There are very few things in Congress that could garner 100 percent agreement among members of both parties, but last month, it happened. Congress voted unanimously to make it illegal to send mail that resembles a Census document without displaying the address of the sender on the envelope. The reason such a law was, sadly, necessary? The Republican National Committee had been mailing out fund-raising letters emblazoned with words like "CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CENSUS ENCLOSED," which, you might imagine, fooled people into thinking this piece of mail had something to do with the Census. The fear was that, after receiving this fake census-y thing, people would be even more indifferent to opening the real Census than they already were. Kind of like "the Boy Who Cried Census." So they passed the law.
But despite the universal condemnation of their fund-raising tactic, the RNC hasn't stopped. Talking Points Memo has gotten its hands on a recent mailer dated April 12, one which still reads "Census Document" and "DO NOT DESTROY, OFFICIAL DOCUMENT" on the envelope without displaying the sender's address. In other words, it's exactly what the law was supposed to prohibit. Or is it?
But RNC spokesman Doug Heye told TPMmuckraker: "We simply looked at the new law, saw that it did not apply to our mailer and continued with the mail pieces." Heye did not elaborate on the RNC's view that the new law did not apply to its mailers.
Very interesting interpretation, RNC spokesman Doug Heye! Very disingenuous and interesting!