Welcome Crooks & Liars! Thanks, Mike!
The Republican Party is so unpopular with the rank and file, they’ve actually resorted to fraud and deception to solicit donations for their sucky candidates:
Republicans are defending a series of websites they established that appear to support Democratic candidates for Congress, but instead direct contributions to the GOP.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) said its websites were not confusing, and accused Democrats of crying foul because their candidates were struggling.
The sites, like this one for Arizona Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, feature a “Kyrsten Sinema for Congress” banner, and a picture of the first-term congresswoman from a competitive Maricopa County district.
The sites also display a clear, but smaller secondary banner, urging contributions to “help defeat” (in this case) Sinema. At the bottom of the page, it features an NRCC disclaimer.
Let’s take a look at this donation page, shall we?
This is pathetic. So if you’re in a hurry, and just briefly glance over the page, you see a picture of the Democratic candidate and what appears to be her donation options. You may see the word “defeat” but more likely it doesn’t register. You’re in a rush and skim over that stuff as you search for your credit card and focus on the actual donation options. Only after you complete the transaction do you realize you’ve been pwned, sucka!
Trying to figure out who this works for. Surely the people who got ripped off have an even lower estimation of the Republican Party, right? Certainly if I were a candidate who was being used to defraud voters, I’d speak up about it.
Even the URLs appear to be links to Democratic candidates. Check out the sad tale of a Floridian who tried to donate to Democrat Alex Sink’s campaign:
Ray Bellamy said he wanted to make a political contribution to Alex Sink a Google search landed him at “http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com.”
“It looked legitimate and had a smiling face of Sink and all the trappings of a legitimate site,” Bellamy, a doctor from Tallahassee who follows Florida politics, wrote in an email to the Buzz. (Here’s Sink’s actual site, which uses a similar color scheme.)
What Bellamy overlooked was that the site is designed to raise money against Sink. “I failed to notice the smaller print: Under “Alex Sink Congress” was the sentence ‘Make a contribution today to help defeat Alex Sink and candidates like her,’ ” he said.
As with the Kyrsten Sinema campaign, the Republicans are using confusion and deception to try to steal donations which don’t belong to them. They’re counting on the fact that donors are busy, and will trust a quickie Google search to land them in the right place (also: hello, Google? Why is a fake Alex Sink campaign site ranked higher than the real one? UPDATE: Google has since put a phising warning on the website.) Even worse, in the case of Ray Bellamy’s errant donation, the NRCC wouldn’t refund his donation — until he went to the news media.
How is this not a violation of campaign finance rules? Or have we effectively done away with those?
Republicans are horrible people. Trying to steal elections, using fraud to steal donations — can’t you guys do anything honestly for once in your lives?
(h/t, Juanita Jean)