Campaign 2010

Apr 06, 2010

Sessions Says Anything to Raise Money

Democrats highlighted Representative Pete Sessions alarming hypocrisy of using the United States Census as a fundraising tactic for his National Republican Congressional Committee one week and urging his constituents to complete the census form in a timely manner the next. By using the Census as a fundraising hook, Sessions’ committee depressed response rates on the actual Census. The tactic was so outrageous that it received a bipartisan rebuke from the United States House of Representatives.

 

“Does Representative Pete Sessions really know no bounds of decency when it comes to his fundraising tactics?” said Jesse Ferguson, Southern Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It’s disappointing that Sessions tried to politicize the Census to fill his campaign committee war chest and had to be rebuked by a bipartisan vote of the United States House of Representatives. Now it’s clear there is nothing Sessions won’t do or say to rake in cash but then he has he has the audacity to urge constituents to return the form in a timely manner. Maybe Pete Sessions could take a lesson in ethics from Karl Rove about putting the US Census above politics.”

 

In his recent newsletter to his constituents, Sessions urged them to return the real census form saying “It is critical for the Census Bureau to have accurate records of the U.S. population due to census implications in Congress for the next decade.” [Session’s Newsletter, 4/2/10] Former Bush advisor, Karl Rove, is featured in an advertisement promoting the Census.

 

Background

 

  • The National Republican Congressional Committee sent supporters a mailer with the word "Census" featured prominently throughout the document. [The Washington Post, 2/10/10]

 

  • “The Census Bureau has said it was concerned that misleading mailings would undermine response rates for the official census forms, which arrive in mailboxes next week. Lower mail response rates increase government costs, because the Census Bureau must send census-takers to every home that does not respond.” [Associated Press, 3/10/10]    The US Census estimates every one percent decrease in the mail response rate costs taxpayers approximately $85 million to send census workers back to re-count. [The US Census, 2/18/10]

 

  • The Prevent Deceptive Census Look-Alike Mailings Act is a bipartisan bill that would ban non-government mailings which mimic the look and feel of official census forms.  [H.R. 4621, 3/10/10]

 

  • Former Bush chief advisor, Karl Rove, is featured in an advertisement for the United States Census Bureau that promotes the timely return of Census forms. [The Hill, 4/5/10]