Under growing political pressure, House Republicans’ campaign arm has overhauled a series of controversial campaign websites that are designed to, at first glance, appear as if they support Democrats.
The National Republican Congressional Committee changed the donation page to make it clearer to potential contributors that their money wasn’t going to the smiling Democrats pictured but instead to the Republicans.
National Journal first reported in December that the websites’ deceptive designs could leave voters confused and also violate federal election rules. Since then, two news outlets have found donors who have been duped by the sites.
The NRCC has steadfastly defended the websites, even as Democrats complained more loudly in recent weeks. A Democratic group in New Jersey recently filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission.
Andrea Bozek, an NRCC spokeswoman, said in an email, “We recently updated our contribution pages, as we frequently do, to highlight our efforts to defeat House Democrats in 2014 and prevent Nancy Pelosi from ever being speaker of the House again.”
Even after the change, the home pages of the dozen-plus faux sites remain the same, with a URL (such as nickrahallforcongress.com) and big, bold headline (“Nick Rahall for Congress”) suggesting it is the Democrat’s official site. Below, the sites offer biting critiques and reasons to oppose the pictured Democrat.
Bozek remained unapologetic about the sites. “It’s no surprise that Democrats are nervous that the truth is finally getting out about their disastrous records, but despite their whining, we plan on continuing to showcase their support for Obamacare and other failed Washington policies straight through to Election Day.”
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Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
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