The Democratic National Committee is using the Boston Marathon tragedy to capture email addresses that can be used for political purposes, sparking cries that the move was in bad taste.
The DNC launched a website on Monday that encouraged people to express gratitude to the police, paramedics, and firefighters who responded to the Boston bombings.
On the website was a form that captures email addresses of those sending words of thanks to the first responders, The Huffington Post reported
. Such lists are used for fundraising and issue advocacy during political campaigns.
Conservatives were quick to condemn the action.
“Have the Democrats explained fundraising off Boston first responders yet or are they too busy plotting how to make $ off West, Tx? Tim Miller, executive director of America Rising PAC, said in a Tweet, referring to a gas explosion last week in the city of West, Tex., which killed 14 and injured more than 200.
DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse defended the endeavor, saying politics had nothing to do with it.
“Our supporters were looking for an outlet to express their gratitude and support for first responders in the wake of the tragedy in Boston, and collecting messages of thanks to deliver to them we concluded was the best outlet we could give them,” Woodhouse told Huffington Post. “It’s unfortunate that Republicans would stoop so low as to politicize the simple act of thanking the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.”
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