by David Safier
Ann Kirkpatrick supporters landing on a website with the "Kirkpatrick For Congress" graphic above might decide to make a donation. It looks legit, until you read the words below the head: "Make a Contribution Today to Help Defeat Ann Kirkpatrick and candidates like her." It's actually a website set up by the National Republican Congressional Committee, and that's where the money ends up.
Similar mock websites have been set up for Kyrsten Sinema and other Democratic congressional candidates.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has set up a number of websites that look like they could be a Democratic candidate’s campaign page, unless you read the fine print. They may even violate a Federal Election Commission regulation, Campaign Legal Center expert Paul S. Ryan explained to ThinkProgress.
According to Ryan, the websites appear to violate a Federal Election Commission regulation prohibiting political committees and parties from using a candidate’s name in special projects. The FEC considers websites, including microsites, a special project falling under this rule. The only exception is when the site makes it unambiguously clear it is opposed to the candidate.
When the NRCC was caught, it maintained that the websites are legal. Which I guess means it thinks conning people into giving money to the wrong party is just fine.