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Tue Feb 4, 2014, 03:31 AM

Republicans resort to trickery to outfox Democrats (fake Dem websites send contributions to Repubs)

Last edited Fri Feb 7, 2014, 12:33 AM - Edit history (4)

Source: The Week

If you donate to a candidate online, pay attention to the fine print to make sure your donation goes to the candidate you want and not his or her opponent.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a series of websites that look like they support a Democratic candidate for Congress, but instead direct contributions to the Republican Party instead.

The Tampa Bay Times interviews one donor who thought he was giving to Alex Sink's (D) congressional campaign. It even used the same blue and green color scheme as the candidate's official website.

But he didn't see the small print, which said, "Make a contribution today to help defeat Alex Sink and candidates like her."



Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/republicans-resort-trickery-outfox-democrats-172800372.html



Sorry this is 14 hours old, but I think its worth 2 hours of grace. I contributed to a Democratic senator's campaign after hearing she was facing a tough reelection, and I found whatever page I used through a Google search. So naturally I wonder where it went to -- $500 to a RepubliCON?. Later: I found the web page I used in my browser cache, and it looks OK, whew.

Here is that fake website for Alex Sink (D) mentioned in that article.
http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com/



Its not really "small print" that it goes to her opponent, but, it is certainly true that it is easy to miss if one isn't expecting shenanigans. I never heard of this crap before, but then I live a sheltered life.

More at the Tampa Bay Times story

The person in the story who made the contribution got the charge on his credit card reversed, but only after filling out a bunch of forms his credit card company sent him, and perhaps only because this was/is a media story.

----------------------------------------------------

As for the title, "Republicans resort to trickery to outfox Democrats", I know that isn't "Late Breaking News". But the Late Breaking News forum requires we use the article title as given, though we're allowed to put some clarification in parenthesis ()'s, or at least I've seen that done many times. Its not news to me that Republicans resort to trickery, but it is very much news to me that fake websites like http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com/ are legal. So I felt the ()'s clarification in the title was essential.

---------------------------------------------------

[font color = red]Update 2/4 1039p CT[/font]: The http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com/ now triggers in my Chrome browser (but not my Internet Explorer browser) with a Phishing Warning that it has been reported as a Phishing site!

[font color = red]Update 2/6 1131p CT[/font]: Bad news! Now my Chrome browser has no problem with the above URL.

42 replies, 7085 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply Republicans resort to trickery to outfox Democrats (fake Dem websites send contributions to Repubs) (Original post)
progree Feb 2014 OP
Judi Lynn Feb 2014 #1
Sherman A1 Feb 2014 #2
magical thyme Feb 2014 #16
Sherman A1 Feb 2014 #23
yuiyoshida Feb 2014 #3
freshwest Mar 2014 #42
lostincalifornia Feb 2014 #4
progree Feb 2014 #5
JusticeForAll Feb 2014 #34
progree Feb 2014 #35
JusticeForAll Feb 2014 #36
progree Feb 2014 #37
nikto Feb 2014 #9
NancyDL Feb 2014 #6
progree Feb 2014 #8
nikto Feb 2014 #7
davidpdx Feb 2014 #11
Demenace Feb 2014 #21
nikto Feb 2014 #32
cntrygrl Feb 2014 #10
Berlum Feb 2014 #12
barbtries Feb 2014 #13
groundloop Feb 2014 #14
anasv Feb 2014 #15
blondie58 Feb 2014 #17
RC Feb 2014 #18
jsr Feb 2014 #19
Kingofalldems Feb 2014 #20
SmittynMo Feb 2014 #22
mackerel Feb 2014 #24
Gothmog Feb 2014 #25
progree Feb 2014 #29
Still Sensible Feb 2014 #26
Gothmog Feb 2014 #27
Laelth Feb 2014 #28
RAM49 Feb 2014 #30
progree Feb 2014 #31
progree Feb 2014 #33
Gothmog Feb 2014 #38
Gothmog Feb 2014 #39
Gothmog Mar 2014 #40
progree Mar 2014 #41

Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 03:47 AM

1. People need to hear about it every time this happens. Thank you. n/t

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 03:55 AM

2. I have considered sending $5.00

to the GOP, so that I would get on their mailing list and then of course it would be sent out to every candidate through the years. I think all their mailings would fit nicely in my recycle bin,the cost of which would help support some folks doing the printing and the mailing costs would help support the post office. We all know that once you are on a mailing list you never get off of it, so I thought why not cost them some money?

