The National Republican Congressional Committee has created a website that looks, at first glance, designed to support Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson.
The site, with the address http://www.collinpeterson2014.com, says in large letters "Collin Peterson for Congress" and invites people to sign up and donate.
But in smaller type it says, "Washington is broken, and Collin Peterson is part of the problem" and if visitors click the "donate" button the site will take them to a NRCC website.
The Peterson web page is part of a nationwide tactic from the Republican campaign group to drive traffic to sites that trash Democratic House members. The NRCC has set up similar sites targeting Democrats in California, Arizona, New York, New Hampshire and elsewhere.
Allison Myhre, spokeswoman for Peterson's campaign spokeswoman, said the microsite won't work in Minnesota.
"I doubt that voters out here are going to buy into a deceitful and dirty campaign sanctioned by Sen. Westrom and the Washington, DC Republicans who are running his campaign," she said. State Sen. Torrey Westrom is running against Peterson in the western Minnesota district Peterson has long represented.
Democratic blogger Sally Jo Sorensen wrote of the site: "Clearly, the NRCC isn't worrying about being Minnesota Nice in this race."
Alleigh Marré, NRCC spokeswoman, said: "Democrats are clearly nervous about these effective websites. They don't want voters to know the truth about their candidates' disastrous records. We appreciate Democrats drawing attention and driving traffic to these negative sites."
Peterson has not announced whether he will run again for the seat he has held since 1990.
Updated to correct spelling of Sally Jo Sorensen's last name.