Politico: Republicans sign on to bill targeting RNC mailers
H/t to Ben Smith and the folks over at Politico:
Two House Republicans have signed on to legislation that would outlaw fundraising mailings that could be confused with official Census documents.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, was inspired by a Republican National Committee mailing that describes itself on its envelope as an “official document” and a “census document.”
The mailing has drawn bipartisan criticism, but Republican operatives say it’s long been a lucrative fundraising tool for the RNC, which has defended it.
But in what may be a mark of the difficult relationship between the RNC and the Hill, Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz have signed onto the legislation, which doesn’t mention the RNC mailer specifically, but would bar the use of the word “census” on the outside of envelopes delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
Spokespeople for Issa and Chaffetz didn’t respond to inquiries about their co-sponsorship of the legislation, which has 19 total sponsors and is being marked up this morning.
UPDATE: Chaffetz did discuss the issue at a recent hearing: “Let me also say publicly that the Republican National Committee – I’m a Republican – sent out a so-called census across the country. I think that was wrong. I don’t think we should necessarily mandate or put in statute that you shouldn’t use the word ‘census,’ but I think it was deceiving at best. And I wish my party had not done that,” he said. “I would encourage others to not try to piggyback and take advantage of the word ‘census’ at a time that we’re trying to encourage participation. And I thought it was used as an enticement to open an envelope, and I wish they hadn’t done it. But I want to be fair on both sides and stand on principle. So I want to say that.”