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 08:17 AM

16. as long as you're sending them $5.00, send them a gift too!

 




Important Information

Safety Warning
Consumption of some sugar-free candies may cause stomach discomfort and/or a laxative effect. Individual tolerance will vary. If this is the first time you’ve tried these candies, we recommend beginning with one-fourth of a serving size or less. Made with Lycasin, a sugar alcohol. As with other sugar alcohols, people sensitive to this substance may experience upset stomachs.

Quite a few 5-star reviews, and a couple 1-stars:

Ideal Gift For Your Congressional RepresentativesThe reviews are so helpful. It is so difficult to be sure you are buying something over the internet that is exactley what you are searching for.
.
I am sending a bag of these to every member of Congress to show my deepest gratitude.

Just don't. Unless it's a gift for someone you hate., October 3, 2012
Oh man...words cannot express what happened to me after eating these. The Gummi Bear "Cleanse". If you are someone that can tolerate the sugar substitute, enjoy. If you are like the dozens of people that tried my order, RUN!

First of all, for taste I would rate these a 5. So good. Soft, true-to-taste fruit flavors like the sugar variety...I was a happy camper.

BUT (or should I say BUTT), not long after eating about 20 of these all hell broke loose. I had a gastrointestinal experience like nothing I've ever imagined. Cramps, sweating, bloating beyond my worst nightmare. I've had food poisoning from some bad shellfish and that was almost like a skip in the park compared to what was going on inside me.

Then came the, uh, flatulence. Heavens to Murgatroyd, the sounds, like trumpets calling the demons back to Hell...the stench, like 1,000 rotten corpses vomited. I couldn't stand to stay in one room for fear of succumbing to my own odors.

But wait; there's more. (lots more. funny as hell reviews)


http://www.amazon.com/Haribo-Gummy-Candy-Sugarless-5-Pound/dp/B000EVQWKC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389858285&sr=8-1&keywords=haribo+sugar+free+gummi+bears

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 03:59 PM

23. +1

I am in tears!

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:04 AM

3. This is how Republicans operate... Cheat, lie and steal ...

bastards.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 11:37 PM

42. They are an organized crime syndicate for the plutocrats. Once people realize that, they'll decide

if that is really what they want to live under or not...

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:13 AM

4. Actually, if this is deceptive, and in the "fine print", I wonder if this isn't fraud, and if they

could be charged with something?

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Response to lostincalifornia (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:26 AM

5. It is deceptive for sure, but I guess, unfortunately, that's OK these days

I will write my Congress people -- 1 rep. and 2 senators -- all Dems , (I'm from Minnesota), and see what they say.

Come to think of it, most political commercials are deceptive in the extreme ... so I might not get much sympathy. Though a website whose sole purpose is to lure somebody into parting with their money and giving it to someone else, that does seem to cross a barrier.

http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com/ <-fake website, look at but don't contribute!

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Response to progree (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 03:22 AM

34. Go BitDefender!!

Yay my antivirus software gave me these messages -

This page is blocked by Bitdefender Antimalware filter.

This page is blocked by Bitdefender Antiphishing filter.

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Response to JusticeForAll (Reply #34)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 09:13 AM

35. Cool. Maybe we've found the new Official DU Security Software. Does it also work on these? :

Kyrsten Sinema
FAKE Website URL: http://contribute.sinemaforcongress.com/

Ann Kirkpatrick
FAKE Website URL: http://contribute.kirkpatrickforcongress2014.com

Martha Robertson
FAKE Website URL: http://contribute.martha-robertson.com/‎

Thanks in advance.

My ultra-up-to-date Norton Internet Security software says nothing.

