BUSH BEAT: Governor rips web site parody
MAY 21, 18:45 EDT

Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN (AP) — Gov. George W. Bush on Friday sharply criticized a parody of his presidential campaign's Internet web site, calling it ``garbage.''

The site, gwbush.com, is nearly a dead-ringer in style and appearance for the site operated by the Bush presidential exploratory committee and includes the real Bush campaign phone numbers.

However, its ``news'' items about the Republican governor are anything but authorized.

One item, for example, says Bush has ``a bold new policy initiative to free all `grown ups' from federal prisons.''

Bush's committee has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in Washington over the site, said spokeswoman Mindy Tucker.

``We believe there may be copyright violations and violations of FEC law,'' she said. ``Many (news) reporters and other people have mistaken this for our official site, even printed its address as our official site.''

At a news conference, Bush was asked about the parody.

``There ought to be limits to freedom,'' Bush said. ``We're aware of the site, and this guy is just a garbage man, that's all he is. Of course I don't appreciate it. And you wouldn't, either.''

Ray Thomas, one of the site's operators, said in a telephone interview the Bush campaign is overreacting to humorous satire.

``There are opinions and there are facts,'' Thomas said. ``What we're doing is satire. He keeps saying this goes beyond humor. In fact, good humor often has a point. We're talking about Bush, we're talking about politics.''

The address for the official Bush web site is www.georgewbush.com.