Politicians who don’t buy up their own website domain names run the risk that someone else will get there first — a lesson D.C. Councilman Harry “Tommy” Thomas, Jr. is learning the hard way.
Last night, the D.C. Republican Party launched a new website that spotlights the controversies surrounding Thomas’ handling of a now-defunct nonprofit, Team Thomas. And, unfortunately for the lawmaker, the D.C. GOP is using his own name against him. Paul Craney, the party’s executive director, says he was able to buy harrythomasjr.com for a mere 12 bucks. He said he also purchased recallharrythomasjr.com and recallHTJr.com.
On harrythomasjr.com, visitors will find handy tabs labeled “The Allegations,” “What You Can Do,” and “Join the Coalition.” Craney tells NewsChannel 8, “It’s not intended to be a Republican or Democratic website." Rather, he called it an “informational” site about “what is really going on" in the Wilson Building and with Thomas.
Calls for Thomas to resign have grown following his decision to reimburse the District $300,000 in a deal with Attorney General Irv Nathan, who sued Thomas (D-Ward 5) in June for allegedly misusing government funds.
In a phone interview, Thomas tells us he’s not ready to comment in depth on the GOP site, saying “it speaks for itself.” He added that he’s “monitoring the situation," and said he has no regrets about not purchasing his name.com. “I don’t think that way,” he said.
But veteran political strategist Max Brown said it’s wise policy: “I think that all elected officials should be vigilant about thinking ahead, paying attention to details such as this, and securing domain names for the future.” Of the GOP site, he added, “I certainly don't condone the GOP's efforts to single out Harry.… If they want to engage the residents of Ward 5 with constructive ideas to help the community, that would be a better use of their time.”