The RNC hasn’t elaborated — despite several requests — on its view that its misleading “Census” fundraising mailer is legal, despite a recently passed law that aimed to ban such missives.
But it may hang on the fact that the law, which passed last month, only forbids mailers with the word “census” on the outside of the envelope — while in the RNC’s mailer, “Census” is visible through the envelope’s window.
If that’s the case, it would hardly be consistent with the spirit of the law. And Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has just introduced new legislation to close that potential loophole.
The RNC’s mailings plainly violate the spirit and intent of the law. Today I introduced legislation to clarify Congress’ intent and remove loopholes that resulted in this mailing slipping through. Deceptive mailings must not be allowed to interfere with the constitutionally mandated Census. This legislation deserves bipartisan support and I am working with Congressional Democrats to advance this bill as expeditiously as possible.
The loophole defense also wouldn’t sit too well with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who sponsored the original bill. In a statement to TPMmuckraker, Maloney expressed outrage:
So the RNC is now the party of loopholes? This is an issue of leadership and Michael Steele should show some leadership and order his staff and paid consultants to stop deceiving the American public, stop trying to make a partisan buck on the Census and stop these mailings before he is compelled to do so by the Postal Service after they complete their investigation.
The U.S. Postal Service told TPMmuckraker it’s probing whether the mailer violates existing law.