Worst campaign websites of 2010

By Henri Makembe on 04.16.10

In the last 10 years, the price tag for a decent website has drastically dropped.  Moreover, the internet has increasingly been touted as the great leveler between campaigns flush with cash and those running on fumes.  Countless applications have been created to simplify website publishing while maintaining elegant look and feel. Despite these facts, some political campaigns and candidates still erect some pretty terrible websites.  A gallery of some of the culprits is below followed by description of each site.

Bill Conner for US Congress –  Mr. Connner’s website looks like it was built in 1998. There is not much else to say here.  Luckily for Mr. Conner, his opponents do not fair much better.

Cook County Commissioner Liz Doody Gorman – Ms. Goorman’s site is very a similar to a spam site full of scrolling Google Ads.

George Hutchins for US Congress 2010 –  Mr. Hutchins is by far the worse offender of the group. He uses multicolor fonts and is not shy about highlighting text throughout the site. The site is also full of badly photoshoped images created to imply endorsement or support from various Republican Leader (dead or alive).

Jerry Ortiz y Pino for Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico – Multi-color navigation items and scrolling text.  Enough said.

Patricia Bird for US Congress – Ms. Bird decided on a basic hosting package provided by Comcast to its users. She managed to  add a calendar widget (not linked to anything), a weather widget (Currently it is 47 degrees in Mount Prospect, IL) , and an event widgets (also not linked to anything). While her blog does not  contain any entries except for the default demo entry, the event section seems to have been updated a couple of times.

Paul Hamann for US Congress – Like Ms. Bird, Mr. Hamann did not bother with a domain name or hosting. He relies on an out-of-the box blogspot site with one of the default templates. The site has no way for supporters to get involved. In fairness to him, his website is the first result when searching for his campaign on Google.

Peter Thottam for CA Assembly – Flash, flash, and more flash. Sounds when the page first loads and when the user hovers on any of the navigation items. The background fades from blue to red and multiple links lead the user to to nowhere. According to the footer at the bottom of his site, Mr. Thottam designed and maintains his website, which explains a lot.

It’s easy to poke fun but the blame for these sites do not rest solely on the shoulders of the candidates. There may be many tools out there to help campaigns develop effective online presence, but clearly the message is not filtering down to smaller races. Our industry has placed too much focus and attention to national campaigns and high profile races and overlook the importance of clear marketing to these smaller local races.

Have you seen any bad political websites?  Send them to me and I’ll do round two.  But I don’t mean to just  mock.  I’ll gladly offer some consulting advice to candidates in local races.