On a recent trip to Frankfort, I noticed a new billboard beside Versailles Road, just as you get off I-64. As you can see in the photo above, it leads with “Investigate James Comer” in all caps at the top.
But then I noticed the URL lower down on the billboard: InvestigateComer.com. It’s a pretty simple web address, so I had no trouble remembering it when I got to a place where I could open up my laptop.
I typed in the address and hit Enter. But instead of a web site at the InvestigateComer.com address, I landed at a story on the Courier-Journal web site. The story was “Group urges James Comer investigation over remarks about 2015 email leak” and was written by Joe Sonka. The story begins thusly:
A Democrat-aligned organization has asked a Kentucky prosecutor to investigate U.S. Rep. James Comer over his possible involvement in the leak of a law firm’s emails during his 2015 race for governor, stemming from an admission in a recent New York Times profile of the congressman.
The Congressional Integrity Project — a 501(c)(4) that is pushing back against U.S. House Republicans’ investigations of President Joe Biden’s son and administration — wrote a letter Wednesday to Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney Kimberly Baird, asking her office for a “formal and thorough investigation” into Comer’s “involvement in unlawfully obtaining and/or receiving stolen emails from a computer server” of the law firm.
“Hmm, that’s odd,” I thought. So, I opened up an incognito window and typed in the InvestigateComer.com URL again. And again, it went to the C-J story.
I did a little tech sleuthing, and learned that the domain InvestigateComer.com was set up on March 31st. (The C-J story was published on March 23.) The name of the domain owner is hidden in the domain record. So, after the C-J ran its story, some person or organization registered the domain name InvestigateComer.com, then pointed the domain not to their own site, but to the story on C-J.
Since the group asking for the Comer investigation is the Congressional Integrity Project, I wrote to their press contact asking if they were the ones who registered the domain and pointed it at the story on the Courier-Journal. (They actually have their own web site at CongressionalIntegrity.org.) Their press person emailed back and said Yes, they were responsible for the domain name that pointed people to the story in the paper.
I have to say, that’s an interesting use of a domain name to push your story. I can’t recall seeing it done before. But it certainly saves time; rather than having to build a site to go with the domain name, just point the name to a web address that tells the story for you.
As for the investigation of our illustrious 1st district congress-person who actually lives in Frankfort, we shall have to wait and see. Perhaps the statement at the top of the billboard — INVESTIGATE JAMES COMER — will come to pass.