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Christmas Gift Guide
Internet

Hillary Clinton housewarming warms political site

Political Web site Evote.com is taking a stab at the first lady with an online parody lampooning newly elected Sen. Hillary Clinton's alleged taste for expensive gifts.

Political Web site Evote.com is taking a stab at the first lady with an online parody lampooning newly elected Sen. Hillary Clinton's alleged taste for expensive gifts.

Peter Markel, Evote's senior news producer, said the idea cropped up to hold a mock fund-raiser for Clinton, dubbed HillaryAid 2001, after she reportedly purchased a home for $2.85 million and registered for housewarming gifts at registries in Washington and New York.

"Hillary finds herself short of pocket money to furnish" her home, says Evote's Web site. "Evote.com...is offering you the opportunity to be a small cog in the great wheel that is Hillary Clinton's new career."

Clinton fans can send a housewarming gift for her new pad by logging onto Evote's site and taking a look at some of their quirky gift selections, such as lawn flamingos or Tasmanian devil bath mats to decorate all their bathrooms.

Evote has a handy-dandy search box if pink flamingos just aren't housewarming enough. The site also provides a link to Amazon.com, which has a pre-existing marketing relationship with Evote, according to Markel.

The political Web site warns donors not to buy anything that costs more than $200, which is the limit that individuals or organizations can contribute to an elected official.

"It's tongue-in-cheek and poking fun at" Clinton's gift registry, Markel said. "We're highlighting what is a pretty interesting sort of campaign fundraising scheme...obviously if you're a Clinton hater, you hopefully will get a chuckle out of this (Web site), and if you're a Clinton supporter, you'll potentially have a vehicle to show your support."

He said that Evote believes it's also a commentary on campaign finance reform in which the gift registry is Clinton's "clever" way to circumvent the Senate rules regarding contributions to sitting senators.

"Whatever rules you put together, someone can figure out a way to get around them," Markel said. "And this is a heck of a way to get around them."

Sonia Arrison, director of the Center for Freedom and Technology at the San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute, said she wasn't surprised to see someone take a cheap shot at Clinton on the Web.

"She's the first senator to have been a first lady," Arrison said. "So she's a target."