The College Republican National Committee has raised $6.3 million this year using deceptive tactics and targeting the elderly. Then again, with the example being set by the current adminstration, are we really all that surprised?
Ugh. Sleazy actions performed by the subject of the article do not excuse sleazy reporting. I know you didn’t write it, David, so I’m not attacking you. I’m attacking what I consider to be the horrible reporting of the author. Contrast the implications of:
“But all of those groups, according to the small print on the letters, were simply projects of the College Republicans, who collected all of the checks.
And little of the money went to election efforts.
Of the money spent by the group this year, nearly 90 percent went to direct-mail vendors and postage expenses, according to records filed with the Internal Revenue Service”
“About $9 million of the College Republicans’ reported spending this year appeared to go into fund-raising expenses, according to a Times analysis of reports filed with the IRS.
About $313,000, roughly 3 percent, went for travel, convention expenses and “hospitality.” About $210,000 went to payroll expenses, helping pay for campus organizers who have been drumming up support for the GOP ticket among young people.
The large amount of money devoted to fund raising, and the small amount for political activities, is unusual among the top ranks of the burgeoning field of so-called 527 independent political groups.
Of the $20 million the anti-Bush group MoveOn.org spent, according to its filings, 93 percent went to media, advertising, marketing and polling.
Of the $13.7 million spent by the anti-John Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, 90 percent went to media, advertising and media consulting.”
So, direct mail vendors and postage expenses are not election efforts, but media, advertising, marketing, and media consulting apparently are? Would you care to explain the difference?
The totaled dollar amount listed under the activities of fundraising, conventions, travel, hospitality, and payroll adds up to roughly 35% based upon their standard of $313,000 = 3%. If you want to state that the 65% going to other activities is too low, go ahead. But citing total dollar amounts spent on activity categories for the College Republicans and percentages for everyone else is intentionally misleading.
Let me be clear: I’m disgusted by the statements that donors were told that their checks hadn’t arrived when they had. Calling yourself many different names and asking for donations from the same people under each of them is misleading, but the person is at least still aware of how much (s)he is donating if they aren’t lied to about whether or not checks arrived, just unaware of the fact that it isn’t being spread over a larger number of organizations. But the mere fact that so much is being spent on postage isn’t a sign of fraud, nor is the fact that the elderly receive so much of the attention of Republican fundraisers–the elderly are more likely to be conservative. That’s like crying fraud because the Democrats are more likely to focus their efforts on the young, who are presumably more liberal and thus willing to contibute to the Democratic campaign.
Was it that difficult to compare to College Democrats? Or did they not want to highlight the fact that CRs are way more successful across the country as an organization than are CDs?
I think the postage and direct mail is one aspect of it, but they also need to remember that College Republicans is primarily designed for recruiting and supporting, well, college Republians on campuses throughout the country. Winning votes and all that is only a small part of what they do.
I think the real point is that they used deception to take advantage of these people. I mean its one thing to not be friendly to your opponents, but to take advantage of those people who you claim to be in the same party as?
The RNC should be denouncing this loudly and the College Republicans should be ashamed.
And yes Andrew if the Young Democrats were guilty of similar action I would be equally as upset.
Alright, now that you fixed the link and I actually read the article, I’m with Mike on this one.
“Of the money spent by the group this year, nearly 90 percent went to direct-mail vendors and postage expenses, according to records filed with the Internal Revenue Service.”
Direct mail is a form of advertising, and I can also tell you it’s the most effective form according to most campaign vets (behind only door-to-door canvassing with the candidate him-/herself)–but also the most expensive per person. Also, I can tell you that direct mail can function as both advertising and fundraising. Sheesh, I get letters all the time from Republican groups touting this or that thing that Democrats are doing, and they need my help and my money now!!!
I do disagree with the deceptive tactics, but as Mike pointed out, the fine print is there, and you’re responsible for writing the check. I get tons of these things too (you give once, and your name ends up on a list for everyone else to target), and whether they are partisan, or non-political and philanthropic, many of them are incredibly deceptive and/or manipulative. It’s quite sickening, but it’s how the game is played.
