I owe an apology to Michael Steele, the ethically clueless, dim-bulb predecessor to Reince Priebus as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Still nauseous from Steele’s despicable 2010 fake census mailing fundraising scam, I referred to Priebus era deceptions like employing misleading editing of excerpts from Solicitor General Donald Verrilli’s defense of the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court, and sending out solicitations for donations that look like overdue bill notices as examples of “the Curse of Michael Steele.” I’m beginning to think, however, that Steele wasn’t the problem, and that it was he who was infected by the unethical instincts of the GOP, rather than the other way around.
The Tampa Bay Times recently reported on the experience of citizen Ray Bellamy, who wanted to make a political contribution to Alex Sink, a Democrat running for Congress in Florida. A Google located “http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com,” and sure enough, there was a large photo of Sink and the trappings of a campaign site. Assuming he was at the correct destination and without reading the text, Bellamy clicked on a button at the bottom of the page, sending $250 to Sink’s campaign, or so he thought. But the button was under the words, “Make a contribution today to help defeat Alex Sink and candidates like her,” which Bellamy also didn’t read. He felt he had been tricked. He had. Continue reading