Misleading Republican Websites Hijack Democratic Campaign Contributions

Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Republican Party is raising money for congressional races by putting up websites that pretend to represent Democratic candidates and that accept contributions that will go toward defeating the very same Democrats.


In Florida, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) created a website that gave the appearance of backing Democrat Alex Sink for Congress. But a closer examination revealed any contributions made through the site would “help defeat Alex Sink and candidates like her,” according to smaller print just below the candidate’s name.


“It looked legitimate and had a smiling face of Sink and all the trappings of a legitimate site,” Ray Bellamy, a doctor from Tallahassee who made a contribution through the website, told the Tampa Bay Times.


Note: The website in question, http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com, has been labeled a potential phishing site by Google Chrome.


After realizing his mistake, Bellamy contacted the NRCC to get his money back. At first they declined, but they reportedly eventually honored his request.


The phony Sink website is not the only one created by the NRCC. Others are out there on the Internet, like their website targeting Democrat Domenic Recchia.


Some of the GOP-created sites may violate federal election rules, according to the National Journal.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Campaign Site Misleads Man into Donating Money against Sink (by Alex Leary, Tampa Bay Times)

Republican Look-Alike Sites Mocking Democrats May Violate Rules (by Shane Goldmacher, National Journal)

GOP Defends Tricky Campaign Contribution Websites (by Michael O’Brien, NBC News)


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