I should also add that direct mail operations are almost always farmed out to businesses that specialize in such services, and they usually get a large cut of the money. Thus, you raise much more money, but your percentage that you keep dwindles as the numbers go up (depending on how the contracts are written). That doesn’t excuse the CRs for letting the direct mailers from being slimy, but it’s still useful to remember how things actually work.
So its ok to decieve them if there is some small bit of fine print somewhere, just so long as you get your money right? Well why doesn’t that surprise me, this is the Republican party after all.
They are taking advantage of the elderly in an underhanded and deceptive way and the fact that you are defending them further underlines the fact that you are so biased you are willing to justify ANY means so long as it benefits your ideology.
Oh give me a freakin’ break, David. Look, credit card companies send me offers saying 0% finance on transferred balanced until August ‘05 or whatever. What they don’t tell you (hey, it’s not even in the fine print!) is that if you spend money using the card, and you pay off your monthly balance, in fact what they actually do is apply your money to your 0% transfer balance and your monthly balances accrue at ~10% APR or whatever the rate is. How misleading is that?!?
The point is, it happens everywhere, all the time. The CRs (or the direct mail companies they hire) are not the only ones who mislead, deceive, and manipulate with their political mailers. Everyone does it. Does that make it okay? No. But what it does mean is, stop with the lame-ass self-righteous shock and get the eff over it. It’s the same deal with Joe’s post about the partisan mailer he got: He goes off about how deceptive and misleading it is, and harumphs that he therefore will not vote for the guy most definitely because of his mailer he sent out. And how did I respond? Basically, I said, “Dude, they’re all like that. Get over it.” It has nothing to do with party or ideology, it’s just the way. things. are. Okay?
Incidentally, ever heard the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”? Let’s apply that principle here for a moment, shall we? Buyer/consumer beware, anyone?!?!?
Jeez, the proverbial coal-ass-diamond thing totally applies to you, doesn’t it Dave? Re-friggin-lax!
Man, I try to be nice, or at least straightforward and unprovocative, and this is what I get in response. And you wonder why I have a hard time being nice to Dave?
Everyone does it so we should accept it. Wow that is about the stupidest statement I have ever heard you make, and thats saying alot.
And this isn’t companies we are talking about here. These are people who believe in and trust the Republican Party (for God knows what reason) and they are being misled by a group of people who claim to be the future leaders of said party.
I thought the GOP was all about morality and doing the right thing?
You have your head so far up your ass andrew you couldn’t see the forest OR the trees. You are not only a hypocrit of the highest caliber you can’t even hold a consistent position. See what its so hard to take any statement you make seriously? Because it as all from this right wing ideologue platform you have going where its either:
A) the right thing to do cause Dubya and co say so
B) ok because otherwise I would have to critcize my precious GOP
Once you can show a little bit of logical consistency and a little bit of objectivity maybe you won’t have to resort to name calling. Then again since you are just trying to distract us from the real truth, which is that the Republican leadership is morally bankrupt and you have no good argument, I suppose it doesn’t really matter now does it.
” Let me be clear: I’m disgusted by the statements that donors were told that their checks hadn’t arrived when they had. Calling yourself many different names and asking for donations from the same people under each of them is misleading, but the person is at least still aware of how much (s)he is donating if they aren’t lied to about whether or not checks arrived, just unaware of the fact that it isn’t being spread over a larger number of organizations. But the mere fact that so much is being spent on postage isn’t a sign of fraud, nor is the fact that the elderly receive so much of the attention of Republican fundraisers–the elderly are more likely to be conservative. That’s like crying fraud because the Democrats are more likely to focus their efforts on the young, who are presumably more liberal and thus willing to contibute to the Democratic campaign.”
Does that mean Mike is a Republican sycophant too?
