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Doktor
07 Feb 14,, 20:30
35447

The National Republican Congressional Committee appears to have set up at least 16 websites meant to appear like the official websites of Democratic candidates, spurring a debate over fair campaign tactics.

The websites appear at first glance as an official webpage for the candidate. But actually reading the text—which is more of a rarity online than you might think—reveals a different reality. On Arizona Democratic candidate Ann Kirkpatrick's fake page, the site reads, "Kirkpatrick is a huge embarrassment to Arizona." For Montana Democratic candidate John Lewis, the fake site flat-out says, "John Lewis is bad for Montana."

Both sites, as well as others, have disclaimers that they are funded by the NRCC at the bottom—not technically buried, but certainly not appearing before the big donate button that users can click to send money to the NRCC.

The NRCC's press secretary Daniel Scarpinato explained the tactic as such:

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.

That intent seems fair! That explanation, however, fails to justify why roleplaying as an official mouthpiece for the candidate is not an underhanded way of going about it. TIME wrote that "the tactic smacks of 'spoofing' scams, whereby spammers masquerade under fake phone numbers or email addresses to win trust." In one case, the NRCC refunded a donation made in error.

NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek stated that "Democrats are behind the game in digital … They should be buying the URLs for their candidates. I think that’s a pretty basic campaign tactic.” This is a very funny statement for two reasons. The first is that digital is one of the places where Democrats clearly outdo Republicans—the Obama 2012 campaign demonstrated this. Secondly, I guess the NRCC's idea of digital innovation is to crib tactics from the guys who already own iphone9.com and avatarthemovie3.biz.

Paul S. Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center even said that the websites may violate an FEC regulation prohibiting political parties from using a candidate’s name in special projects. The small websites might fall under such an umbrella. The FEC, however, is notoriously slow in investigating such matters, and the midterm elections will almost definitely be over before they can reach a conclusion.

Republicans Are Setting Up Fake Websites for Democratic Candidates - The Wire (http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/02/republicans-are-setting-fake-websites-democratic-candidates/357823/)

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Lame or genius?

YellowFever
07 Feb 14,, 20:43
Heaven forbid you should actually read the text on the screen.....

JAD_333
07 Feb 14,, 22:21
Oh my, the parties are at it again.

Dok, read about the US election of 1800. This is mild by comparison. Of course, doesn't make it right. My favorite dirty tricks were hatched by a democrat named Dick Tuck. A fun read.

Dick Tuck - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Tuck)

bonehead
08 Feb 14,, 01:25
Sigh…... and still people vote for them and then wonder why the country is spiraling down the drain.

JAD_333
08 Feb 14,, 02:04
Sigh…... and still people vote for them and then wonder why the country is spiraling down the drain.

Them? Y'know,most elected officeholders are good people. As of 1992 there were about 510,000 of them in the US. (Source:Political Geography of the United States by Fred M. Shelley) In any city that size you are going to have criminals.

Granted, there are things wrong with our democratic system for filling elected offices, but they're are many more things good about it, and I believe the good far outweighs the bad. Sometimes we are not given much of a choice of candidates, but other times we are. Voting is the ONLY way we have to hold our leaders accountable and to force change. No one should forget it. When I hear someone say 'my vote doesn't matter' or 'voting is like choosing between bad and worse', I feel like slapping them upside the head and yelling, "are you crazy? It's all we got to protect ourselves against tyranny."

bonehead
08 Feb 14,, 03:07
Them? Y'know,most elected officeholders are good people. As of 1992 there were about 510,000 of them in the US. (Source:Political Geography of the United States by Fred M. Shelley) In any city that size you are going to have criminals.

Granted, there are things wrong with our democratic system for filling elected offices, but they're are many more things good about it, and I believe the good far outweighs the bad. Sometimes we are not given much of a choice of candidates, but other times we are. Voting is the ONLY way we have to hold our leaders accountable and to force change. No one should forget it. When I hear someone say 'my vote doesn't matter' or 'voting is like choosing between bad and worse', I feel like slapping them upside the head and yelling, "are you crazy? It's all we got to protect ourselves against tyranny."

Our founding fathers knew of another way to hold the government accountable and some even said it should be used every now and then.

JAD_333
08 Feb 14,, 03:48
Our founding fathers knew of another way to hold the government accountable and some even said it should be used every now and then.

Your mean haul out the old fife and drum, pick up our muskets and rout the Redcoats again. You must be mad. :) We're a long way from needing to do that.

bonehead
08 Feb 14,, 03:59
Redcoats? Fife, drum, musket? Cut off their bribes/political funding would be enough. I am not convinced however that a full revolution may not be in order. Just imagine how things would change in the minds of politicians when they can see scores of their own swinging from the end of a rope. It would be a long time before we see the shenanigans we are seeing today.

