SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (ABCNEWS) — In the wake of all the balloons and the confetti, hundreds of thousands americans, mostly small donors, went on-line to send in campaign contributions.
But for anyone who sent money to the DemocraticNationalCommittee.org, that money did not go to the democrats. Nor did money sent to the RepublicanNationalCommittee.org go to the republicans.
The sites seem like the real thing, but they are not–despite the official looking graphics and pictures and requests for contributions.
Republicans, and Democrats, were not aware of the copy-cat sites until we showed them.
An ABC News investigation found that both suspect sites are run out of this single family house in South Hadley, Massachusetts, by Donald Peltier, a fuel truck delivery man by day, and an internet sleight of hand artist by night who acknowledged he keeps the money sent in. Peltier owns the domain names of those web sites. Only in the small print would donors be able to see the words “not connected with any federal elections.” And dozens of other look alike sites with the pictures of well known politicians have already popped up, as reported by politico and the national journal.
These sites run by an Arizona republican’s super pac have refunded dozens of donations after taking in some $570,000, none of which went directly to the candidates.
Including angry retiree Jim Sorden of Saratoga, California who sent $250 to the site he thought was Mitt Romney’s.
In the case of the Massachusetts man with the political party sites, Donald Peltier, he did not want to talk to reporters, driving away into his back yard.