The National Republican Congressional Committee is using a little internet espionage ahead of the 2014 mid-term elections by creating websites named for Democratic candidates to highlight the less-favorable aspects of their campaigns.
The committee is responsible for at least 15 websites mimicking Democrats’ campaign sites for Congress, and the NRCC isn’t denying it – the committee is publicly endorsing it.
“The idea is people who are looking for information on the candidate, one of the places we all go now is online and so this is a way for folks to find out more about the candidates and information they may not find on the candidate’s own site,” NRCC press secretary Daniel Scarpinato told CNN.
”Well, we are very proud of this program,” Scarpinato said.
JohnLewis4congress.com, the Republican alternate of the Montana Democrat’s montanansforlewis.com, is one of hundreds of URL’s using the names of Democratic candidates considered weak in the upcoming election as part of a plan the NRCC will continue advancing throughout the year.
”I have seen a lot of unfortunate uses of deception in the last few elections,” Lewis told CNN. “This is just another in a long list of that.”
Lewis said that despite “dark money” making the way for fake websites, he believes Montana constituents will still “see right through a website that is based on deception.”
According to Scarpinato, the strategy isn’t meant to be deceptive, and the disclosures about the source of the information are clear.
“So just as a candidate is going to put information out about themselves, we’re going to put out information about the candidate that they are not putting out that we think is important for voters to know,” Scarpinato said.
The NRCC also insists that Democrats do the same thing, despite a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee statement insisting it’s “not the DCCC’s practice to make websites that could be confused with the opponents site.”