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Former South Park Writer Toby Morton Gets Lots of Hate Mail over Greg Abbott Parody Website

This is the homepage for governorgregabbott.com, a parody campaign website created by comedy writer Toby Morton.
This is the homepage for governorgregabbott.com, a parody campaign website created by comedy writer Toby Morton. Screenshot
If you go to the governorgregabbott.com website, you'll find what reads like an unsettling admission of guilt in the "about" section.

“I am partly responsible for the deaths of students killed in school shootings,” the page reads. “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 isn’t affiliated with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott or his campaign. It’s the creation of comedy writer Toby Morton, who’s done work for the likes of South Park and Mad TV. In recent years, Morton has been snatching up domain names associated with several Republican politicians and campaigns to create parody websites slamming them all.

There’s thelaurenboebert.com, senatormarcorubio.com, and then there’s governorgregabbott.com, which Morton said gets the most traffic. “Lots of love from Texans on this one,” he told the Observer. The bottom of every page on each site states that it is a parody.

When you open up the Abbott parody site, you’ll be greeted by a picture of the governor and a box of text that says “Failures of Governor Abbott. People die on his watch.” The site digs on the governor for everything from his leadership during Winter Storm Uri to his stances on gun control and reproductive rights. Much of what's written is presented as if it were written by the governor himself.

"Sure, your lives are in danger from a back alley abortion, but think about it ... it could be worse.” – governorgregabbott.com

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“The U.S. Supreme Court correctly overturned Roe v. Wade and reinstated the right of states to protect innocent, unborn children. As for you women? Just calm down,” the site reads. “Stop overreacting. You won't need abortions since you won't be raped anymore in Texas because I'm banning rape! Sure, your lives are in danger from a back alley abortion, but think about it … it could be worse.”

Morton said no one from Abbott’s office or his campaign has reached out about the parody site for the Texas governor. Instead, he gets “plenty of random hate mail,” Morton said. Recently, he posted an email from one angry visitor to the site.

“I am a proud Texas woman,” the person wrote. “I see so many that work hard to make sure Texas stays true to God. What you are doing with the domain and website you’ve created is placing evil in the lives of those hard working Texans.”

The email went on, “Your website does nothing but place doubt in the minds of voters. You’re making decisions for them.” It ended by telling Morton he’s a disappointment to the state and that he should ask for forgiveness.

While no one with Abbott’s office or campaign reached out to Morton, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s office sent a cease and desist email for the parody site about her.

Morton posted it on the site, which is still online today.

“The website … needs to be taken down since the photos on here are copyrighted property of the U.S. Federal government,” the email from Boebert’s press secretary said. “Additionally, the entire website is a defamatory impersonation, and it goes against relevant terms of service and U.S. law. Please remove immediately or face further action.”

Morton subsequently told news outlets, “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 about whether they had similar concerns about the Abbott parody site.

Morton plans to keep up the parody sites, and with elections just around the corner in November, he said he’s busier than usual. He gets more attention from the Abbott site compared with all the others, and he attributes this to the state’s recent moves on gun control and abortion.

The websites are Morton’s main line of work, but he’s recently started a political satire podcast called Maximum News. He said he keeps the sites as updated as possible and will be releasing two parody commercials for Abbott’s campaign in the coming weeks.
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Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.
Contact: Jacob Vaughn