Strange News

Raleigh company sells Bush library domain name for $35K

Posted December 11, 2008 9:51 p.m. EST
Updated December 13, 2008 6:49 a.m. EST

— George W. Bush's presidential library domain name has been retrieved after a Web developing company accidentally let it expire – and it apparently came at a high price.

Raleigh-based Illuminati Karate, a Web design firm, paid less than $10 for the www.GeorgeWBushLibrary.com domain name and sold it back earlier this year for $35,000 to the library's contracted Web developers, Yuma Solutions, said George Huger, lead Web developer for Illuminati Karate.

Mark Mills, owner of Yuma Solutions, did not immediately return calls seeking comment Thursday.

The Tallahassee, Fla.-based company has a history with the Bush family, hosting Web sites for Bush's 2000 campaign and for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's 1998 and 2002 campaigns.

Records indicate that in March 2007, the George W. Bush Library Foundation, using Yuma Solutions as its contractor, bought the domain name from a private citizen for $3,000. But the registration was set to expire within a few months.

Hunger, 26,  told WRAL News he was suprised to see the library name available and grabbed it after it expired.

Months later, Huger had received some offers on it, but he declined to provide details.

After the Dallas Morning News reported that the library had lost the domain, Mills contacted Illuminati Karate and asked to buy it back, Huger said.

At the time, a library foundation spokesman said officials were unaware that the name had been lost.

Yuma finally reached a deal to buy the Web address back for $35,000, which the company, not the library foundation, apparently paid, Huger said. The site changed hands in April and won't expire until 2013.

With the money, Hunger said he purchased new computers for his business and lifetime North Carolina State University football tickets.

Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Library Foundation, said he didn't know about the Web site being lost and recovered. But, he said, he would know if the library had been stuck with a surprise $35,000 expenditure.

The George W. Bush Presidential Center - which will include a library, museum and public policy institute - is being built at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Hunger said he owns more than 150 domain names.

"We have JohnMcCainLibrary.com, but that is not going to be worth a lot," Hunger speculated.