“I do disagree with the deceptive tactics, but as Mike pointed out, the fine print is there, and you’re responsible for writing the check. I get tons of these things too (you give once, and your name ends up on a list for everyone else to target), and whether they are partisan, or non-political and philanthropic, many of them are incredibly deceptive and/or manipulative. It’s quite sickening, but it’s how the game is played.“
“The point is, it happens everywhere, all the time. The CRs (or the direct mail companies they hire) are not the only ones who mislead, deceive, and manipulate with their political mailers. Everyone does it. Does that make it okay? No. But what it does mean is, stop with the lame-ass self-righteous shock and get the eff over it.”
Seriously David, could you be any more dense and retarded?
Uhm, maybe some of the stuff you say about Andrew holds some water, but really, look at what you say and how you back it up! Sorry but you are not the epitome of logic and consistency yourself, like right now. I rarely comment on anything on this website, despite visiting every day, because the level of political discourse is ridiculous sometimes, and it’s not just because Andrew is an instigator, but you all sink to that level, and apparently take pride in it and then call the other guy names!
And uhm, yeah this whole CR thing is just a bunch of hooey. Everyone does this, it sucks and it is NOT ok but it is not an evil Republican plot, and this people gave their money willingly, and thats just too bad that some old dude took out a loan to contribute. I almost want to feel bad but then again, who writes a check without reading the fine print! So yeah :)
The only dense one here is you Andrew, you are only reading what you want to read without paying any attention to what i have said.
I have no problem, nor have I ever claimed that its not OK for the Republicans to target their constiuency. What I did take umbrage at was the deceptive tactics that they are using.
See Andrew you seem to have a problem differentiating between the goal and the methods used to reach that goal. They are not equal. Get that through your thick skull. Let me say it once again the TACTICS that the CR’s are using are the problem.
Second, a group who is portraying itself as the ethical and moral party should not then be acting in an unethical manner. I don’t care if everyone else does it, it is the height of hypocrisy and THAT is what I have called you out on, but you seem to keep beating this dead horse about how everyone does it. Come on, didn’t you pay attention in DARE? “Everyone is doing it” is not a good argument. Listen to Nancy Regan, just say no.
As for being the voice of logic and consistency, I have never claimed to be such. It is Andrew who regular extols his virtues as the one who always has sound arguments who has chosen that path.
As for sinking to the same level, well everyone was doing it, so shouldn’t it be ok?
and this people gave their money willingly
They gave their money willingly because they were tricked into believing they were supporting one group and ended up funding the CR’s instead. Maybe they have managed to skate by by adhering to the letter of the law using all sorts of legal fine print, but they have certainly violated the spirit of the law and are mere milimeters from commiting fraud. Because thats what it is when someone portrays themself as somebody they are not.
As for it being a Republican plot, I never said that, not even once. Thats not to say I don’t think it fits with the modus operendi of the Republican Party in general which seems to be that the ends justify the means.
“Second, a group who is portraying itself as the ethical and moral party should not then be acting in an unethical manner.”
So you are saying the Democrats do not claim to be an ethical and moral party, and therefore are free to operate in an unethical manner? Got it.
My dissent with you, David, is based entirely on your willingness to connect a shady CR mailer tactic to the administration and GOP as a whole. That’s just ludicrous. I guarantee you that scores of Democratic groups are guilty of similar or worse sins, yet that won’t make the front pages so quickly because the liberal media (like you) seems to find alleged illicit behavior by Republicans oh so much more newsworthy and significant. And don’t give me this crap about you never said it was a Republican plot. Quit splitting hairs. The very title of your post was a direct attack on Republicans, an insinuation that we train younger operatives in the way of malice and deception. It’s quite similar to Dane’s retarded insinuation that the Bush administration models itself after what a dictator would do, and both are examples of why I have so little respect for both of your intellects.
I never once connected this to the GOP as a whole. I never said look at what Carl Rove is teaching the CR’s to do! What I did say is it doesn’t surprise me given equally unethical behavior of the GOP in general.
There is a difference between pointing out a pattern of behavior and branding it as a conspiracy. As much as you would like to believe that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is some sort of left-wing nut job its just not true. Michael Moore might, but I don’t, believe in some sort of vast right wing conspiracy in everything the GOP does. Some of it maybe but not all of it.
