As detailed by National Journal, the Coalition of Americans for Political Equality political action committee, known as CAPE PAC, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Google ads this summer. The intent of the ad buy is to promote a network of CAPE PAC-created candidate-support websites that show up when users search for that candidate’s official reelection website. A donation through one of these CAPE PAC-created sites goes to that organization, not the candidate.
Over the summer, a number of Washington insiders unknowingly contributed to CAPE PAC through these sites, when their intention was to contribute directly to the candidate.
Since the publication of National Journal‘s investigation into CAPE PAC’s strategy, all of the websites mentioned — including on created for Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., and another for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney — have been taken down.
Below are examples of candidates’ official reelection websites compared with the websites CAPE PAC created for that candidate.