I know I’m running a bit behind on this one, but this is an egregious enough example of political manipulation and misuse of the term “census” that I feel I need to say my piece about it.
Several blogs, including MOMocrats and PRWatch, covered a ruse by the Republican National Committee. The RNC made this survey and sent it out in the form of a fake yet vaguely official looking “census.” While the post does not reproduce this fake “census” in its entirety, what is there shows that it’s a clear attempt to deceive (for those that really want it, the whole thing as sent to someone in McKinney, TX, was posted to Scribd and other copies and stories abound by searching on phrases like “rnc fake census.”).
I’m all for political surveys and a political party trying to reach out to its members. If the Republicans want to grow their numbers, so be it. (I’m personally a somewhat moderate Democrat. “Somewhat moderate” means I frequently side with the Democrats, but most notably I’m pro-life and support the Second Amendment.)
But this is wrong. The RNC stops just short of misappropriating the official title and logo of the US Census Bureau. In fact, the official looking envelope and a reference to a $15 “processing fee” appear to be a heavily veiled attempt at deceiving the less thorough into contributing to the RNC without knowing it.
Perhaps most horrifying is the following (quoting the PRWatch entry):
A RNC spokeswoman defended the document, saying it was clearly marked as an RNC mailer and it was not an attempt to mislead voters.
I beg to differ. The notification that it’s not an official government document is rather easy to miss, especially to someone who’s forgotten what the real census looks like. An RNC spokeswoman actually defending this horrid tactic is, in all honesty, an embarrassment to the Republican party and makes me proud to be a Democrat.