JAD_333
08 Feb 14,, 04:43
Redcoats? Fife, drum, musket? Cut off their bribes/political funding would be enough. I am not convinced however that a full revolution may not be in order. Just imagine how things would change in the minds of politicians when they can see scores of their own swinging from the end of a rope. It would be a long time before we see the shenanigans we are seeing today.

The shenanigans we are seeing today are a toned down version of the shenanigans we saw in the mid to late 19th century.

The bad new is that about 1% of all officeholders commit felonies while in office. The good news is more than half are caught and convicted. Take a look at the linked below. Boogles the mind, but remember these come from a total of half a million officeholders in the US. Good by comparison with some foreign countries where it's custom that everyone is on the take.

These are state only. Federal officeholder felons can be found at a link at the bottom of the list. List of American state and local politicians convicted of crimes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_state_and_local_politicians_convi cted_of_crimes)

bonehead
08 Feb 14,, 05:40
The shenanigans we are seeing today are a toned down version of the shenanigans we saw in the mid to late 19th century.

The bad new is that about 1% of all officeholders commit felonies while in office. The good news is more than half are caught and convicted. Take a look at the linked below. Boogles the mind, but remember these come from a total of half a million officeholders in the US. Good by comparison with some foreign countries where it's custom that everyone is on the take.

These are state only. Federal officeholder felons can be found at a link at the bottom of the list. List of American state and local politicians convicted of crimes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_state_and_local_politicians_convi cted_of_crimes)

Another way to look at it is these people make the laws and still this many got caught and that is just the ones that we know of, We both know that there is more that are dirty. How many years of insider trading did congressmen do before they were caught and…"made laws against it"? Some call it "lobbying" I call it taking bribes, but then I am not the one making the rules. Now you know how notoriously difficult it is to unseat a congressmen that has a huge war chest…even if the person is a lying cheating scumbag. So much for the power of the vote when elections can be bought outright. You see not only do we have too many bad apples in office they have the system rigged against us. They make the laws and they through in the loopholes that only they can use. That is why even though approval ratings are low but no real changes have been made. Congressman are bought and sold to the highest bidder. It may be "legal" but that does not mean it is right or moral. In many aspects congressmen have elevated themselves above the law. You may be OK with it but I am not.

sated buddha
08 Feb 14,, 06:08
Lovely to see the glaring commonality and universality of democracy in our two countries. Internet warfare is big out here as well, with the Congress and the BJP having huge cells and multiple millions dedicated to the effort, and trading punches with accusations and counter accusations on national TV about manipulating the ether to swing votes. Apparently most of the big names have Twitter accounts with followers from as far off as the Ukraine and Guatemala to name some unexpected locations of "popular support" .....

Of course the educated middle class with their iPads and tablets and smart phones love this sordid mess and lap it all up on super prime time with Arnob (India's conscience, with a voice that will not stop to listen).

JAD_333
08 Feb 14,, 06:15
Another way to look at it is these people make the laws and still this many got caught and that is just the ones that we know of, We both know that there is more that are dirty. How many years of insider trading did congressmen do before they were caught and…"made laws against it"? Some call it "lobbying" I call it taking bribes, but then I am not the one making the rules. Now you know how notoriously difficult it is to unseat a congressmen that has a huge war chest…even if the person is a lying cheating scumbag. So much for the power of the vote when elections can be bought outright. You see not only do we have too many bad apples in office they have the system rigged against us. They make the laws and they through in the loopholes that only they can use. That is why even though approval ratings are low but no real changes have been made. Congressman are bought and sold to the highest bidder. It may be "legal" but that does not mean it is right or moral. In many aspects congressmen have elevated themselves above the law. You may be OK with it but I am not.

Of course, I am not ok with it, but you conflate the issue. Bribes are one thing; taking donations is another. For the latter to be illegal you must connect it to the former.

The problem we all face is that our perceptions are formed by what we learn from the media. You would have to work on the Hill or be involved in a Congressional campaign to form a more accurate picture. I was a subcommittee staff director. I had to interact with 7 Congressmen. They were all honest, decent guys. Of course when it came to re-election time, they put on their snarl. But it's a safe bet that here and there among all the member of Congress there is always a crook at work. The point I'm trying to make is that the institution is not as corrupt as you think. Disfunctional these days, yes. And I agree with you that too much money flows into election coffers from special interests. I don't know how you control that. Restrict campaign spending? Federal funding of campaigns?