National Democrats mimic news sites to influence voters in Colorado
Prominent Democratic operatives are creating a network of websites in midterm battlegrounds like Colorado that mimic local news outlets.
Why it matters: The web content is designed to deceive voters by parroting Democratic messages under the banner of independent news, Axios' Lachlan Markay and Thomas Wheatley report.
- Candidates and campaigns then refer to the websites in their political advertising, giving their partisan jabs a patina of news.
- Each follows a similar template: aggregated local and national news, often interspersed with write-ups on sports and attractions, that are heavily slanted in favor of Democrats.
The intrigue: The websites are registered to a company called Local Report Inc., formed in Florida last year.
- But the mastheads indicate involvement from the American Independent, a Washington-based progressive outfit launched by David Brock, who founded the left-leaning Media Matters.
- The for-profit American Independent is funded in part by the nonprofit arm of American Bridge, an opposition research-focused Democratic super PAC, according to its website.
The big picture: Progressive outlets posing as news sources is not new locally, where the Colorado Times Recorder and others publish Democratic-aligned content.
- In response, conservatives are building their own network of social media and news sites in Colorado to reach like-minded audiences and counter traditional outlets.
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