Rachel Maddow called this tactic of sending a "notice of delinquency" letter as a fundraising effort "disgusting" and "sleazy."
Rachel Maddow, a political analyst host for her own show on MSNBC, recently expressed her disgust for the antics the Republican National Committee and its chairman Reince Priebus have employed in attempting to solicit donations.
The letter in question, which was specifically brought to Maddow’s attention from someone in Virginia, had the phrase “Notice of Delinquency” in red on the envelope, already scaring readers into believing something horrible was wrong with their bills. The actual notice went on to say:
“This notice of delinquency has been sent to you because the Republican Party has contacted you multiple times to ask for your support of our 2016 campaign … We need you to come forward today and send a contribution of $25 or more.”
Maddow was alerted to this letter after someone submitted the contents to Maddow’s website, where she accepts tips from viewers and concerned citizens. She didn’t hold back when she called this fundraising letter “the kind of sleazy tactic, honestly, that elderly voters are particularly thought of as being susceptible to.”
She goes on to add that, “There’s a special extra-hot place in hell for anybody who tries to scam the elderly — let alone scare them — even if it’s not for some BS political reason.”
The tactic is immoral in that it tricks people, namely the elderly, into believing that they’ve done something wrong and that if they don’t send money immediately, they will be penalized in some way. Although the letter states that the money would be for the Republican Party and not a late utility bill, some elderly people may not understand that or they may believe that they will somehow lose their right to be registered as a Republican or vote in closed primaries.
This isn’t the first time that the RNC has been called out for using this dirty trick in letters. In 2009, a conservative news website called Red State published a critical open letter to the RNC and asked them fervently to “stop sending deceptive fundraising letters.” The letter was addressed to Michael Steele, the then-chairman for the RNC, and said, “You, and we, have a major responsibility. We sully our cause by deceptive tactics–especially deception practiced against our friends in this cause.” Even conservatives were against these methods of tricking registered voters into donating.
As Maddow stated, “This is my opinion, but I think this is disgusting. And I think the Republican National Committee should stop doing it.” Perhaps with the slew of backlash the RNC is facing with this intentionally misleading letter, they will cease from sending out anymore… At least for the next few years.
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