February 3, 2014 11:23 pm -

They try to make you think it’s a request for money from a Democrat, but they are tricking you to give money to Republicans.

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.

The NRCC has set up these pages for various congressional opponents, including Amanda Renteria, Martha Roberston, Kyrsten Sinema, Amy Kirkpatrick, Alex Sink, and John Tierney. Each follow a similar format, they list the candidate’s name “for Congress” to ask for donations.

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 the site is opposed to the candidate.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.