I get a lot of spammy email about political issues and politics, but this one caught my attention:
Subject: A New Political Party- The Better Government Party Created by Mike Mann
I hope this e-mail finds you well!
I wanted to introduce my client, Mike Mann, to you in regards to your upcoming political features and interviews. A Washington D.C. native and Domain guru, Mann has decided to take on the task of establishing a new political party in the United States that he has dubbed the Better Government Party. We would love for you to highlight him in a business and/or political spotlight feature.
Mike Mann is the founder of non-profit and for-profit corporations including:
Oh. That’s pretty much where I could have stopped reading. Because nobody in their right mind wants one of those search-engine-optimizing domain hoarding sleezebags to have political power.
But I didn’t stop reading. It was just too weird:
His vision for the Better Government Party is to eventually displace Republicans and Democrats, whose parties he says are useless, corrupt and fraudulent. His party will be built on transparency, trust and accountability. Better Government Party is willing to move past the political differences that divide our great nation along superficial lines.
**Mann is known as the man who bought up 14,962 domain names in 24 hours and had the three fastest-growing companies on the Inc. 500 in 2012. A lifelong philanthropist and lobbyist, Mann has the knowledge, experience and background that has readied him to create a party built on transparency, trust and accountability.
“Americans are so used to Congressmen lying, cheating and stealing that they have been conditioned to think it’s acceptable,” says the 46-year-old Washington, D.C., native, whose mother worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and father defended cases before the Supreme Court. “I’m trained and studied. I’m from Washington. I know this stuff.”
Yeah, okay. That doesn’t sound at all nutty.
Also, “better government for everybody” (or whatever) is not exactly an informative party platform. Before I’d support someone, I’d want to know what his vision of better government looks like.
So at this point I just had to visit the website to take a look at his — er, I mean the Better Government Party’s — positions on the issues. At first it all seemed like a lot of populist pablum. For example, this is from the vision statement:
Fiercely anti government corruption
Believes in healthcare for all US citizens
Believes in the best education for all US citizens
Believes in very strong environmental protection
Believes in an extremely simplistic tax structure like a flat tax or value added tax
Believes in free market economics
That’s a little vague, not to mention that the healthcare, education, and environmental positions are in conflict with the free market position. And frankly, it’s hart to tell from this short sample, but the whole site has a kind of “assembled from scraps” feel to it.
My first clue was at the bottom of the vision statement page, where I found this note:
Thanks for reading
Disrupt the Status Quo! — go Third Party!
Please also see:
He’s actually linking to some of his other websites, including his “get rich quick” book.
Then I noticed that every page on the party site has an ad for WebStreetJournal.com, another one of his properties. There’s also a domains page on the Better Government Party website which has the message, “Do you have what it takes to turn one of these domains into a powerful next generation corporation or charity?”
Given that it’s on the Party site, you might think these are domains being offered to like-minded individuals or organizations as part of an effort to build a grassroots movement, but that turns out not to be the case. This is just a list of domains for sale at Mann’s DomainMarket.com site: HelpAmerica.com lists for $15,000, StopTheHate.com lists for $25,000, and InnerCityYouth.com lists for a whopping $45,000.
Holy Crap! Do you see what’s really going on here? I’m about 95% convinced that Mike Mann must have realized that the upcoming elections in 2014 and 2016 will cause a surge of online discussion of politics and decided to start a political party — or at least the web presence necessary for a half-assed pretense of a political party — in order to attract links that will boost the search engine page rank for his business sites.
That would mean the entire Better Government Party is one big SEO strategy for his other sites.