Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Does the RNC just not get it?

An election year means all bets are off when it comes to political campaigns. I'd seen a lot even at the local level in my good old days as a reporter. But this one takes the cake.

Let me preface this story by stating I'm a loyal independent who typically errs in the voting booth on the side of helping people.

Now, imagine you get a certified letter in the mail. Your response? Make time, drive to the post office and pick it up.

Now imagine it's a request for money - and it's not a collection notice. Instead, it's a campaign solicitation!

Indianapolis Star political columnist Matthew Tully wrote in Sunday's paper:

To [Lizbeth Maher's] surprise, the letter in question was nothing more than a plea for cash from the Republican National Committee -- a form letter, no less, seeking a few bucks so Republicans could fight against what the letter breathlessly called "the national Democrats and their ultra-liberal allies (who) are raising money at a frantic pace."

Sounding a dire warning, the pitch included what many such letters do: An artificial
deadline. "I must ask you to please use the Emergency Return Envelope and rush
an immediate contribution of $360 today," it said.

Now imagine you are Maher and you're standing there at the Carmel Post Office, having just rushed over to pick up a certified letter that turned out to be a cheesy campaign contribution scheme. And you're not alone. Several other people at the post office received the same letter.

"Everyone was standing there with their mouths open," she said. "They were not happy."Neither was Maher. She called the letter an embarrassment and a waste of $3.02 in postage. Not to mention a thoughtless swipe at people who have supported the party and its candidates.

So here's my question: Is the RNC just out of touch? Had it not realized that people are paying $4.15 a gallon for gas (OK, $3.79 or so when it was likely mailed), and they have to invest time and hard-earned gasoline money to get to the post office? Not to mention when we're debating the dwindling resources for gasoline in this nation?

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