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McAuliffe- Virginia

McAuliffe Spent Nearly $100,000 on Fake News Sites to Influence Virginia Voters

According to Fox News, pro-McAuliffe propaganda has been linked to numerous fake news websites.

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Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe spent nearly $100,000 on propaganda from fake news websites promoted on Facebook.

An extensive Fox News report revealed that the pro-McAuliffe propaganda linked to local news websites created solely to promote Democratic candidates.

According to Fox News the ads have been viewed as many as 3.5 million times and are hidden on a Facebook page with a name similar to the local news website portal.

“Like most candidates, McAuliffe operates a Facebook page under his own name to promote his campaign. But the former governor also operates another Facebook page that blurs the lines between a political campaign and disinformation,” Fox News points out.

It is “The Download Virginia” portal, which McAuliffe quietly launched in June. According to the report, most people who have accessed it have done so through paid advertising.

In an ad from July, The Download wrote about McAuliffe’s views on small businesses. The ad included a link to an article published by a third-party website called The Virginia Dogwood, which bills itself as a local news website but is operated by Courier Newsroom, described by Dogwood as a “civic media company.”

However, Courier Newsroom was founded and initially funded by the liberal dark money group ACRONYM. According to the Wall Street Journal, early backers included billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, as well as LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and a group of movie producers. Axios reported yesterday that the “newsroom” has since been acquired by influential Democrat Tara McGowan’s “Good Information Project,” which is backed by many of the same investors.

The Dogwood says Courier Newsroom’s editor-in-chief, as well as its own managing editor, have control over the editorial process.

In an October announcement, The Download wrote that Youngkin has a “very troubling” policy on vaccination and included a link to an article published by a third-party website called American Independent.

McAuliffe
Picture: The Dogwood Facebook page

The Independent is reportedly run by a liberal “dark money” foundation, established by David Brock, a wealthy and influential Democratic donor who is also a close ally of the Clinton family. However, the portal’s editors claim that the foundation has no editorial influence.

“The McAuliffe campaign has spent a total of between $90,200 to $106,398 on advertisements linking to the Independent and the Dogwood. Those advertisements have garnered the campaign a total of between 3,290,000 and 3,470,000 “impressions,” a term that Facebook uses to describe the number of screens that an advertisement has reached,” the report notes.

Tight race between McAuliffe and Youngkin

A recent Fox News poll found that 51 % of likely voters support McAuliffe and 46 % support Youngkin, putting both candidates within the margin of error of +/- 3.5 points.

According to The Hill, the race became a litmus test for President Biden, as the White House can test the political vibe of voters in key states. The Democratic administration at this time faces low approval ratings.

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