While much attention this spring has focused on next year’s U.S. Senate race and state legislative elections, it appears as though one Kentucky congressman may have his eye on the governor’s race that follows in 2011.
An aide to U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville, recently purchased two Internet domain names – www.whitfieldforsenate.com and www.whitfieldforgovernor.com – the latter of the two portending a possible gubernatorial match-up with current Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, should he seek re-election.
According to Whitfield’s 2009 first quarter fundraising report to the Federal Election Commission, the domain names were purchased Jan. 28 for $866.48 from Network Solutions, a Web services company based in Herndon, Va.
A company representative said that the domain names were reserved through Jan. 27, 2010 under the name of Jason Hasert, who works as a field representative for Whitfield’s congressional office in Hopkinsville. FEC reports show that Hasert was paid around $25,000 for work last year between July and December for Whitfield’s re-election campaign to the U.S. House.
When reached last week by phone at Whitfield’s campaign office in Hopkinsville, Hasert said he was unable to comment on the matter. He also said he had taken a leave of absence from his duties with Whitfield’s congressional field office.
Kristen Walker, a spokeswoman for Whitfield, said in an e-mail to the Gazette that the campaign had in fact purchased the domain names in question.
Couple notes: Jason Hasert is the guy who allegedly operates his toy train business/website from Whitfield’s congressional office computers. And he’s a geek enough to know that there’s literally no way in hell it cost over $800 to register two domain names.
The going rate? About $10 per domain name. And if you oh, say, spend $15 on hosting in addition to the domain? The domains are usually free. And at Network Solutions, where registration is expensive, the going rate is only about $30. So somebody is skimming quite a bit of money off the top.
Ed Whitfield’s folks have a bit of explaining to do.