Political Cybersquatting Alert: Forrest Claypool Launches JoeBerrios.com, Slams Opponent’s Record In Assessor’s Race

August 20th, 2010

On Tuesday an article on the Huffington Post drew readers attention to a dispute bubbling up between Independent candidate for assessor of Cook County, Chicago, Forrest Claypool and his Democratic opponent Joe Berrios.

Apparently, as a campaign ploy Claypool launched www.JoeBerrios.com and has populated the potentially cybersquatting website with a slew of very unflattering quotes about Berrios’s term at the Board of Review.

The website pulls quotes like that from The Better Government Association about Berrios, stating “Pay-to-Play Personified”. It features a video entitled “JOE BERRIOS SUPPORTED STROGER’S SALES TAX INCREASE” purportedly with “Joe Berrios in his own words supporting a doubling of Todd Stroger’s sales tax.”

JoeBerrios.com also displays this paragraph scathingly depicting Berrios during his tenure as chair of the Cook County Board of Review;

“During his tenure as chair of the Cook County Board of (Tax) Review, Berrios has accepted millions in campaign contributions from tax appeal lawyers, corporations, and individuals, and in return reduced their property taxes and increased the tax burden for average Cook County taxpayers. His “eminently unethical” behavior has shocked newspapers, government watchdogs, and elected officials for decades, earning him the title “Pay-to-Play Personified” from the Better Government Association.”

The Huffington Post article also speculates on Berrios’s ability to regain control of the domain name that directly incorporates his own name;

“As for the website, it seems like Berrios will have little recourse. Hillary Clinton was able to reclaim HillaryClinton.com when the owner of the site didn’t show up at a legal arbitration meeting. And Meg Whitman was able to persuade the owner of several sites related to her bid for California governor to sell the domains to her.

But it seems unlikely that Berrios will win back his domain through any of those means. In the meantime, his campaign site is located at ElectJoeBerrios.com.”