Connolly, Maloney, Raskin, and Porter Demand That RNC Halt All Communications Resembling Official Census Documents

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Washington, March 5, 2020 | comments
Today, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Chairman Jamie Raskin, Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerry Connolly, and Committee Member Rep. Katie Porter sent a letter demanding that the Republican National Committee (RNC) immediately stop sending communications by mail or online that resemble official Census documents and could mislead Americans and harm the accuracy of the Census.

“We are writing to request that the Republican National Committee (RNC) immediately stop sending letters, fundraising requests, text messages, social media posts, or any other communications that appear in any way to resemble official Census documents,” the Members wrote. “Distributing these materials as Census operations begin around the country could mislead Americans, reduce Census participation, and harm the accuracy of the Census.”

The RNC has been sending out fundraising mailers that resemble official Census documents. The envelope states that it includes an “OFFICIAL DOCUMENT.” Inside is a questionnaire labeled “Census Document” and “2020 Congressional District Census.” The questionnaire states that responses “will be shared with the White House,” and it directs individuals to return the questionnaire “within 7 days to ensure accurate tabulation and dependable results.”

In addition, yesterday a joint fundraising committee of the RNC and President Trump’s reelection campaign posted fundraising appeals on Facebook designed to mimic the 2020 Census. The posts, which purport to come directly from President Trump and Vice President Pence, state, “President Trump needs you to take the Official 2020 Congressional District Census today.” The posts include a graphic labeled “2020 Census” and state that the “survey” is important for “YOUR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.”

“Our Committee is charged with overseeing a fair and accurate 2020 Census,” the Members wrote. “Simply put, the RNC should not invoke the official U.S. Census as a means to confuse and deceive recipients of the mailer into opening it, thinking they are complying with their civic duty.”

On February 12, 2020, Congresswoman Porter asked Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham about the RNC’s mailer during the Committee’s hearing, and he testified that “we should not confuse any mailings like that with the census.”

In today’s letter, the Members gave the RNC one week to inform the Committee whether it “will discontinue these practices or whether further action by the Committee is necessary.”

Click here to read the letter to the RNC.
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