The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has created websites that, at first glance, appear to be supporting Democratic candidates.
But in reality, these fake websites, which use pictures of Democrats, the candidates' names and the words "for Congress," are hauling in money for the NRCC.
These fake websites have targeted Reps. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.; Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz.; Amanda Renteria, D-Calif.; John Tierney, D-Mass.; Martha Roberston, D-N.Y.; and Alex Sink, D-Fla.
Campaign Legal Center expert Paul S. Ryan tells ThinkProgress.org that these fake websites may be violating Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules, but adds that a FEC investigation could take two years to complete, long after the damage is done in November of this year.
“It looked legitimate and had a smiling face of Sink and all the trappings of a legitimate site,” Democrat voter Ray Bellamy told the Tampa Bay Times.
The NRCC defends its fake websites, but won't keep the money if caught. NBC News' Mike O'Brien recently tweeted: "The @NRCC says it has refunded Florida donor's errant contribution, and would honor refunds for anyone else who felt misled."