The NRCC has created about two dozen of these new faux news sites targeting Democrats, both challengers and incumbents, and is promoting them across the country with localized Google search ads.An NRCC spokesperson calls it "a new and effective way to disseminate information to voters who are interested in learning the truth about these Democratic candidates." Never mind that it's completely deceptive. It's also a handy way to collect new email addresses of people to ding for money. Each of the pages includes a handy "sign up for updates" form. And there at the bottom, in tiny little letters, is the disclaimer that it's paid for by the NRCC. Is this legal? Yes:
The NRCC's single-page sites are designed to appear to be a local news portal, with logos like "North County Update" or "Central Valley Update." The articles begin in the impartial voice of a political fact-checking site, hoping to lure in readers. "We'll take a look at her record and let you decide," starts one. Then they gradually morph into more biting language. At the very bottom, in a box, is the disclaimer that the NRCC paid for the site.
"The fact that it's a faux news site doesn't raise any campaign finance law issues," said Paul S. Ryan, an attorney with the Campaign Legal Center, which filed the Federal Election Commission complaint about the faux candidate sites for tricking voters.Is it sleazy? Also a yes. As if Fox News wasn't enough of a faux news mouthpiece for them.