FW: GEORGE W. BUSH JR. ATTACKS DRUGS AND FREE SPEECH (fwd)

rosaphil (rugosa@interport.net)
Thu, 20 May 1999 11:58:34 -0400 (EDT)


anyone wanna have some fun a tthe expense of the cocaine-snorter of a guy
bush-jr?

giuliani wants to be his vice.

so does pataki. so does potatoe-head. so does mrs.red cross (sans viagra).

what is the net equivalent of bush-whacked?


+********** Snail me yer rosehips if you liked this post! ************
*Better Living Thru Better Living!* http://www.interport.net/~rugosa *

Subject: FW: GEORGE W. BUSH JR. ATTACKS DRUGS AND FREE SPEECH (fwd)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 1999

GEORGE W. BUSH JR. LASHES OUT AT PARODY WEBSITE
Bush learns about internet a moment too late

Contact: Ray Thomas (mailto:bushinfo@rtmark.com)
         Zack Exley (mailto:zackexley@yahoo.com)
         Bush attorney Benjamin Ginsberg 
           (202-457-6405, fax 202-457-6315)
URLs:    http://www.gwbush.com/, http://rtmark.com/gwbush.com,
           http://www.georgewbush.com
         Bush letter to F.E.C., etc.: http://rtmark.com/bush.html

Each week, thousands of people seeking information on probable
Republican 
presidential candidate George W. Bush, Jr. type "gwbush" into their web 
browsers and end up at http://www.gwbush.com/.

Bush has tried hard for weeks to shut down the rogue site, which
parodies 
Bush's official http://www.georgewbush.com/ and discusses his past
cocaine 
use, as well as parodying U.S. politics in general. Bush's legal efforts

began April 14 with a cease-and-desist letter claiming that gwbush.com 
violated copyright laws. Shortly thereafter, on May 10, Time Magazine 
reported that the Bush campaign had just purchased sixty additional
domain 
names, including bushbites.com and bushsux.org, in an apparent attempt
at 
damage control. Bush's most recent effort is a complaint filed with the 
Federal Election Commission that may have widespread implications for
free 
speech on the internet.

gwbush.com is owned by Zack Exley, a Boston computer consultant. Most of

the content on the website was provided by RTMARK, a group that
specializes 
in calling attention to corporate subversion of the U.S. political and 
electoral process. gwbush.com is listed as an unofficial Bush campaign
site 
in Yahoo! and elsewhere.

Bush's latest legal effort against gwbush.com, a complaint filed May 3
with 
the Federal Elections Commission, asserts that Exley has violated
election 
laws by not registering as a political committee, and urges that the
site's 
"fair market value" puts the endeavor well over the $1000 threshold that

defines a political committee under election law. (At one point, Bush's 
counsel had asked Exley at what price he would sell his domains, which
also 
include gwbush.org and gbush.org; Exley quoted $350,000.)

The F.E.C. case may set a legal precedent in the area of internet speech
in 
electoral campaigns. One F.E.C. employee, who preferred not to be 
identified, said the commission has recently established a "special
inquiry 
committee" to discuss possible regulation of sites such as gwbush.com.

"George W. Bush Jr. apparently thinks small-time folk should have to 
register with the government before exercising free speech on the 
internet," said Rita Mae Rakoczi, a lawyer and RTMARK representative.
"The 
implications of such a precedent could be quite serious."

RTMARK and Mr. Exley represent the unlikely kind of collaboration the 
internet makes possible. Mr. Exley is a computer consultant to the
Boston 
financial sector, and describes himself as "a Christian who loathes 
hypocrisy." RTMARK is primarily devoted to anti-corporate activism, and 
counts the very companies that Mr. Exley works for as some of its
targets.

By reserving the domain names, Exley initially hoped to sell them back
to 
the Bush camp for a small profit. That changed, however, when he read
news 
articles that discussed Bush's refusal to deny past cocaine use. His 
interest in the matter has since escalated into something of a crusade. 
"Bush won't deny he used cocaine, yet hundreds of thousands of people
are 
serving very long sentences for equivalent or lesser crimes, including
many 
in Texas [where Bush is governor]. Clinton just got away with perjury
while 
a hundred people are in jail for that crime. Do we want our children to 
learn that a crime is only a crime if you don't have power?"

Exley first invited RTMARK to provide content for gwbush.com after
hearing 
about their "franchise" program, in which the group provides a
tailor-made 
thematic website to anyone with an appropriate domain. According to
RTMARK 
spokesperson Ray Thomas, "Bush himself was originally a secondary issue
for 
us.  We just wanted to use gwbush.com as a platform to make various
points 
about how corporations have subverted and sabotaged the political and 
electoral process, and hoped it could illustrate the low level to which 
campaigning has sunk. The more Bush has tried to get in our way,
however, 
the more we've chosen to make the site a direct attack on his 'stealth' 
presidential campaign, and the worse that makes it for Bush." (RTMARK's 
first version of gwbush.com is now archived at
http://rtmark.com/gwbush.com/.)

While the controversy surrounding http://www.gwbush.com/ represents the 
first time RTMARK has been drawn into political conflict, clumsy legal 
actions are nothing new to RTMARK. In April of last year, for example, 
Geffen and BMG Music wrote RTMARK and Illegal Art letters demanding they

cease distribution of Deconstructing Beck, a CD of music made entirely
from 
samples of Beck recordings. Those letters (posted at 
http://rtmark.com/lawletters.html) helped RTMARK draw widespread
attention 
to issues of fair use and copyright law with what had begun as an
obscure 
release with a very limited audience.

The full text of the Bush lawyer's letter to the F.E.C., his 
cease-and-desist letter, and other materials can be found at 
http://rtmark.com/bush.html. The pages of http://www.gwbush.com/ that
deal 
specifically with Bush's cocaine use can be found at 
http://www.gwbush.com/bushpramnesty.html and 
http://www.gwbush.com/bushq3.html. For more on Bush's domain-name buying

frenzy, see http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/990513/bn8.html.


RTMARK (http://rtmark.com/) uses its limited liability as a corporation
to 
sponsor the sabotage of mass-produced products. One of RTMARK's ultimate

aims is to eliminate the principle of limited liability. Occasionally,
as 
with http://www.gwbush.com/, RTMARK participates in advocacy directly 
related to issues of corporate abuses of the political process.

                     # 30 #

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