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Response to progree (Reply #35)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 04:39 AM

36. Sorry I did not check back earlier....none of these worked :(

Bummer. I was impressed that it caught the Alex Sink one, but not so impressed that it didn't catch the others that you posted.

I still like Norton, by the way. I switched to BitDefender only because of its ratings and because Norton was not offering a tempting enough rebate.

Good luck on your search!

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Response to JusticeForAll (Reply #36)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 01:12 PM

37. Thanks much for the info. Update: the Repugs changed the Sink and Sinema websites

Of the four congress people in this thread (see below), the NRCC changed the Alex Sink and Kyrsten Sinema websites so it is absolutely clear at even a distracted glance that they are anti- these congress persons websites.

But the Ann Kirkpatrick website remains the way it was, some percentage will miss the "defeat" word if not expecting it / looking for it.

They all continue to retain the troublesome misleading URL names.

One other development -- my Chrome browser no longer reports the Alex Sink as a malware and phishing site. Darn.

=============================================================
Alex Sink
FAKE Website URL: http://www.sinkforcongress2014.com/

Kyrsten Sinema
FAKE Website URL: http://contribute.sinemaforcongress.com/

Ann Kirkpatrick
FAKE Website URL: http://contribute.kirkpatrickforcongress2014.com

Martha Robertson
FAKE Website URL: http://contribute.martha-robertson.com/‎

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Response to lostincalifornia (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:40 AM

9. Yeah, ya' think?

 

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:30 AM

6. Fake Republican Websites Shaft Would-Be Dem Donors

How's that for a title, eh? Regardless of the label, every Republican dirty trick needs to be brought to the light and displayed. Every one. The same sort of thing can be expected in Canada as the Tories gear up to defend their increasingly shaky majority. We foot soldiers need to keep our boots on the ground. I'm a tad challenged in the Boots area, so I do my stomping on my keyboard. 8-0

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Response to NancyDL (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:39 AM

8. "Fake Republican Websites Shaft Would-Be Dem Donors" - Great title, wish I could use it

The Late Breaking News forum requires we use the original article's title, sigh.

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:38 AM

7. THE PROPER RESPONSE...

 

If this is legal, then Dem operatives need to start setting up similar sites
of their own, modeled as "mirror-images" of their sites.

Fight fire with fire.

If we respond in kind, it would start a 2-party controversy, and we can get this changed.

If we just
let the repugs do it unanswered, it will go on forever.

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Response to nikto (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 05:45 AM

11. No, actually that is a bad idea

Once you start stooping to their level you'd be willing to do anything. They will all get what they deserve. Karma is a bitch.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 10:23 AM

21. Thank you, there is a shifting mentality around here as well...

 



since most posters do not think they have become the very thing, they decry on a lot of issues!

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 02:08 AM

32. I'm with Frank...

 

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:53 AM

10. They'll do anything for their cause. Dispicable !!

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 05:46 AM

12. Republicon Occultism. As usual. They hide the truth.

Republicons do their dirty work in the dark. They are darkside OCCULTISTS, and this is further proof.

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 06:50 AM

13. the republican way

if you can't win on the merits, cheat.

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 07:38 AM

14. Cheating is all those people know......


Reminds me of a story I read a while back about a college republican group who reserved all the college vans for election day and let them sit in a parking lot so the College Democrats couldn't use them to transport the local community to the polls. The bastards thought it was cute.

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 08:09 AM

15. proper response: state election commissions

 

Each state has one of these, to regulate this type of stuff and fine people.

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 08:18 AM

17. How is this not illegal?

Typical Republican way- lié, cheat And steal.

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Response to blondie58 (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 09:44 AM

18. The Republicans are doing it, that's how.

 

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 09:47 AM

19. Lying is their forte

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 09:50 AM

20. We need a permanent Special Prosecutor to monitor the republicans.

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 01:53 PM

22. This confirms the party's "snake in the grass" image

I don't trust any republican. They will lie cheat, and steal to accomplish their goals.

