Just as the series of faux Democratic websites created by the Republicans was fading from the news, they are the subject of a new ethics complaint from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The group said Wednesday that it had filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, for approving the sites.
The NRCC launched a series of websites last year that are designed, at first glance, to appear as if they belong to House Democratic candidates. Despite the smiling photos and official-looking logos, the text on the sites contains biting critiques of the Democrats — along with a large “Donate” button.
National Journal first reported in December that the sites may violate Federal Election Commission rules for confusing voters. The NRCC has since overhauled the donation page on the sites to make it clearer that money contributed goes to the Republicans, not a Democrat.
“These websites are clear-cut efforts to deceive voters. Rep. Walden and the NRCC need to understand that candidates and parties must win elections fair and square, not by hook or by crook,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement.
Curiously, CREW, which Republicans accuse of a liberal agenda, did not file its complaint with the FEC but instead with the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent investigative arm of the House. The group said that it did so because “violating campaign finance laws also violates House ethics rules.”
A local New Jersey Democratic group had previously filed a complaint with the FEC.
“This is nothing more than a publicity stunt by an extreme liberal front group for Democrats to bolster their deflated supporters after the Democrats’ defeat in yesterday’s special election,” said Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for the NRCC.
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Just after President Obama finished his address to the DNC, Hillary Clinton walked out on stage to join him, so the better could share a few embraces, wave to the crowd—and let the cameras capture all the unity for posterity.
In a speech that began a bit like a State of the Union address, President Obama said the "country is stronger and more prosperous than it was" when he took office eight years ago. He then talked of battling Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2008, and discovering her "unbelievable work ethic," before saying that no one—"not me, not Bill"—has ever been more qualified to be president. When his first mention of Donald Trump drew boos, he quickly admonished the crowd: "Don't boo. Vote." He then added that Trump is "not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either."
Tim Kaine introduced himself to the nation tonight, devoting roughly the first half of his speech to his own story (peppered with a little of his fluent Spanish) before pivoting to Hillary Clinton—and her opponent. "Hillary Clinton has a passion for children and families," he said. "Donald Trump has a passion, too: himself." His most personal line came after noting that his son Nat just deployed with his Marine battalion. "I trust Hillary Clinton with our son's life," he said.
Michael Bloomberg said he wasn't appearing to endorse any party or agenda. He was merely there to support Hillary Clinton. "I don't believe that either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership," he said, before enumerating how he disagreed with both the GOP and his audience in Philadelphia. "Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence," he said. "Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction." Calling Donald Trump a "dangerous demagogue," he said, "I'm a New Yorker, and a know a con when I see one."
Vice President Biden tonight called President Obama "one of the finest presidents we have ever had" before launching into a passionate defense of Hillary Clinton. "Everybody knows she's smart. Everybody knows she's tough. But I know what she's passionate about," he said. "There's only one person in this race who will help you. ... It's not just who she is; it's her life story." But he paused to train some fire on her opponent "That's not Donald Trump's story," he said. "His cynicism is unbounded. ... No major party nominee in the history of this country has ever known less."