Dan Patrick’s New Website is Pretty Weird

ltgov.state.tx.us

Statewide officeholders in Texas have their own .gov websites, usually pro-forma affairs that serve as places to push out statements and provide a place for the public to learn about and interact with their elected officials. Here’s Greg Abbott’s very standard website. Here’s what David Dewhurst’s site looked like in February of last year. Complete with flag clip-art and very wide white side margins, it would look at home on the World Wide Web of about 1999.

Dan Patrick took some time to get his official website ready, which left him with only his campaign website and social media to spread the word about his brief tenure as lite guv. That seemed like a bit of an omen: A lot of people wondered if he’d be in perpetual campaign mode when he picked up the Senate gavel.

But Patrick’s officeholder website went live on Thursday. It looks… a lot like his campaign website! It’s a slick, well-produced affair that works great on mobile and tablet platforms. It’s got embedded video and features that string seamlessly together as you scroll down. It puts Abbott’s and Dewhurst’s sites to shame.

In no way has Patrick put the campaign behind him:

Dan Patrick was elected Lt. Governor of Texas in 2014, winning the general election by almost twenty points, including historic levels of support from Hispanic voters and women.

A principled and committed conservative, Lt. Gov. Patrick is leading the fight to secure the border, reduce property and business taxes, and address our state’s infrastructure challenges to assure that Texas continues to flourish economically.

Tell me more about Dan Patrick, shiny website:

He is a successful small businessman and radio host and is a former television anchor, sportscaster, musician, Christian author and movie producer.

Patrick’s press conferences—and video dispatches from his office on bills and Senate happenings—are embedded on the home page.

And there’s a field to suck up visitor e-mail addresses for Patrick’s updates.

It’s hard to begrudge the man a functioning, modern website—albeit one paid for with taxpayer dollars. Still, it’s so showy as to be a bit weird. For example, would you be interested in finding out more about Patrick’s “constituent services?” Just click the tab at the top.

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Hm.

The Capitol’s IT system appears to continuing its ad-hoc guerrilla campaign against Patrick. As recently as last week, Dewhurst was still listed as a member of the Senate on the Capitol website. (Someone appears to have fixed it.) And if you go looking on Google for Patrick’s new site, here’s what appears:

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Vive la Résistance! Vive le Dewhurst!

Christopher Hooks is a freelance journalist in Austin.

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Published at 7:30 am CST
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