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:14 PM

24. Good to see the GOP has pride when taking donations.

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:20 PM

25. Juanita Jean is calling out the GOP for this deceptive tactic

http://www.juanitajean.com/2014/02/04/like-deception-is-anything-new-to-the-gop/

Okay, so the Republican Party is trying to fool people into donating to them when the people think they’re donating to Democrats.

Well, alert the damn media. It ain’t like trying to fool people is virgin territory for them. This ain’t no damn pilgrim experience for Republicans.

Republicans are defending a series of websites they established that appear to support Democratic candidates for Congress, but instead direct contributions to the GOP.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) said its websites were not confusing, and accused Democrats of crying foul because their candidates were struggling.




They refused refunds until a donor went to the media about it and now they are all like …. oh, not us, we will be delighted to refund money.

However, headlines like this —


— can hardly be classified as “news.” It’s what they do in the normal course of business.

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 06:21 PM

29. Thanks for the Pic. Here's more pics -- Ann Kirkpatrick for Congress, and Alex Sink for Congress

Last edited Tue Feb 4, 2014, 11:37 PM - Edit history (1)

?2

Website URL: http://contribute.kirkpatrickforcongress2014.com <-Look at but don't contribute!!



Website URL: http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com/ <-Look at but don't contribute!!

(Alex Sink is the one featured in the OP)

Interesting -- all women. I wonder if any Dem. men have been targeted, or is exclusively a RepubliCON war on women?

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:36 PM

26. Why isn't this prosecutable as outright fraud? n/t

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Response to Still Sensible (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:48 PM

27. The GOP is willing to give money back and so there is no case

The GOP does not want to litigate this issue and so it is giving the money back to any voter who thinks that they were tricked http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/03/republican-website-donations_n_4719196.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 06:01 PM

28. k&r for exposure. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 4, 2014, 07:40 PM

30. OUTFOX ?

 

Really... HOW ABOUT DEFRAUD, these sites were probably paid for by non-profit
right wing tax deductible religious nutjobs... who think ...SCIENCE IS A BUFFET!

Science is not a buffet!

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Response to progree (Original post)

Wed Feb 5, 2014, 12:25 AM

31. Chrome browser now reports contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com was reported as a phishing site!

Unfortunately my Internet Explorer browser doesn't.

Chrome doesn't report any problems with three of the other URLs I know of ...

Kyrsten Sinema
FAKE Website URL: http://contribute.sinemaforcongress.com/

Ann Kirkpatrick
FAKE Website URL: http://contribute.kirkpatrickforcongress2014.com

Martha Robertson
FAKE Website URL: http://contribute.martha-robertson.com/‎

I've reported on the Kyrsten Sinema one to Chrome, and I'm reporting on the other two (Ann Kirkpatrick and Martha Robertson). But I'm sure it takes more than one person reporting this to move these folks off the dime ... you can report by, in your Chrome browser: Alt Shift I, or Settings -> Tools -> Report and Issue

Oh, there's a couple of others that are reported to have fake websites, but I haven't looked up the URLs yet:

Amanda Renteria (CA), John Tierney (MA) <- a token man at last! 5 women and one man reported on in this thread.


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Response to progree (Reply #31)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 12:33 AM

33. Darn - Chrome browser no longer has a problem with contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com/

http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com/
See #31 above where on 2/4/14 the Chrome browser reported it as a phishing site. Now it considers it OK.
As it does the 3 URLs in #31 above

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Response to progree (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2014, 06:33 PM

38. These websites are illegal

I found this analysis on why these websites are illegal on Prof. Hasen's electionlaw blog. I think that it is clear that these websites are illegal and the DNC needs to sue the RNCC http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/do-misleading-campaign-websites-violate-federal-law

By 1992, the FEC came to share Justice Ginsburg’s view and amended its regulations at 11 C.F.R. § 102.14(a) to extend the candidate name prohibition to include not only the official name of the committee, but also “any name under which a committee conducts activities, such as solicitations or other communications, including a special project name or other designation.” The FEC explained that it had “become more concerned about the potential for confusion or abuse when an unauthorized committee uses a candidate’s name in the title of a special fundraising project. A person who receives such a communication may not understand that it is made on behalf the committee rather than the candidate whose name appears in the project’s title.” The Commission further explained that “the potential for confusion is equally great in all types of committee communications,” not merely the official titles.

