Rachel Maddow talks to Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the original sponsor of the "Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act" about the RNC continuing
April 26, 2010

Rachel Maddow talks to Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the original sponsor of the "Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act" about the RNC continuing to send out a fundraising mailer that looks like an official census mailer even after Congress passed a law banning it. TPM has more:

Even After Law Aimed At Banning It, RNC Still Sending Misleading 'Census' Mailer:

An RNC mailer obtained by TPMmuckraker bears the words "Census Document" and, in all caps, "DO NOT DESTROY/OFFICIAL DOCUMENT," on the outside of the envelope. In smaller letters, it says: "This is not a U.S. government document." The new law requires, among other things, that such mailers state the name and address of the sender on the outside of the envelope -- something the RNC's missive doesn't appear to do. Inside, a letter from RNC chair Michael Steele, dated April 12, asks recipients to fill out a questionnaire about their political views, and solicits donations of as much as $500 or more. (See the mailer here.)

Last month, in response to virtually identical RNC mailers, members of both parties cried foul, raising the concern that the mailers could reduce the response rate for the actual Census -- which was mailed to Americans last month -- by confusing some voters. "Nothing could be more wrong," declared Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) -- not a lawmaker known for a commitment to bipartisanship. Congress quickly passed a law -- the House vote was 416-0 -- requiring that mailers marked "census" state the name and address of the sender on the outside of the envelope, and contain an unambiguous disclaimer making clear that the mailer is not affiliated with the government.

Based on a PDF image, the mailer obtained by TPMmuckraker does not appear to state the sender's name and address on the outside. And the words "DO NOT DESTROY/OFFICIAL DOCUMENT" would appear to make the disclaimer that it's not a government document less than unambiguous.

...The chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the U.S. Postal Service against what appears to be the same mailer, charging that it violates the new law.

Read on...

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