Ron Paul seems to have taken Karl Rove’s lead and is turning on his grassroots in a spectacular way. It seems he wants to control his digital message centrally.
In a breathtaking move by the grassroots hero, Ron Paul is suing several websites (RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org) for their URLs without compensation. In fact, he is using a UN sanctioned organization to threaten his supporters into giving him their domain names. Ron Paul.com explains their predicament:
Earlier today, Ron Paul filed an international UDRP complaint againstRonPaul.com and RonPaul.org with WIPO, a global governing body that is an agency of the United Nations. The complaint calls on the agency to expropriate the two domain names from his supporters without compensation and hand them over to Ron Paul."
The site’s lament continues and they seem to be really hurt by this move by "post-retirement" Ron Paul.
"Back in 2007 we put our lives on hold for you, Ron, and we invested 5 years (close to 10,000 hours) of tears, sweat and hard work into this site at great personal sacrifice. We helped raise millions of dollars for you, we spread your message of liberty as far and wide as we possibly could, and we went out of our way to defend you against the unjustified attacks by your opponents. Now that your campaigns are over and you no longer need us, you want to take it all away?"
You can view the complaint against these sites here. It seems that Ron Paul is planning to launch an internet media empire to rival Glenn Beck. He needs to have "all his ducks" in a row to do this, as he said in his Alex Jones show interview.
Ron Paul, or his staff, weren’t clever enough to get their hands on their own domains, which leads you to believe the Paul crew were not as au fait with the internet as they claimed to be at the time.
Claims and counter-claims are being tossed back and forth, including accusations of various offers totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars being demanded by the sites' owners. It should be noted that they wanted money for their email list, a common practice in politics.
There will no doubt be people who take great pleasure from this fracas between Ron Paul and his grassroots activists. It just goes to show that when money is involved, out goes the concept of "liberty" and "grassroots" activism. What happened to the champion of property rights? Do those only matter when they do not involve his future plans? This move reveals just a tiny bit about the true character of the liberty movement’s "hero." The fact he is using a outgrowth of the UN to do it is oh, so ironic.
Needless to say, there are some ardent supporters who are defending Ron Paul and don’t see why he shouldn’t get his namesake URLs, according to The Examiner. Of course, there are Ron Paul supporters who would defend the man if he did absolutely anything wrong, such is their devotion to him.
One of the Ron Paul supporters on Facebook said "According to the complaint you were trying to profit to the tune of 848K on his name; you then offered the domain to him at 250K which is apparently illegal. Please do not make him sound like the bad guy here. As always a closer look at 'the facts' tell the story. That being said, I appreciate all you have done to increase public awareness of this fine human."
Despite the hard-core few defending their hero, the fact that Ron Paul is using a UN organization to confiscate domains from his own grassroots activists is a bit tragic.