are discovered. They’re prejudiced jerks who are taking a cheap shot with reckless disregard for the truth and profound disrespect for the voters they pretend to be serving.

Okay, I’ve said what I came to say. I’ve wasted enough electrons. If they really wanted to help their favorite candidate, they’d be elaborating reasons – having to do with his record in the Senate and campaign financing, honestly delineated and authored – reasons why Incumbent Ben Cardin doesn’t deserve to be re-elected.

-Next Contestant

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