OKLAHOMA CITY – It looks official, but experts said looks can be deceiving. A survey making its way into Oklahoma mailboxes titled “2019 Congressional Census” is actually a fundraising effort sent out by the Republican National Committee.
“They ask some leading questions to get partisans kind of riled up and angry. And, then, they say can you donate us some money to help the cause,” said University of Oklahoma communications professor Pat Meirick.
Meirick said he’s received fundraising surveys from both the DNC and the RNC in the past.
But, this one in particular could be considered misleading to some who receive it. The front envelope said “DO NOT DESTROY OFFICIAL DOCUMENT,” and the survey was labeled as a “Census.”
It starts with basic questions, like what your political party affiliation is and what age category applies to you. It also lists questions like “Do you think President Trump is leading our country in the right direction?” and “Do you support Trump’s efforts to build the wall?”
But, Meirick doesn’t think the RNC is even tallying the survey. They just want what is on the bottom of the survey – a donation from you.
“I think they do want you to make you feel like you’re being listened to but, if they’re sending these out in the tens of millions, there’s no way they’re tabulating these,” Meirick said.
In 2010, the House passed legislation requiring any mail in an envelope marked ‘census’ to clearly indicate the sender and return address. The word ‘census’ is not marked anywhere on the envelope from the RNC. So, legally, the group is in the clear.
“Before I put pen to paper I would say ‘What is this really about? Who is this really coming from,’” Meirick said. “As always, exercise caution.”
We have contacted both the local Republican Party and the Republican National Committee for comment. So far, our email and phone call haven’t been returned.