As for Dane’s comments, they are historically valid. Many of the tactics Bush and co. are using ARE the same kind used by dictators of the past. Perhaps not to the same extent, but the similarities are present. This does not mean he IS a dictator in the making, any more than having one or two flu symptoms automatically qualifies you as having the flu.
But since you bring it up, this idea that Republicans seem to be touting that it is improper to criticize the President is one of those comparable items.
The fact is Andrew, you have such a hard time accepting anything but what you believe as possibly holding any veracity, that it is you who demonstrate the limited intellect.
Whats really sad is that if you hadn’t been such an extremeist you might very well have found me as an ally rather than an adversary. All you need to do is ask Brendan or Dane and you’d find that I am in many ways conservative. Instead of arguing from a reasoned position you have acted in a manner reminiscent of Michael Moore, albeit from the right.
Perhaps if you took off your elephant tinted glasses you might notice that this isn’t a binary situation. Its an analog one, and people fall along the spectrum of politics in many places. But until you can realize that simple fact you will continue alienating potential allys much as your hero George W. Bush has done.
This has gone well beyond a waste of my time, so I’ll comment on one thing:
“All you need to do is ask Brendan or Dane and you’d find that I am in many ways conservative.”
Being pro-life and sensitive about religion does not make you any more intelligent in my eyes, let alone a type of conservative I’d want to ally myself with. I have about the same amount of respect for your prejudices as I have for Pat Buchanan’s.
Andrew - don’t worry - *I* don’t pay any attention to what David tyes, either ! (grin)
Dane - as one of my favourite buttons points out, “Democracy is four wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for lunch !”
I, for one, don’t happen to believe that any style of “democracy” where the opposition is not allowed to be reasonably expressed, whether at the ballot box or at a National Convention’s Prime Time coverage, is eligible to be called democracy …
During the last few Presidential elections, check out the respective such decisions and speakers during Prime Time on the subject of Abortion … it’s one of the foremost reasons why I do not respect the current Democratic Party - because I do not consider such a thing to be democratic …
Hitler was elected because his opponents’ supporters were either prevented from campaigning/running or their supporters were prevented from voting (or both) …
Hmmm … makes one think, doesn’t it - sorta like what is happening with the Tort Reform legislation in the Senate - or some recent White House Nominations - where a Certain Party’s supporters, by filibuster, will not allow a vote …
“I, for one, don’t happen to believe that any style of ‘democracy’ where the opposition is not allowed to be reasonably expressed, whether at the ballot box or at a National Convention’s Prime Time coverage, is eligible to be called democracy.”
And I, for two :), suspect that all, for All :), would agree — insofar as the Ballot Box & the overall Marketplace of Ideas are concerned. (Recall, dear Alistair, that your adopted & well-beloved country is the one with a written Constitution & Bill of Rights protecting free expression against government interference; and the one which was without an Official Secrets Acts until Ashcroft came along with his crooked Patriot Game. :)
Now, the selection of speakers for Prime Time at a political party’s national convention is not a function of allowing, or disallowing, the full spectrum of general-electorate “opposition” to be Reasonably Expressed. Presumably the Tories do not allocate front-and-center speaking slots to their Fabian Socialist faction at their meetings; nor Labor to their Adam Smithies & their Ship-The-Bloody-Little-Wogs-Back-To-Arabia Caucus at their merry Blackpool conclaves. Similarly the R’s & D’s have no civic obligation to feature orators who expound philosophies fundamentally in conflict with the core principles of those increasingly-polarized organizations. A national convention is not a venue for ideological affirmative action. / However, (a) within the shrinking circumferences of their once-Bigger Tents both parties DO put up a well-representative variety of spokespeople; and (b) as to the the General Election (look at the Ballot!) and the even More General-er :) ongoing national discussion-forum of American democracy, well it’s Katie-Bar-th’-Dure (you should Pardon the expression :).
