Coincidence? Similar names but a different coast

The contagion is spreading.

A new website called [url=http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49521.html]"The Issa Files" [/url]has been launched by a group of California Democratic operatives in an attempt to discredit U.S.Rep. Darrell Issa, GOP chairman of the Oversight and Government reform Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A different group has initiated a second attack site called "Issa Watch," which has the same objective. "Issa Files" and "Issa Watch." Do they have a familiar ring?

The possibility that they could be knock-offs of Maine's controversial "Cutler Files" and "Collins Watch," is fascinating. We might have thought that California's much-practiced political cut-throats could come up with something more original than channeling political tactics from 3,000 miles away.

Okay, most likely it's just a coincidence. But it does demonstrate that devious minds think alike, even if they're a continent apart. More importantly, it's a solid example of an ugly new political reality: successful candidates everywhere are going to have to deal with internet attacks from the moment they're elected.

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