Allen West plagued by scam PACs

A Matt Wuerker cartoon is shown. | Matt Wuerker

Oh well, sounds like karma to me…

Politico

It’s the inevitable, if unsightly, convergence of the Internet, tea party, the post-Citizens United campaign-finance era and the presence of a Democrat in the White House who is despised by many conservatives. Political operatives can create a PAC and corresponding website on the cheap, drop some cash to rent an email list and, voilà— in come the small-dollar contributions from grass-roots Republicans eager to support any effort aiming to turn out President Barack Obama or reelect the fiery West.

Except those chunks of $25 and $50 don’t often find their way to any serious campaigns to beat Obama or boost West.

“The vast majority of the groups that we know are engaged in this have done nothing for West,” said Jill Holtzman Vogel, the congressman’s campaign attorney.

And, with the outfits that have given to West, those contributions pale in comparison to the money they’ve raised using the freshman Republican’s name.

According to media trackers and West campaign officials, none of the many conservative super PACs purportedly raising money for the congressman is airing TV ads on his behalf.

The Florida Republican’s campaign has sent cease-and-desist letters to a number of the groups and filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission, copies of which the campaign shared with POLITICO. But the organizations have been only mildly deterred and some continue to raise funds for themselves with marketing that would suggest they represent the actual campaign.

One organization, CAPE PAC, has a Google ad headlined, “Allen West in 2012: Join our Campaign & Help Us.” The URL goes even further: It is “www.allenwest2012.co.”

Yes, that’s “.co,” not “.com.”

A click on the link takes the reader to CAPE PAC’s main home page, something that a spokesman for the group said was a concession to the West campaign’s demands. Previously, the link directed readers to a CAPE PAC Web page meant to look like West’s actual campaign site.

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