If you go to the Governorgregabbott.com website, you’ll find what looks like a disturbing admission of guilt in the “About” section.
“I am partly responsible for the deaths of students killed in school shootings,” the page read. “My current goal is to make sure you forget about the clusterfuck called Uvalde.” (In May, the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde killed 19 students and two teachers.)
Despite what the site’s address might suggest, it is not affiliated with Texas Governor Greg Abbott or his campaign. It’s the brainchild of comedy writer Toby Morton, who’s worked for the likes of South Park and mad tv. In recent years, Morton has scooped up domain names associated with several Republican politicians and campaigned to create parody websites slamming them all.
There’s thelaurenboebert.com, Senatormarcorubio.com, and then there’s Governorgregabbott.com, which Morton says gets the most traffic. “Lots of love from the Texans on this one,” he told the Observer. The bottom of each page of each site indicates that it is a parody.
When you open the Abbott parody site, you will be greeted with a photo of the Governor and a text box that says “Failures of Governor Abbott. People are dying under his watch. The site digs into the governor for everything from his leadership during winter storm Uri to his stances on gun control and reproductive rights. Much of what is written is presented as if written by the Governor himself.
“Of course, your lives are in danger because of a clandestine abortion, but think about it…it could be worse.” – governorgregabbott.com
“The United States Supreme Court correctly overruled Roe v. Wade and restored the right of states to protect innocent unborn children. And you women? Calm down,” the site reads. “Stop overreacting. You won’t need abortions anymore since you won’t be raped in Texas anymore because I outlaw rape! Of course, your lives are in danger because of a clandestine abortion, but think about it…it could be worse.
Morton said no one from Abbott’s office or his campaign contacted the Texas governor’s parody site. Instead, he gets “a lot of random hate mail,” Morton said. Recently he posted an email from an angry visitor to the site.
“I am a proud woman from Texas,” the person wrote. “I see so many working hard to make sure Texas stays true to God. What you’re doing with the domain and website you’ve created is putting evil in the lives of those hard-working Texans.
The email continued: “Your website only sows doubt in the minds of voters. You make decisions for them. It ended with Morton being told he was a disappointment to the state and should seek forgiveness.
While no one in Abbott’s office or campaign contacted Morton, U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert’s office sent a cease and desist email to the parody site about him.
Morton posted it on the site, which is still online today.
Morton later told the media, “I think they just wanted to scare me, so they sent this stupid email.”
Nothing ever came of the cease and desist email. Neither the governor’s office nor his campaign responded to requests for comment on whether they had similar concerns about Abbott’s parody site.
Morton plans to keep the parody sites going, and with the election fast approaching in November, he said he’s been busier than usual. He gets more attention from the Abbott site than any other, and he attributes that to recent state action on gun control and abortion.
Websites are Morton’s main line of work, but he recently launched a political satire podcast called Maximum News. He said he was keeping the sites as up-to-date as possible and would release two parody ads for Abbott’s campaign in the coming weeks.