“Hitler was elected because his opponents’ supporters were either prevented from campaigning/running or their supporters were prevented from voting (or both) …”
(a) Hitler was appointed Chancellor because enough Germans were sufficiently daft to give his demoniacal party a Plurality of their votes, and a big enough Power bloc in the Reichstag & in the Streets, to take over. (b) Any Hitler analogies have been absurd since the deaths of Stalin & Mao, all subsequent contenders for the title being mere Pipsqueaks by comparison. However since (c) you raised the subject, note that it is not the Democratic Party which makes it their business to prevent people from voting. (And as to Running, don’t give me the old Ralph Nader business. He’s on the ballot everyplace where he qualified legitimately. Re the others, we can’t just go around Winking at Fraud y’know. :)
“… makes one think, doesn’t it - sorta like what is happening with the Tort Reform legislation in the Senate - or some recent White House Nominations - where a Certain Party’s supporters, by filibuster, will not allow a vote …”
Extended Debate, often deployed by each party (and coalitions from both) over the course of the U.S. Senate’s history, is a time-honored tradition of that august deliberative body. / Rather like Prime Minister’s Question Time in Commons, I should think. / I refer the Right Honorable Gentleman to the answer given some moments ago. :)
Joe - so which major party in this fair land is doing its best (and managing to practice fascism as it does so) to keep Nader’s name off any and all ballots that it can ? Hmmmm … begins with a D and ends with a t … and has a printer’s width and a veggie used in gumbo in the middle ?
That would sorta seem like preventing people voting for Nader …
Brendan - the classic fascist tactic with regard to speech is to chase opposing speakers off stages, to deny them chances to be heard, to only allow ‘approved’ messages in public places …
The classic fascist tactic with regard to voting is to either prevent opponents from being able to vote, or have one’s own ’supporters’ (named Guido) standing over the person voting, to make sure the person votes ‘correctly’ …
Ya know - perhaps *that* is Senator Kerry’s Health Plan … “You vota for me, I don’t breaka you legs!” …
I have to ask …
Brendan - when do you get to the concept of the “straw man” at Notre Dame Law School ?
As far as I can tell, only one person used the words “Nader” and “right” in the same sentence in these comments … and it wasn’t me …
So - we both agree, I hope, that NO-one has the right to be on a ballot … and that anyone should be able to earn the privilege of being on a given ballot if applicable rules are followed …
As long as Nader follows the rules, should he not be able to have his name on ballots ? Even if A Certain Candidate this year was a strong believer in third party candidates being on Presidential Ballots before he was against third party candidates being on Presidential Ballots ?
Hmmmm … I wonder if there is already an English-language grammar/syntax term for the good Senator’s consistent phrasing of how he votes ? You know, like a Spoonerism, or my own word of the election cycle - chiasmus - as, for example, referring to “the power of our example” and “the example of our power” …
I support the usage - Kerryism - or perhaps - there you Kerry again …
Ummm … Brendan - and why would Andrew comment upon an observation that approximately states - “It has iridescent feathers … and a bill … and webbed feet … and waddles … and it swims by its own choice … and it quacks - remarkably duck-like, wouldn’tcha say ?”
Show me where someone from the Republican Party is trying to use lawsuits to keep Badnarik’s name off ballots, and I’ll call that “managing to practice fascism as it does so”, too …
The point was brought home to me remarkably graphically decades ago, when the National Union of Students (in the United Kingdom) physically chased an invited speaker (who belonged to the National Front Party) off the stage of the Oxford University Union “BECAUSE HE WAS A FASCIST !” !
Since then, I calls it as I sees it … fascist IS as fascist DOES …
I’m sure Dane felt he was “calling it as he sees it,” too, when he said that Bush’s actions are akin to those of a dictator, but Andrew seemed to think that such a statement is inherently outrageous. Here you are saying that the Democrats’ actions akin to those of fascists, basically the equivalent statement but from the other side. I would assume, therefore, Andrew would think your statement is inherently outrageous, too. That was my only point.
Andrew, I assume that Alasdair’s clarification of his remarks makes clear to you that he was not being “hyperbolic or facetious,” but that, in fact, just like Dane, he believes what he is saying? So… what say you?
This is an archived post. Comments are closed.
To leave a comment on a newer post, please visit the homepage.