National Republican Congressional Committee Goes Phishing: Bogus Donation Sites in Dem Candidates’ Names Send Money to NRCC
This was a new one on me (hat-tip to a Facebook friend for the tipoff): the National Republican Congressional Committee appears to be registering donation websites using the names of Democratic candidates in the URL, distinguished from an official campaign site only by plain text reading “donate to help defeat” below the candidate’s name. Donations from all these sites currently redirect as donations to the NRCC.
Here’s a sample from sinemaforcongress.com, named for Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema:
Here’s another from kirkpatrickforcongress2014.com, named for Democratic candidate Ann Kirkpatrick:
There’s a formula, obviously, and it’s being applied to at least a half a dozen candidates already: pages using the same template, all redirecting to the RNCC, exist for the Democratic candidates Alex Sink, Martha Robertson, John Lewis, and Domenic Recchia at the time of this writing.
These are not presented as Republican sites, nor are the names suggestive of opposition sites. The URLs are all, without exception, either the candidate’s name or the candidate’s name accompanied by “forcongress,” “for2014,” or some similar campaign theme.
You have to scroll all the way to the bottom to get any text that suggests Republican involvement, usually in as low-contrast a font as possible:
Full disclosure, that.
I’ll try to stay on top of this story and any updates, but for now you need to know at least this much: the RNCC, going into the 2014 elections, is definitely registering misleading websites that appear to support Democratic candidates for Congress, but that direct donations to the RNCC.
Party of personal responsibility, amirite?