Of course, notwithstanding the ban on the use of candidate names in the titles of committee communications, committees remain free to “discuss any number of candidates, by name, in the body of the communication.” Additionally, following a 1994 amendment to the FEC’s regulation, noncandidate committees may also use the name of a candidate “in the title of a special project name or other communication”—but only “if the title clearly and unambiguously shows opposition to the named candidate.” Thus, the law is clear: a noncandidate committee may not use the name of a candidate in the committee’s title or in the title of a special project, such as a website, unless the committee opposes that candidate and the title of the website or other communication makes that opposition very clear.

The FEC made clear in a 1995 advisory opinion that the operation of a website constitutes a “special project” for purposes of the candidate name prohibition. Thus, because the NRCC is a noncandidate committee; the new websites are special projects under the law; and the URLs and titles include the names of candidates; the websites clearly fall within the federal law candidate name restrictions, and may only use the name of a candidate in their titles “if the title clearly and unambiguously shows opposition to the named candidate.” But far from doing so, the URLs and titles of these websites contain textbook language indicating support for these candidates—e.g., SinemaForCongress.com. Indeed, the phrases of support used in the website URLs and titles are nearly the same as the examples of express advocacy or support the Supreme Court used in Buckley v. Valeo, such as “Smith for Congress.”

Finally, it is not sufficient, as some have asserted, that a reader who scrutinizes these websites more closely will ultimately recognize that they oppose, rather than support, the candidate named in the title. The FEC regulations make it clear that “the title” must unambiguously indicate such opposition. The regulations thus put the burden on political committees to refrain from creating misleading websites – not on the voting public to sort through intentionally confusing language.

Consequently, these misleading websites violate federal law. The NRCC should take down these websites and the FEC should initiate an enforcement action against the NRCC’s flagrant violations of federal campaign finance law.

If the law cited in this article is correct, the DNC could wait and sue to force these committees to turn over all funds. In any event, the RNCC is going to be facing some litigation for this tactic.

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Response to progree (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 02:49 PM

39. The GOP/NRCC is worried and have changed the donations page for these fraudulent websites

The GOP/NRCC may be getting worried because they are changing the donation page for these fake websites. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/nrcc-fake-websites-corrected

After news outlets reported that a Republican campaign group had set up fake websites for Democratic congressional candidates, the group has fixed the sites to clarify that money donated through them will go to the GOP.

As TPM and other outlets reported, some donors said that they had been duped by the websites, believing they were giving money to the Democratic candidates instead of the National Republican Congressional Campaign, which is working to defeat them.

The sites have innocuous URL's -- johnbarrow2014.com, for example -- and only a close read of the content would reveal that they are critical, not supportive, of the candidate.

But now the donation button on some of the sites re-directs to a page that clearly identifies the NRCC as the recipient of any contributions, CNN reported.

We still need to warn Democrats about this scam but I am glad that the NRCC has changed the donation page. You can view the changed donation page by going to the link (I refused to pose even a screenshot of a NRCC donation page).

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Response to progree (Original post)

Wed Mar 12, 2014, 02:45 PM

40. CREW is filing an ethics complaint against the Repug using one of these fake websites

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/12/ethics-complaint-nrcc_n_4950173.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

WASHINGTON -- An ethics watchdog filed a formal request Wednesday for an investigation of National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.), citing his team's use of phony websites.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington -- citing numerous reports of 18 GOP webpages that masqueraded as sites belonging to Democrats -- is asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether or not Walden broke federal law or House rules by tricking Democratic supporters into donating to the GOP.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan thinks he did.

"Rep. Walden and the NRCC have become online scam artists, tricking people out of their campaign donations," Sloan said in a statement. "Rep. Walden's support for such activity violates House ethics rules, and OCE needs to act quickly to protect the House's credibility.”

This is good news. Hopefully, the GOP will stop trying to use these fake websites

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #40)

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 11:23 PM

41. Thanks much for keeping us informed on new developments. (kick) n/t

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