Last June at the 2010 PDF Conference our panel focused on Political Websites: The Good, The Bad and  the Ugly. Taking top honors last time was George Hutchins  followed by the Jerry for New Mexico site.

new_party_logo_2010_aThis week, after insurgent New York Governor candidate Jimmy McMillan, founder of the now legendary “Rent Is Too Damn High Party” shocked and amazed our nation with his debate performance (See Gawker for comprehensive coverage) it seems that the first thing many people did was immediately visit Mr. McMillan’s website: 

We have also discovered what appears to be the official campaign site at:

Make sure you have your headphones plugged in, as you will be in for a musical treat. Really!

A couple points on the website:

If the goal is to gain pageviews, the websites are doing quite well as according to the wonderful counters, we have tracked at least 100,000 hits to to just in the last 24 hours. Of course, while the recent spike is undoubtedly due to his memorable debate performance and subsequent media coverage, that does not explain the first 2 million hits. (Currently 262,00 results for “rent is too damn high” in Google, with an astounding 912 articles!)

Secondly from a stylistic and messaging standpoint, as Mr. McMillan states in one of his lyrics, “Your rent receipt is my campaign literature.” Given this, the website Geo-cities-esq use of animated gif images, counters, and generally cumbersome navigation is perfect. In fact, after most of our team spent the better part of their lunch hours looking over the site, we concluded that in this special case, because information is hard to find and the website is slow to load- discovering something new or interesting is actually more exciting then usual.

On the minus side, while we wish McMillan Entertainment had done something to anticipate the traffic spike, perhaps the fact that you couldn’t load the page makes it all the more appealing?

Secondly,  yesterday there were several items in the RITDH store, such as a CD, campaign button and poster that I briefly considered purchasing as an impulse buy / joke to give away to friends and colleagues. Alas, today it appears the store is out of commission. Even his Etsy store lists nothing for sale. The sole item mentioned is an $18 tee shirt, but the Paypal order form does not ask for anything about size or quantity.

Third, I am not a campaign finance expert, but when you click the Paypal link to donate, you are not asked any of the standard questions that Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Paladino ask on their contribution forms about your citizenship status, whether or not the contribution is your own money and so on. Perhaps his best move would be to drop the candidacy, start a 527 and sell advertising on his website?

Finally- What do you think-  Is the website so bad, that is is actually good?