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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Warning! Verify political donation websites!

  Be aware that when you donate to various politicians, you may not be giving to the politician himself but rather to a PAC which doesn't have your best interests at heart.
  National Journal has the information:
The websites have the trappings of official campaign pages: smiling candidate photos and videos, issue pages, and a large, red “donate” button at the top. Except that proceeds from the shadow sites go not to the candidates pictured, but to an obscure conservative group run by an Arizona activist. 
Such doppelg√§nger sites exist for nearly three-dozen prominent GOP figures, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and donation magnets such as Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Allen West of Florida. 
Peter Pasi, who specializes in digital GOP fundraising, said the group is “exploiting donors.” “The intent is to trade on someone else’s name for your benefit,” he said.
  You can compare pictures of both the real website and the PAC imitation that has no relevance to the candidate here. 
  The main way to avoid a problem with this is to compare the address; if you do not recognize the group, do not donate. If the address (url) is not the candidate's name, do not donate, unless you know the organization through emails, research and/or history.
  Here's an example from National Journal:
  In this case, the PAC is CAPE (something). We have to be aware that in the future this kind of trickery will only accelerate.
  Caveat lector.


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