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Another Dirty Trick: GOP Creates Websites To Fool Democrats Into Giving Them Cash

A Florida man who wanted to donate money to a Democrat ended up donating to the GOP because of a misleading website.
 
 
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A Florida man who wanted to donate money to a Democrat ended up donating to  Republicans.  A Republican Party-controlled website was set up to look like it was in favor of the candidate, Alex Sink, who is running for Congress.

The man, named Ray Bellamy, ended up giving money to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the Tampa Bay Times reports.  He figured it out after an e-mail was sent thanking him for his contribution--for efforts to defeat Democrats.  Bellamy was eventually given a refund.

“It looked legitimate and had a smiling face of Sink and all the trappings of a legitimate site,” Bellamy told the Tampa Bay Times. The GOP site uses a similar color scheme to Sink’s real website.

Similar websites have been set up targeting other races.  The GOP has defended the misleading web pages.

“Anyone who reads the website understand these are negative attacks. Also as required our disclaimer is at the bottom,” said Andrea Bozek, a spokesperson for the NRCC. Bozek added that any person who was confused could get a refund.

In December 2013, the National Journal reported on these misleading websites.  The outlet noted that look-alike sites might violate federal election laws.  But no action on them will likely be taken, since the Federal Election Commission is gridlocked, split between 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans.

 

Alex Kane is AlterNet's New York-based World editor, and an assistant editor for Mondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

 
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