If you can’t win, cheat! The National Republican Congressional Committee appears to have set up at least 16 websites made to look like official campaign sites for Democratic candidates.
The National Republican Congressional Committee bought up hundreds of URLs ahead of the 2014 election cycle to trick democratic donors into donating to the wrong party. At first glance, the websites appear fairly legit – until you read the fine print. The websites feature photos of the candidates with logos and slogans in the candidate’s typical design and colour scheme as well as donation forms that accept credit cards and encourage viewers to contribute up to $500. Except instead of the donations going to the Democratic candidates, it goes to the NRCC.
For viewers who read the text, it quickly becomes apparent that this is not the candidate’s official website, but rather a smear campaign. The websites display disclaimers that they are funded by the NRCC at the bottom – and while they’re not technically considered fine print, they’re certainly a lot smaller than the big donate button that users can click to send money to the NRCC.
The NRCC believes the well-thought out, well-planned program is pure genius.
“The idea is people who are looking for information on the candidate, one of the places we all go now is online and so this is a way for folks to find out more about the candidates and information they may not find on the candidate’s own site,” said Daniel Scarpinato, the NRCC’s press secretary.
”Well, we are very proud of this program.”
And it seems to be working too. Some “low information” voters have been tricked into donating to the wrong party. One retired Florida man decided that he wanted to make a donation in a local congressional race so googled the Democratic candidate’s name, “Alex Sink.” The search result he clicked on happened to be the NRCC’s mock website. After entering his financial information, he saw read the smaller text and realized he’d made a terrible mistake.
But what else are the Republicans going to do besides resort to dishonesty and fraud? Run on their record? I don’t think so.
Via: Los Angeles Times