Arizona Congressional Democrats Call Fake Websites Deceitful

February 10, 2014

(Screenshot by Andrew Romanov-KJZZ)
This screenshot shows the fake Ann Kirkpatrick website.
(Screenshot by Andrew Romanov-KJZZ)
The fake Krysten Sinema website was created by NRCC.
(Screenshot by Andrew Romanov-KJZZ)
NRCC also made efforts to create a fake Ron Barber campaign website.

Anyone who wants to make online donations to three Arizona Democratic congressional candidates will need to be careful when browsing the web. If you visit AnnKirkpatrick.com, you will see a high-resolution photo of the congresswoman, a banner that reads “Kirkpatrick for Congress” and a big, blue “donate” button near the bottom of the screen. But, the congresswoman’s 2014 campaign does not run the website, and donations made here will not go to her re-election effort.

That is because the National Republican Congressional Campaign created this site. It did the same thing for two other Democrats, Reps. Kyrsten Sinema and Ron Barber.

D.B. Mitchell, a spokesman for the Kirkpatrick campaign, said the sites are misleading.

“To us, scamming Arizonans into donating by fake websites is a new low, even by the NRCC,” said Mitchell. “It’s clear that this organization is very desperate if they’re willing to engage in such questionable tactics.”

If you read closely, it becomes clear that Kirkpatrick’s rivals are behind the website. The text attacks the politician’s voting record and her stance on Obama’s healthcare law.

NRCC Press Secretary Daniel Scarpinato said the websites are not deceitful but are a rebuttal to the real congressional campaign websites that the GOP considers dishonest.

“All these folks are running for Congress, so that’s factual, and these sites include our perspective on their records and their time in Congress and things that they’re not putting on their sites, like support for Obamacare,” said Scarpinato.

Rodd McLeod, who works as a spokesman for the Kyrsten Sinema campaign, said campaigns try to buy as many web domains as possible prior to an election, but there are too many possibilities to buy them all. Scarpinato disagreed.

“They didn’t buy these URLS, which is a basic campaign 101. They dropped the ball and didn’t pay the $10 to buy these,” said Scarpinato. “Ann Kirkpatrick didn’t buy AnnKirkpatrick.com. We figured if they aren’t going to use them, then we’ll use them, and use it as an opportunity to get information out to voters.”

All three campaigns said the websites are a misrepresentation of the candidates, and encourage supporters to visit the representatives’ real campaign websites.