Branstad campaign spoofs Hatch's website - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Branstad campaign spoofs Hatch's website

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

If you're looking for some information about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch, you might Google him, and find the website HatchVernon.com.

There, you'd find what looks like campaign statements about raising taxes, increasing unemployment, and passing unbalanced budgets.

Then, you'd find at the bottom, "Paid for and Made with Love by the Branstad Committee."

"We thought this would be a small and lighthearted promotion," said Tommy Schultz, Branstad-Reynolds communications director. "We've been open and transparent the whole time in telling the media about it before we launched it, and we're using it to highlight their liberal agenda to tax and spend their way through everything."

But the Hatch campaign isn't feeling the love.

"I think parody sites are fair play,' said John Hedgecoth, communications director for the real Hatch-Vernon campaign. "I think it's OK for them to try and do it, but I think it's juvenile and immature and not worthy of a governor that's been in office for five terms."

Experts say the domain purchase wasn't a bad move.

"I think it's sort of like a permanent commercial for the Branstad Committee, to force undecided voters to think about a few things and ask Jack Hatch or Monica Vernon when they see them," said Chris Larimer, KWWL political analyst.

But in the end, Larimer said it's so early in the campaign that these are just shots across the bow.

"Most people aren't paying attention to the election," Larimer said. "You want to save those strong arguments for the end, in part because you want that to be the last thing voters are thinking about. The stay power of radio and TV ads is not very long, so you're waiting to push those out until October."

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