Friday, August 10, 2007

GOP Fear Tactic Of The Week

Does the Republican Party know how to do anything without scaring the crap out of people? Josh Marshall has the goods on an intimidating RNC fundraising letter that implies the recipient is ineligible to vote unless they donate money to the RNC. The official-looking letter comes identified as a Voter Registration Verification And Audit Form:
What 83 year-old William Sidwell of Queen City, Missouri found in his mailbox last week scared him. It was a letter from the Republican National Committee, but it seemed to bear grave news: "Our records show that you registered as a member of our Party in Schuyler County, MO," the letter said. "But a recent audit of your Party affiliation turned up some irregularities."

Audit? Irregularities? Was he in trouble? Were they threatening him? Sidwell went immediately to his ask his son, Dennis, a licensed public accountant, for advice. You can see the letter, and the accompanying "Voter Registration Verification and Audit Form," right here. Particularly puzzling to the both of them, Dennis told me, is that his father is a life-long Democrat.

The letter, it turns out, is just a misleading pitch for a contribution to the RNC -- one of the "irregularities" cited in the letter is that "I cannot find a record of you taking a single action in support of the Republican Party -- not locally, not nationally!" A contribution, the letter suggests, would help set the record straight.

In addition to a donation, recipients are asked to fill out a survey listing their voting history.

Wow, nothing like intimidating elderly voters into thinking there’s something wrong with their voter registrations. This is even worse than the time the RNC sent letters to voters in Arkansas and West Virginia warning that liberals were going to ban the Bible. I mean, anyone stupid enough to believe that wouldn’t be voting for a Democrat anyway.

Look, if you can’t raise money without pretending to be some kind of election official using scary words like “audit” and “irregularities,” maybe you should give it up.