DENVER — Why would Andrew Romanoff’s new website label the Democratic congressional candidate as “a professional politician who will do anything to further his political career”?
The answer: it’s actually not Romanoff’s website, but one of 15 recently launched by the National Republican Congressional Committee to influence voters seeking information about Democratic candidates.
Romanoff, the former statehouse speaker, is now challenging Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, in what’s anticipated to be one of the country’s most competitive and expensive 2014 House races.
The NRCC isn’t bashful about it’s surreptitious strategy: fooling voters with sites that appear to be those of Democratic candidates but are really GOP smear jobs.
“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,” NRCC press secretary Daniel Scarpinato told CNN, which first reported on the fake sites.
“We are very proud of this program.”
The site targeting Romanoff is www.andrewromanoff2014.com
On the one-page site, Republicans remind voters about Romanoff’s unsuccessful 2010 primary challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, his support for the Affordable Care Act and his votes as a state lawmaker in support of a package of immigration reforms that are likely to alienate some Hispanic voters.
“Romanoff is so out-of-touch with the needs of Colorado families, it’s no wonder Washington Democrats and special interests recruited him to run for Congress,” the site states, just above a small disclaimer that the site is the work of the NRCC.
At the bottom of the page it says: “Had enough of Andrew Romanoff?”
Just below that, there’s a giant “DONATE” button and a place to add your name and email to the NRCC’s list.