Paul campaign ponies up for prized domain name

Washington (CNN)How much do you have to spend on a domain name if you decide to run for President?

About $100,000.
At least that's what Sen. Rand Paul's campaign spent just over a week before he launched his presidential campaign in early April and directed supporters to RandPaul.com.
Until late March, that domain name billed itself as an "unofficial fan site" for the Kentucky Republican, calling him "fearless and resolute" on the home page.
    But it's clear the owners of that site were trying to cash in on Paul's presidential aspirations -- and they did.
    Campaign finance records reveal Paul's Senate re-election campaign spent $100,890 on a "domain purchase," making the purchase through Escrow.com, an online escrow service that facilitates domain name purchases.
    A screenshot of a campaign disbursement filing for a domain name purchase.
    And as late as October 2014, the site was being auctioned off online with a starting $125,000 price tag, according to a story in The Hill.
    Political domain names have become hot commodities and campaigns-in-waiting work swiftly to snatch up as many domain names associated with their candidate as possible.
    But not all campaigns have been as successful as Paul's in winning back the prized domain name -- which can help potential supporters quickly find more information (the kind campaigns want people to know) about a presidential candidate.
    Carly Fiorina, who announced her candidacy this week, failed to recoup CarlyFiorina.org, which is host to an anti-Fiorina effort pointing out the number of people laid off at Hewlett-Packard while Fiorina was CEO.
    And Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has dealt with his fair share of trolling: the owner of TedCruz.com urges visitors to "SUPPORT PRESIDENT OBAMA. IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW!" Cruz is staunchly opposed to Obama's immigration reform policies.
    The owner of another Cruz domain name, "TedCruz2016.com," had another goal in mind.
    That domain owner, reportedly a Ted Cruz fan, just wanted to meet Cruz in person, but ultimately relented and redirected traffic to Cruz's official campaign site.
    The news of Paul's domain purchase was first reported by National Journal.