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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Darrell Issa

RNC “Census” update: Yet another law tries to stop it


Members of Congress are apparently so ticked off about the Republican National Committee’s use of a “Census” to raise money in its mailers that they’ve introduced a new bill to stop it,  passing it quickly this week on a voice vote in the House of Representatives.

So what, Republicans out there might say. The House is run by Democrats always looking to take a shot at the GOP. Except this bill was written by Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and it passed without dissent from either party.

The RNC remains unabashed about its mailings, which have gone out to Eastern Washington residents as well as folks in some other states. RNC Chairman Michael Steele, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “This was within the law as written. I can’t help it that the Democrats wrote a bad bill.”

He answers a question about it in at about 6:17 of the above clip..

The previous bill outlawing the practice was sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and passed unanimously in the House and Senate this year. The RNC believes it complies with the law, which bans the use of the word Census on the envelope, because “Census Document” appears on a page of the mailing with the addressee’s name that’s inside the envelope and shows through a plastic window.

Issa told the Associated Press it’s not a partisan issue. “When it comes to the Census htere is no separation between Republicans and Democrats. Working together we thought we put an end to this deceptive practice. Unfortunately, the foolishness of the RNC to move forward with yet another deceptive mail piece has caused us to act again.”

The new bill is now in the Senate.

RNC “Census” mailing investigated, criticized

Fundraising letters sent to Eastern Washington voters from the national Republican Party are receiving a review by the U.S. Postal Service and bipartisan criticism from members of Congress who view them as a deceptive and potentially illegal infringement on the U.S. Census.
Two Democratic House members wrote the postmaster general, calling for an investigation into whether the April 12 mailings violate a law that passed unanimously this year and was signed by President Obama on April 7. The letters, signed by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, were also sent to residents of several other states.
One Republican congressman says the letters “violate the letter as well as the spirit” of that law and another is proposing yet another law to try to stop the RNC’s long-standing money raising tactic.
The national GOP organization is unfazed. A spokesman insisted Monday the mailings are “in full compliance” with the law and designed to raise money to beat incumbent Democrats. Jahan Wilcox wouldn’t say how many districts around the country were sent mailings: “We don’t get into details on our fund-raising practices.”
As reported Sunday in The Spokesman-Review’s Spin Control, the fund-raising letter comes in a letter marked “Official Document/Do Not Destroy” and bold words above the address say it contains a “Census Document Registered To” the recipient. Lighter type above the Census notation says “This is not a U.S. Government Document”.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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