Under Fire, GOP Adjusts Fake Democratic Campaign Sites

National Journal
Shane Goldmacher
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Shane Goldmacher
Feb. 17, 2014, 6:08 p.m.

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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