Representative Pete Hoekstra, Victim of a Cybersquatter?

May 28th, 2010

In an article that was posted on Tuesday at PBS entitled Politicians Face Consequences If They Don’t Secure Name DomainsSteven Davy highlights the problems politicians face if they don’t register their own name as a domain name before getting on the campaign trail.

Davy focused primarily on Michigan’s Representative Pete Hoekstra whose domain name,, is being used to host a campaign against the Representative. If you go to, the first thing you’ll likely see is “Pete Hoekstra (.com) Dangerous, Polarizing & Bad for Michigan!” is currently registered to Ben Padnos, formerly a resident of Holland, MI.

When asked to comment on his ownership of, Padnos commented that, “something as basic as owning your own name — I mean it’s like check box number one if you are running for political office,” Padnos further stated that, “anybody who doesn’t go out and do that, in my eyes there are serious questions of judgment.”

Critics of Padnos have accused him of cybersquatting, but as of yet Padnos’ website campaign against Pete Hoekstra is still up and running.

Davy also highlighted the problems politicians face in gaining control of their own domain names. He interviewed Sarah Pearson, a residential fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford, who commented that, “without a trademark registration, the politician has to prove they have common law trademark rights,” she said. “A name is not automatically a trademark. Rather, it must be used in commerce in connection with goods and services.”

To avoid this happening to you, register your name now as a domain name, if not now, at least register your name before embarking on any major (or minor) political or public venture.

Free Consultation with an Experienced Cybersquatting Lawyer: If you are a person whose name is famous or an agent, talent scope or agency representing a political figure, contact a Traverse Legal attorney today, or call us directly for 24×7 assistance at (866) 936-7447.

Related articles about cybersquatting in politics:

Austrailian Political Party Falls Prey to a Repeat Cybersquatter